Preserve Burnet Woods

Cincinnati Park Board

We need to inform the Cincinnati Park Board how many people think it’s important to keep Burnet Woods in its current state. It can't be brought back once it's lost. Blacktop and concrete are the last use of all natural spaces.

Please sign this petition to help save this one of a kind urban forest with its majestic trees and wildlife diversity for future generations.

Burnet Woods is historically significant with the original park area purchased by the city in 1872 and 1881. It is 90 acres and approximately 50% of its original size. The southern half was acquired by the University of Cincinnati and developed. The most recent loss of parkland occurred in 1950 when the University obtained 18 additional acres.

What remains of Burnet Woods is now a rare urban preserve, home to diverse plant and animal species. The few structures within the park serve only to provide enrichment and enlightenment for park visitors. Since the middle of the last century, the Cincinnati Park Board has not allowed the construction of additional buildings proposed for Burnet Woods. Envisioned structures would have served the community, but their bricks and paved parking areas would have destroyed more of the surviving parkland.

The two buildings most recently proposed for Burnet Woods would likewise reduce the greenspace in the park. The sponsors of the projects, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center and the Camping and Education Foundation, are to be applauded for their past and current contributions to Cincinnati parks, but their requested structures do not belong in Burnet Woods, within the already shrunken boundaries of Clifton’s central greenspace.

The forest in the park is exceedingly diverse in both species composition and in structure. Burnet Woods is an important and special natural resource, both for wildlife and for people. It provides wildlife with the basics of food, water, and shelter. The natural resources of the park delight visitors, ranging in interest from the naturalist to the casual walker. The fact that it is an urban habitat island makes it even more significant to both wildlife and people.

Over 100 species of trees ranging from flowering understory varieties to majestic shade trees 100 feet tall have been identified. The forest floor undergrowth, (wildflowers, ferns, grasses, etc.) is also very species rich. These attributes contribute to the many diverse bird species.

167 different species of birds have been identified in Burnet Woods. 120 of these are transient migrants (birds which migrate through the park in spring and fall). Burnet Woods is critical for these migrants, which is why the park is identified as an Audubon Important Birding Area (IBA). These migrants give the park’s habitat its global importance. Loss of habitat is the major cause of bird population decline. Stopover locations like Burnet Woods are extremely important to the survival of migrants.

Burnet Woods as a central greenspace is also unique in forest species for another reason. The Clifton plateau was less affected by the glaciers than the surrounding areas. Both the geologic and botanical evidence suggests that Burnet Woods is a remnant of the older, more diverse “Mixed Mesophytic Forest” as described by Dr. E. Lucy Braun, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati. It is this diversity of vegetation which is the basis for the ecological importance of the Burnet Woods forest. The many plant species and the complex structure of the forest, with its multiple layers of vegetation, are essential factors in making it such a productive place for wildlife habitat. The same diversity accounts for why it is such a wonderful and appealing place where people can take a break from the strains of our urban environment.

Let’s save this one of a kind urban forest and central city greenspace for future generations and all of the public to enjoy.

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Cincinnati, OH

To: Cincinnati Park Board
From: [Your Name]

I support preserving Burnet Woods in its current state and am opposed to any development of the area.

Please save this one of a kind urban forest and central city greenspace for future generations and all of the public to enjoy.

Loss of this public land will impact the quality of our community and add to the congestion of an already heavily developed area. I ask that you protect Burnet Woods and leave us the last natural area in the community which is a historically significant wildlife refuge that cannot be replaced. Blacktop and concrete are the last use of all natural spaces.​