As a citizen or visitor of Hamilton County, you have free access to 12 unique parks that total over 1,500 acres of land. The cost of maintaining and operating these parks is funded through taxpayer support, less than $10 per citizen of Hamilton County. However, the benefit of taxpayer support of the parks is not limited to simply operation and maintenance of outstanding parks.
Your support as a taxpayer allows access to amazing parks and programs, free of charge. Taxpayer support allows Hamilton County to continue to provide admission to the parks, including Cool Creek Nature Center and the Taylor Center of Natural History, at no additional cost in contrast to other nearby city and state parks. Attendance at Cool Creek and the Taylor Center alone topped 165,000 people in the last five years. Because of taxpayer support, school teachers at any public, private, or parochial school in Hamilton County can bring their class to a park for a park staff naturalist led field trip, free of cost. In the past five years, over 38,000 students have benefited from this. Nearly 5,000 Girl Scouts, Brownie Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts visited Cool Creek Nature Center or the Taylor Center of Natural History and participated in a staff-lead educational program free of charge. In addition to entrance to the parks, many programs and special events held at Hamilton County parks are also offered free of charge.
Taxpayer support has had a significant positive impact on Hamilton County Parks, making it possible for hundreds of thousands of our community members and visitors to experience free quality programming. However, this intentional and carefully-deliberated decision to increase access to the parks and programs does come at the expense of minimizing funds available for capital improvements of existing parks and expanding parkland within the county. The Friends of Hamilton County Parks (FHCP) helps make these crucial improvements possible.
As a donor to the FHCP, you are helping ensure our parks are the great parks we deserve. It is a huge task. The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department five-year master plan identifies over 200 individual projects and needs, representing a potential cost of $28 million. The board and staff of the FHCP, in collaboration with the staff of Hamilton County Parks and Recreation, have identified 6 projects that require urgent attention and will meet the needs of a wide range of audiences across the county. We invite you to review these projects and consider supporting one or more. Have questions? Contact us at 317.853.6831, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.