Saturday, May 04, 2002

Gardener to Gardener


Glenwood Gardens a families affair

By Peg St. Clair
Enquirer contributor

        Much of my youth was spent in the community of Wyoming. When we ventured north on Springfield Pike toward Glendale, it was a pleasure to enjoy the pastoral look of land just west of the intersection of Glendale-Milford Road and Springfield Pike in Woodlawn.

        There was a white farm house tucked back a country lane, acres of open space and cows grazing in the field. The sight was a breath of fresh air, and it magically stayed the same for decades.

OTHER COUNTY PARKS PROJECTS
  • Educational programs for Cincinnati Public Schools students at Parky's Farm.
  • A camping program, in cooperation with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, for urban youths and “at risk” students.
  • An outreach naturalist program serving schools, community centers and senior citizen homes.   Information: 521-7275.
        In the last few years, it was bad enough when I saw condominiums being built next to this farm. But I was nearly sick when I watched another strip mall going up on the front of the property.

        I never dreamed that there was a plan to preserve part of the property. Two special families had the vision and generosity to help provide green space behind the new commercial portions of the site for a public park that would be called Glenwood Gardens.

        Upon her death in 1993, Mary Burchenal bequeathed her home — the one I admired as a child — and 11 acres of her farm to the Hamilton County Parks Board. Later, with the support of her family, the park board acquired 238 more acres of the Burchenal farm.

        Earlier, in 1964, Hamilton County Parks commissioner and University of Cincinnati professor Sam Benedict and his wife, Betty, had donated 23 acres adjacent to the Burchenal land to the county park board. Over the years, they donated more land for the Trillium Trails Wildflower Preserve, now part of Glenwood Gardens.

        Unlike much of the county park land, which is left natural woodlands, this property is being developed as designed gardens.

        “Glenwood Gardens shows that people can be a part of these natural systems, too,” says Bob Harris, landscape manager for Hamilton County Parks.

        “Gardens in other parks are there for creating a setting around something else, like a golf course, or in places that are subtle or seen in the background. This is the first time we have developed gardens to be the focus.”

        Contact Peg St. Clair by phone: 541-4680; Web site: www.gardenersnetwork.org.

       



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