50th Anniversary picnic postponed


While the COVID-19 crisis continues and the state of Ohio begins making plans to open up parts of the economy starting May 1, the Clermont Park District will postpone a community event scheduled for mid May.

“At this point, we don’t know enough about what the rules from the state and county will be for large gatherings,” said Park District Direct Chris Clingman. “We will always err on the side of caution to make sure our guests and our staff stay safe and healthy.

“It’s unfortunate. I know people are anxious to get outside and socialize again. We’re glad our parks have been open for hiking and exercise during the state’s stay-at-home order, but bringing so many people together in one place is more of a risk than we’re willing to take.”

As a result, a community picnic to celebrate the Park District’s 50th anniversary fell victim to the pandemic.

Originally signed into existence Feb. 5, 1970, by Clermont County Probate Judge Charles Jackson, it actually took a year for the fledgling organization to own any property – 23 acres along the East Fork of the Little Miami River – and two before that parcel opened to the public as Sycamore Park.

In the ensuing 50 years, the Park District grew from existing only on paper to managing nearly 1,000 acres of parks, nature preserves and green spaces.

Scheduled for May 16 at Chilo Lock 34 Park, the 50th anniversary picnic would have featured the musical talents of Wild Carrot, a Cincinnati-based American roots music combo.

“This would have been a terrific opportunity for us to begin thanking the people who enjoy the Park District,” said Mark D. Motz, community relations manager. “We’re sorry we won’t be able to do this particular thank you, but look forward to a time when we can celebrate together safely.”