Although it’s still chilly, spring is around the corner. No… really. It is.
If you are a Middletown resident, you may not be aware that MetroParks of Butler County has eleven parks open to the public with nearly 5,000 acres of green space with recreational opportunities spread throughout the county.
You can see access the many parks available at: https://www.yourmetroparks.net/
Visitors may spend time enjoying hiking, biking, running or walking on various natural and paved trails at various park system facilities. Many play areas, fishing spots, reservable facilities, shelters and campsites, as well as a dog park are available. There is water recreation through creeking, rentable kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, and stand-up paddleboards. All allow for numerous sources of family fun!
Construction recently began on the River Center, located at 120 South Carmody Boulevard in Middletown, Ohio. The location, chosen due to its proximity to Downtown Middletown and the Great Miami River Trail, will attract visitors to the trail and usage of the AK Pavilion both of which have been assets which have been previously underutilized.
The River Center will play an active role in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Middletown. It is expected have a positive impact on revenue generation in the region as out of town visitors, of the trail and river, will likely spend time in downtown Middletown businesses and special events, as well. This potential regional impact played a big role in the $1 Million State Capital Grant Dollars which were leveraged for the construction.
The River Center is at the trailhead for the 9-mile Great Miami River Trail, Middletown segment, that is managed MetroParks of Butler County in partnership with the City of Middletown and Miami Conservancy District. The trail will eventually be connected via Franklin to Dayton and beyond in 2020 for a total of 67 connected miles and to the south of the City of Fairfield.
River Center features will include:
• 41 parking spaces
• Reservable meeting room – Capacity 56
• Welcome center / pre-function space
• Drinking fountain
• Program office
• Ranger office
At a total cost of $1.4 Million, with $1 Million of that supported by a capital grant from the State of Ohio, the Middletown River Center is being built by Turnbull-Wahlert Construction, Inc. The projected completion date is Summer of 2018.
A fun fact about the construction is that storm water from paved areas will be captured and infiltrated on-site, to help to keep the river clean.
A second fun fact about MetroParks is that their Public Safety team is led by Middletown’s former police Chief David VanArsdale!
The Great Miami River Trail in the project area will be closed during construction. Trail users are advised to please use Carmody Boulevard as a detour around the site.
Upcoming Special Events & Programs throughout MetroParks of Butler County include:
• Show and Tell on the Farm – Thursdays 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. & Sundays 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Chrisholm MetroPark Historic Farmstead
• Dog Gone Bone Hunt – Sunday, March 25, 2018- Rentschler Forest MetroPark Reigart Road Area
• Kites N MPX – Saturday, April 7, 2018 – Voice of America MetroPark
• Garden Explorers & Junior Master Gardeners Camps – Saturdays, April 28 & September 15 – Chrisholm MetroPark Historic Farmstead
• Spring & Summer Camps – Various dates & locations in April – September
• Big Week of Birding in Butler County – Saturday, April 28 – Saturday, May 5, 2018 – Various times & locations around the county
• Hump Day Concert Series – Wednesdays, May 30 – August 22, 2018 (excluding July 4th)
• Crazy Cardboard Regatta – July 14, 2018 – Voice of America MetroPark
• Mud Mania – August 10 & 11, 2018 – Rentschler Forest MetroPark Reigart Road Area
More information about Programming and Events can be found at http://reservations.yourmetroparks.net/programs/