Krohn Conservatory’s LED sign is solar-powered, and arrays gather energy for buildings in Mt. Green roofs and solar trash compactors are visible reminders of the parks’ “green” focus, sure, but much more lies underground.
Park Board planners take full advantage of funding available because of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s consent decree with the federal government. Simply put, the city’s outdated concrete sewer system, which overflows during heavy rains, violates the federal Clean Water Act.
Schuckman notes that when firefighters recently tested the wells, they worked so efficiently that no amount of water could flood them.
In fact, enough geothermal capacity was built in to be able to supply energy for future developments, including a boutique hotel in the Banks, a strategy that will keep the properties off the Duke Energy grid. Set to open July 6, it is a model of public and private investments as well as park innovations.
From bike proms to family picnics to impromptu concerts, Smale Riverfront Park embodies parks as they were meant to be, Schuckman says.