The City of Loveland’s Recreation Board will host an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. to discuss a redesign plan for Nisbet Park.
The event will be held at the Little Miami Conservancy (209 Railroad Avenue), which is adjacent to Nisbet Park.
Concept boards illustrating the redesign ideas will be on display. Each board will have its own suggestion box where open house attendees can submit comments. Recreation Board members will be on hand to answer questions and speak with residents.
“Nisbet Park is a treasure in Downtown Loveland,” said City Manager David Kennedy. “The City of Loveland wishes to create a master plan that establishes a vision for improvements and a phasing plan for projects and funding.”
Since April 2021, the city’s Recreation Board has worked in collaboration with KZF Design to draft a Nisbet Park Master Plan to revitalize the park. A key part of the plan is public input. The board seeks the public’s input to learn how the park can best be updated to support community activities.
The following are goals guiding the plan:
- Create a unique sense of place in Nisbet Park to match the redevelopment of the downtown area
- Re-orient the amphitheater to face the whole park
- Establish a central focal point through a centerpiece like a gazebo or statue
- Create strong gateways into the park
- Improve the landscaping
- Update furnishings, benches, etc.
- Provide better access to the Little Miami River
- Create better pedestrian flow throughout the park
The Recreation Board plans to meet Sept. 23 to review feedback from the open house. The next phase of the plan will be fundraising.
“To help bring the plan to reality, the city will aggressively seek grant funding opportunities, sponsorships and private donations,” Kennedy explained.
The city has already applied for a 2021 Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks Grant to replace Nisbet Park’s gazebo along the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The new, proposed gazebo would be larger to accommodate small concerts, family parties and weddings. If grant funding is approved, construction will begin on this portion of the plan in 2022, making it the first project in the redesign of Nisbet Park.
Nisbet Park is arguably the City of Loveland’s most used park. In 2020, according to a study by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park, 125,258 users passed through the area on the bike trail alone. That’s not to mention the countless other users who regularly visit the park for its amenities; meet for a 5K or exercise group; or attend city events like the Concert in the Park series or the annual Independence Day Celebration. The city also rents the park’s two picnic shelters and amphitheater for private events. Just from April 1 to Aug. 1, 2021, Nisbet Park has been reserved for 41 private events, per city records.