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Sharon Lake improvement project underway

Posted on April 17, 2024

A popular Cincinnati park is going to look a lot different over the next two years.

Sharon Lake at Sharon Woods is currently in the process of being drained and the well-traveled loop around the body of water is now closed to visitors.

The dredging and improvements to Sharon Lake are all part of Great Parks’ comprehensive master plan. This plan addresses eight different priority areas, including trail and ecological sustainability building.

Sharon Lake was last dredged in the late 1980s, and that project needs to happen again. The first phase of draining the lake began in early April. It’s expected to take anywhere from six to eight weeks.

Todd Palmeter, CEO of Great Parks, said, “A big part of this is the health of the lake, which is for wildlife and habitat which is both a plant habitat and an animal habitat. A big part of this is that we’re going to take all the sediment that’s in the lake and instead of removing it and hauling it offsite, we’re going to relocate it upstream in the two ends of the lake and create wetlands, create additional wetlands.”

A new boardwalk will be constructed around the lake for walkers, anglers and educational opportunities. The entire project is expected to take about two years to complete. Park officials just ask for patience and that you avoid construction areas while work is being done. Some trails are currently closed for the project, so park visitors are encouraged to look at the maps online and at the visitors center.

“The biggest bucket of funding is through the passage of the 2016 levee that we got public support from, so it would be our general fund or our Capital Project Fund. But we have also received money through the State Capital Grant through the State of Ohio, we’ve received money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund which is a federal program, we’ve also received grants from other non-profit entities here in Cincinnati,” Palmeter said.

The project is going to cost an estimated $10-11 million, plus the additional work on the trails during phase two of the project.

You might be wondering about the fish in the lake. While many animals will relocate on their own, some wildlife will be lost in this project. Officials say this is to be expected when something like this is completed. When the project is finished, we’re told wildlife will become more diverse over time due to a new and healthier environment.

Sharon Woods sees more than 765,000 visitors per year and is in the top three most visited parks in the Great Parks system.


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