College Hill John T. Crawford Commons project creates a space for community to get moving

Posted by Diana Porter on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Exciting things are happening in College Hill! With funding from WeTHRIVE! and lots of hard work by many, we are enhancing the John T. Crawford Commons by adding a walkable/rollable path, with benches, landscaping, and trail signage conducive to exercise.  We now have a signed shared use agreement between the College Hill Forum and Cincinnati Public Schools, who owns the site.

In the spring, we set out to plant a prairie. There is part of an existing sidewalk on the site and we knew we wanted to close the loop to create our new walking path. The low-lying land in the middle of this loop often gets muddy and floods the sidewalk. The area was once paved over and now had very poor soil. We researched how prairie grasses and flowers could sink deep roots and stop erosion, while blooming in three seasons.  

students and volunteer planting prairie seeds

Working with the Green Team of students from Pleasant Hill Academy and Jim Godby from the Cincinnati Park District, we spent a morning in late April planting the prairie. You can see more photos on our Facebook page. After that, a machine came in and "dippled" the site, pushing the seed into the ground and covering the area with straw.

group of Pleasant Hill Academy students and college hill forum members on the prairie

Unfortunately, a week later, Cincinnati was deluged with four inches of rain in a few hours. The straw was washed down to he bottom of the site. How much of the seed did we lose? We’re not sure, but we do have some plants emerging in the prairie. It will take months to see how much of the seed will bloom.

The good news is that the walking path is finished and the site is starting to be used by the community for exercise and recreation. I'm sure that it will be a great contribution to getting our community outside and moving!

Diana Porter is co-leader of the College Hill WeTHRIVE! team. Click here to visit the College Hill community page on

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April 2, 2018