For our day 82 of 365 Things to do in Cincinnati we went downtown to explore the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park.
Located right on the Ohio River, this park is one of our newest city parks. This 22-acre Cincinnati Park Board park opened in 2003 and was, at that time, the first new Cincinnati Park Board park to open in 40 years. The park was named in honor of Cincinnati’s first African-American Mayor, Theodore M. Berry.
The park itself snakes along the Ohio River and sits just east of the Montgomery Inn Boathouse. The park features two intertwining paths that are said to mimic a child’s friendship bracelet. Here’s an aerial view that really allows you to see the intertwined pathways:
The park itself is long and narrow. As you progress from the parking lot into the park you will notice that the park leads you into different “worlds” and cultures. The park has areas which represent each of the continents (with the exception of Antartica). Each continent’s section has sculptures and/or plantings to mimic the life in that area of the world.
Above you’ll see a grassland surrounded by tall blowing grasses reminiscent of the African Savannah. This area also includes a story-telling circle…
In the picture below you can see the river through the Japanese Maples found in the Asia section…
Numerous descriptive signs along the path tell all about what went into making the particular areas and the meaning behind them. The picture below is part of the formal European garden section and features a mirrored German sculpture which was brought here in pieces and assembled onsite.
The paths are great for walking, running or biking. The paths are flat and are wheelchair and stroller accessible. The park is pet-friendly too. As you can tell from the pictures, the landscaping is absolutely gorgeous and incredibly well maintained. The plantings combined with the scenery make this park a MUST DO – trust me!
The Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park is a great family friendly place to go. The park is free and parking is available in an adjacent lot. The Friendship Park pathways head west, go around the Montgomery Inn Boathouse and continue into Sawyer Point / Bicentennial Commons. The plantings combined with the informational signs would also make this a great educational opportunity for your little scholars.
Have YOU been to Friendship Park? What’s your favorite area?