Meet the Great Parks Team: Alicia Culman

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July is Parks and Recreation Month! We’re also celebrating our 90th birthday this July. While we can’t celebrate with you in person right now, we’re commemorating these occasions in a different way: Meet the faces behind Great Parks of Hamilton County. Learn more about the people who are passionate about bringing you the best experience every time you visit your favorite Great Park.

Meet Alicia Culman, Chief of Philanthropy

How long have you worked for Great Parks of Hamilton County?

Four and a half years.

What first interested you in working in parks and recreation?

I spent my summers in college working at a camp that served kids from low-income families. It was my first introduction to using nature and the outdoors to help individual, communities and society.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

A typical day involves lots of communication. I try to absorb as much information as I can about what is happening in the parks. The fun part is sharing this with our donors because they are so amazed and appreciative of what Great Parks staff accomplishes!

How does your work directly impact park guests?

Park guests are impacted by philanthropy in two ways. One, many of our park guests also invest in Great Parks as donors. Investing in the parks helps them feel more engaged and part of a larger community. Two, park guests enjoy new or improved amenities, programs and services when we are successful in philanthropy.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Telling a staff member that their project or program received philanthropic funding. Staff members in Conservation & Parks, Guest Experiences and Planning do the mission work of Great Parks. The Philanthropy team is here to support their work. Every staff member is so passionate about how they serve the community. It’s sheer joy to share the news that a funder is making an investment in a colleague’s work.

Who do you spend the most time with outside of work?

My husband Randy, my kids Andrew (17) and Lily (13) and our dog Little Bear.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy easy, slow-going outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking and biking as well as reading, trying new restaurants and traveling.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra performing at Woodland Mound in July 2019.
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra performing at Woodland Mound in July 2019.
Do you have a favorite spot in Great Parks?

The Weston Overlook at Woodland Mound is a favorite spot. In 2017, we filled the lawn with 4,000 people for a Cincinnati Pops Orchestra concert. There had not been a large concert at Woodland Mound for more than 20 years. The Conservation & Parks team worked really hard for months to make their park shine. Every time I visit the overlook, I remember how happy the Conservation & Parks team members were that night to share the park with an appreciative crowd. Plus, the overlook offers a fantastic view of the Ohio River!

What are your hopes for Great Parks of Hamilton County’s next 90 years?

I hope Great Parks carries all the successes and learnings of the past 90 into the next 90 years. Ninety years from now, I hope my great-grandchildren are enjoying the same connection to nature, preserved natural resources, and unique experiences that Great Parks offers now!