Here for Time Together at Great Parks

A family poses together for a photo.
Here for Time Together: Katrina Rugless (far left) and her family. (Photo courtesy Katrina Rugless)

In the midst of the pandemic, people have been looking for ways to get outside and enjoy nature now more than ever. In fact, 5,105,552 people visited Great Parks in 2020. Exploring trails, fishing, biking, paddling and more were all ways Hamilton County residents discovered a new way to experience the outdoors over the past year. For Katrina Rugless and her family, a day in the park was always a way to spend time together. But during 2020, park visits became so much more.

Katrina, a Hamilton County resident and member of the Great Parks Advisory Committee, serves on the Winton Woods City School Board of Education and values having community spaces.

Connecting with her via email, Katrina shared how Great Parks has been here for time together with her family throughout the years and during 2020.

Where is your favorite park spot to visit?

My family and I visit Winton Woods and Glendale Parks most frequently due to their proximity to our home.

How do you and your family like to spend time at Great Parks?

When my kids were small, we utilized the parks for activities geared toward early childhood development such as the playgrounds, riding and walking trails, and water play on and off shore. We also utilized the parks for exercise, attending special events and my favorite, exploring nature.

The sun begins to set over the green forest and Winton Lake.
With a view like this at sunset, Winton Lake offers serene views for park-goers.
How has Great Parks played a role in yours and your family’s life?

Great Parks is a place where we can connect as a family away from our hectic schedules. I especially love carving out time to sit on a bench and watch Winton Woods Lake while catching up with family. Now that my kids are older, it’s nice to see my kids utilize Great Parks to connect with friends.

How have parks been here for you and your family during the pandemic?

Great Parks have been a godsend for me during the pandemic. It has become a place of escape and restoration for my mind (relax), body (exercise and health) and spirit (energy) and soul (peace).