Conservancy Acquires Another Property in the City

We are delighted to announce the FTFC’s acquisition in November 2014 of a large tract of land in Fort Thomas.  The Conservancy now owns 22-acres in the southern part of the city along River Road and has given it the name “River Road Preserve”.  The former owner, Cincinnati’s Union Savings Bank, turned over deed to the property as a charitable donation.   The donation included a cash endowment of $10,000 requested by the FTFC to help defray costs of boundary marking, securing and surveying the land.  The transfer occurred on November 25th in the Fort Thomas law offices of McMurray and Luersen with Jim Luersen providing his services pro bono.  Present were Mark Leopold, board member and chairman of our Land Protection and Stewardship Committee and Conservancy founder Bert Thomas,  with current Chair, Teresa Hill, signing.RR River View-4

To see a seven minute walking video of the property, Click here

The property is zoned residential and has sweeping views of the Ohio River, plus it is adjacent to some of the area’s finest forests.  There are no structures on the property, and it is a large flat area on top that provides such a beautiful panoramic vista. In late July, after several months doing its due diligence, the FTFC board approved the acquisition, allowing the deal to move forward.

“Composed mostly of scrub vegetation and invasive species and with some past stability issues, the land is not typical of the high quality forest land the Conservancy targets for preservation,” said board chair Teresa Hill, “But we believe it was the right move for us and for the community of Fort Thomas and […]

FTFC Annual Picnic

Update:  We had amazingly good weather – perfect temperature, a nice breeze and lots of sun – and a great turnout for our sixth annual Conservancy picnic.  The food provided by our volunteers was plentiful and delicious and the special pork cheek dish prepared by Virgil’s Cafe chef Matt Buschel really hit the spot.  I cannot say enough about the great music provided by solo guitarist and singer Kyle English.  It was truly superb and made this picnic our most festive ever.  Of course, the wine tasting of local wineries arranged by Becki Ison helped immeasurably to liven things up.  Thanks go to all our volunteers who helped out in many ways and especially to picnic organizers Lori Holladay, Stephanie Graves, Linda Rankin and their hardy fellow planners.

Join us Sunday September 21st for our 6th annual picnic. We are hosting the event at Tower Park under the shelter near the tennis courts. This year will be the best yet with great food, wine tasting and entertainment.

Also different this year is we are charging a small fee to be a part of this great day. Our members, or Friends of the Conservancy, pay just $5.00 for three hours of fun. The charge for non-members/guests is just $10.00. Pay here using the buttons below or pay when you enter.


Payment options: You can pay by cash or check at the event or pay in advance using Paypal or use Master, Visa or American Express:

Members: $5.00 each

Guests: $10.00 each

By |September 11th, 2014|Events|0 Comments

“A Day in the Park” – Rossford Park April 26 2014

Day in the Park Rossford 2014

To celebrate our acquisition from the city of a conservation easement on approximately 6 acres on the edges of Rossford Park, we invite you to the second annual “A Day in the Park”.

  •  It takes place Saturday, April 26 from 2:00 -5:00.
  •  2 pm:  Events start at 2:00 with a ribbon cutting representing the partnership between the City of Fort Thomas and the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy to protect and enhance the forests of Fort Thomas.  This event will take place at    the Rossford Shelter House.
  •  2:30 pm:  Board member Mark Leopold will lead a hike at 2:30 entitled, “Envision the Future”.  This hike will walk the conservation easement and discuss what is there now and the plans the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy has to reforest and enhance this area.
  • 2:30 – 5 pm:  Learn how to plant a tree.  We have 400 tree saplings to plant on the grassy hillside just down from the ball fields.  If you are looking to get involved, don’t miss this day to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer in the future during our reforestation efforts at Rossford.  Please wear hiking boots if you plan to attend the hike or help in the tree planting because it will likely be muddy.
  • 2:30 – 5 pm:  Many other family-friendly events will be going on during A Day in the Park.
    • Under the shelter house,  there will be a beekeeper, representative from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department;
    • We will have information on native and invasive plants
    • There will be a yoga class for kids;
    • A “Pill Bug Derby” and more.
    • There will also be a “Gnomadic Journey” quest for kids to find […]

Rossford Park Conservation Easement

Our big news for 2014 (so far) is a donation by the City of Fort Thomas to the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy of a six-acre conservation easement on Rossford Park.  On April 7th, 2014, the Fort Thomas city council voted to approve the easement, and the deed of easement was signed by Mayor Mary Brown and FTFC Chairman Bert Thomas shortly thereafter.  Rossford Park under went major renovations a couple years ago to enhance recreational activities for everyone.  During the reconstruction phase, the city invited the Conservancy to consider holding a conservation easement on portions of the park not included in the restoration.  This area is in the northern fringes of the park and includes forest land, meadows and streams.  We are currently developing a plan to revitalize those natural areas and will make the plan public as soon as it is ready.  It will include stream restoration, reforestation, creation of wetlands, and controlling non-native invasive species.  All of this will take lots of work and rely heavily on our volunteers.  In a broader sense, the easement demonstrates the important partnership between the city and our volunteer organization and validates the Conservancy’s mission to protect the forests, the forested hillsides and remaining green spaces of Fort Thomas.  We hope it will encourage land owners to consider working with the Conservancy to find ways to protect their land and be a part of this important conservation movement.

Here is the easement plat showing the boundaries:  Rossford Park Easement

New Award

FTFC Wins Forestry Award

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy won the award for Outstanding Forestry Program for 2013.  The award was presented by the Northern Kentucky Urban and Community Forestry Council at the Council’s Trees in Our Community Forum and Annual Dinner on October 17th.  This award is given to the local city or county administration, tree board or committee that has made outstanding accomplishments in completing urban forestry projects, provided exemplary tree care leadership, and made significant progress in meeting the goals of their local urban forestry program.  In demonstration of our close working relationship and partnership with the City of Fort Thomas, the FTFC was nominated for this award by Ron Dill, the assistant city administrator.  Conservancy volunteers worked hard in many aspects of urban forestry including tree planting in Rossford Park, revitalizing of the area around the Fort Thomas Museum in Tower park and honeysuckle eradication.

Award of Excellence 2013

Conservancy Matters, July 2013

By Bert Thomas

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy, an all-volunteer non-profit charity focused exclusively on this city, imagines a future of exceptional natural beauty. It envisions acres of protected forests girding the hills facing the river and sheltered between the ridges and secured from development in perpetuity through easements donated by landowners who understand the importance of conservation measures in preserving our natural heritage. It sees deep woods of shade and serenity where native plants and trees abound and wildlife flourishes.

The Conservancy is not an organization of dreamers. It knows that changing the way people think about their natural environment, moving them from “why bother” to “count me in”, will take time especially in a community that does not embrace change very easily. And it seems a natural condition of mankind is dedicated to maintaining the status quo. Our job is to whittle away at that mindset where conservation principles are concerned. It takes just a few landowners to get the ball rolling. That will happen. We are certain of that. It just makes too much sense, takes so little effort and results in so much good to set aside some portion of one’s land for conservation purposes.

The Conservancy is perhaps best known for its more public activities rather than for its land protection program. We have sponsored and organized the city’s only garden tour for four years in a row with the event in June being our most successful one so far. Four years ago we started planning for our Model Native Garden, a showcase for plants, flowers and trees native to this section of the city and now it is reaching maturity. And we have been badgering people about the scourge of Amur […]

By |September 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Conservancy Matters, June 2013

By Bert Thomas.  Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy annual Garden Tour. You do not want to miss this event. We are holding the tour this year over two days just like the tour last year. After having major rain outs our first two years, we decided we would set aside an entire weekend rain or shine rather than set a rain date a week later. It is better for the gardeners, better for us and our volunteers who get revved up to support the event and helps you plan. (more…)

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