We envision a healthy ecological system of hills, valleys and stream corridors that serve to enrich the lives of residents.

The Mill Creek Watershed Greenway Plan aims to improve floodplain management and water quality within the primary and tributary channels of Mill Creek, and will contribute to the economic well-being of the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan region.

The vision will be realized through the adoption and implementation of the following project goals. Many initiatives are already underway and offer opportunities for volunteers to become involved immediately in working toward the long-term greenway vision.


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environmental goals


  • Restore riparian corridor habitat throughout the watershed to improve flora and fauna species diversity and number


  • Clean up toxic areas and hazardous waste to prevent adverse health effects on people and wildlife


  • Encourage biodiversity through removal of invasive exotic species and reintroduction of native species and natural communities


  • Maximize wildlife habitat in a manner that is consistent with community infrastructure and development needs
  • Promote pollution prevention strategies to be adopted by businesses, institutions and individuals within the watershed


  • Encourage environmental responsibility and stewardship of natural resources


  • Promote air quality improvements in the region by providing facilities for alternative forms of transportation


  • Develop environmentally friendly greenways through the use of recycled materials, native vegetation and soil bioengineering techniques

water quality goals

  • Ensure/encourage compliance with, and enforcement of existing local, state and federal water quality regulations


  • Provide vegetated buffers and wetlands to treat and prevent non point source pollution


  • Utilize best management practices to slow runoff and pollutant loading on streams


  • Expand local volunteer water quality monitoring and educational programs
  • Educate local residents as to the importance of streamed vegetated buffers and other best management practices


  • Improve water quality in surface and groundwater supplies within the watershed to enhance human recreation use and fish and wildlife habitat


  • Work with agencies to reduce contamination from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) as quickly as possible

economic goals

  • Implement a watershed-wide greenway strategy that encourages sustainable economic development and does not serve as a barrier to growth


  • Contribute to the economic well-being of the community by providing employment opportunities for watershed residents


  • Increase residential, commercial and industrial property values, and the local tax base, through the development of the greenway system; and define, quantify and promote these economic benefits
  • Work to coordinate greenway development wit efforts to redevelop abandoned industrial sites (brownfields)


  • Promote tourism by connecting historic/cultural sites along the greenway


  • Help to reestablish the Mill Creek Valley as a center for economic and community activity

recreation goals

  • Return Mill Creek to an attractive destination for local residents and visitors


  • Develop passive recreation facilities along greenway lands close to where residents live, work, and play


  • Construct a comprehensive system of trails on publicly owned or leased properties


  • Promote improved water quality to provide for the recreational use of waterways within the watershed, including fishing, canoeing and swimming


  • Link historic and significant natural sites throughout the watershed with the greenway system


Mill Creek Greenway Trail

  • Improve water and air quality within the watershed to benefit public health


  • Regularly inform and educate watershed business, municipalities, and residents as to the level of contamination and efforts to reduce pollution in Mill Creek and its tributaries


  • Work with agencies to improve water quality so Mill Creek is designated as safe for human contact


  • Promote safety and security as key elements of the new recreational greenway system

public participation goals

  • Include all watershed communities (upper and lower reaches) and all sectors in the planning and creation of the greenway system


  • Implement a community-based planning strategy that enables local residents and the business community to be involved with the decision making process


  • Involve the youth of the community in the planning process
  • Promote the long-term involvement of local residents, property owners and businesses in the implementation of the Greenway Master Plan


  • Involve low income and minority populations in the Master Plan implementation to help promote environmental justice

Maintenance/stewardship goals

  • Develop greenways in a way that will minimize maintenance requirements


  • Provide assistance to individual communities (through the MCWC)


  • Develop a plan to ensure short and long-term maintenance of the system, recruiting individuals and groups throughout the watershed to adopt portions of the greenway system


  • Implement strategies for public/private partnerships to ensure the long-term maintenance and management of the stream corridor greenway system
  • Develop and maintain long-term relationship with residents, property owners and businesses within the watershed


  • Implement strategies to minimize future encroachments in the greenway system


  • Work to secure dependable long-term funding and endowments to provide for responsible maintenance and management of the future greenway system

quality of life goals

  • Improve the quality of life for all who live, work or play in the watershed by reforesting portion of the watershed


  • Improve the physical character of the stream corridors, making them assets for local neighborhoods and businesses


  • Provide physical improvements that link neighborhoods and businesses to stream corridors


  • Integrate the greenways system concept with other unique assets of the region, including existing park and recreation facilities, cultural and historic sites, and ongoing civic and educational activities
  • Return Mill Creek to a more beneficial and positive aspect of the community


  • Promote the development of vegetated buffers for community beautification and community gardening projects


  • Promote volunteerism and community involvement throughout Master Plan implementation