We’ve gotten some fantastic feedback from walkers about the move and how cool it will be for the walk to be right across the street from our Burnet Campus. We’ve also had questions about how this is going to work, especially because the Zoo is so much different from our previous venue.
To be honest with you, I had lots of questions when I first heard the news, but the event team that organizes the walk has fully eased my mind about accessibility, venue size, logistics and safety. So I thought I’d share. Here’s the run-down on how we’re handling the most-questioned details:
There will be a dedicated handicapped parking lot just across Erkenbrecher Avenue with more than 200 parking spots. A portion of Erkenbrecher will be closed the afternoon of the walk and there will be police officers, as well as many volunteers, along the walking routes between the garages and the Zoo to help make sure everyone is safe getting to the check-in/meet-up area.
General parking will be available at two Cincinnati Children’s parking garages and the Zoo’s Vine Street lot. There will be some overlap with folks who are leaving the Zoo as we’re coming in at the Vine Street lot, so keep that in mind as you’re deciding where to park. Street closures will be in effect, and there will be shuttles going back and forth if you’d like to hop on and ride instead of walking from the garage. All of the parking areas are handicapped accessible, however our shuttles are not.
One of the most unique features of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is its natural environment – the charm of the hills and other natural features. But we know those hills can be tough to tackle if you’re pushing a wheelchair or stroller, so we have specifically avoided hills and, importantly, avoided the big “bear hill” in the walk route for the event. Plus, the Zoo is already virtually stair-free and incredibly accessible for everyone!
Now, we won’t be doing anything competitive, but we know that with kids there will be boo-boos. There will be a first-aid station in the Healthy Habitat area. We’ll also have one of the Cincinnati Children’s ambulances on-site for walkers to explore, but also for an emergency should one arise.
Also in the Safari Camp area, you will find the ever-important face painting, educational opportunities and much more.
So when your team is finished with the celebratory walk, you can grab some water and fruit at the finish line, then head to the Healthy Habitats to explore and from there, the Zoo is yours to enjoy until 8 pm. Two cheetah shows are scheduled for walkers to enjoy, the train and carousel are available for walkers and you will find special animal encounters throughout the park.
Concession stands will be open throughout the evening and we also encourage walkers to bring snacks or a meal to enjoy in one of the many shaded picnic areas.
The Zoo is a smoke-free environment and pets are not allowed on the park premises – with the exception of service dogs, who are always welcome provided they have their papers on them and are performing in their official service capacity during the event.
It’s going to be a fantastic afternoon and we can’t wait to share with you everything that Cincinnati Walks for Kids 2013 has in store.
As always, ask us anything. If you have questions, comment here, comment on Facebook, tweet your question including #cincywalks, email firstname.lastname@example.org – any way you can think to send us a question, we’ll make sure you receive an answer.
And if you’d like further details about the event, visit our Cincinnati Walks for Kids website.