Frequently Asked Questions

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Before you jump to the Contact Us page, check below to see if your question has already been answered.

When was Five Rivers MetroParks formed?

Five Rivers MetroParks was founded in 1963 by local visionaries who wanted to preserve green space for future generations. MetroParks is an independent political subdivision of the state of Ohio under Ohio Revised Code 1545 and is funded by a property tax levy in Montgomery County.

What are the five rivers?

The Miami, Stillwater and Mad rivers and Twin and Wolf creeks.

What are the names of the dams in the Miami Conservancy District flood control system?

Taylorsville, Germantown, Englewood, Huffman and Lockington. You’ll find MetroParks to enjoy near the first four of these.

Where is MetroParks’ main office and how do I get there?

MetroParks’ headquarters is at 409 E. Monument Ave., Third Floor, Dayton, OH 45402, where you’ll find those of us who work indoors to make your outdoor spaces great. Visitor parking is located along the east side of the building.

How is it that MetroParks has 25 facilities but only 18 parks?

Five Rivers MetroParks manages 18 parks, the 2nd Street Market and portions of six regional recreation trails. This is where we come up with 25, as this represents the bulk of what we do. MetroParks also manages subfacilities within some of the parks (think MoMBA and the Butterfly House) and 11 conservation areas, and assists with conservation easements. MetroParks protects nearly 16,000 acres of open space and more than 150 miles of trails in the Dayton region — meaning you have lots of places and ways to connect with nature in our community.

Does Five Rivers MetroParks manage all the parks in Dayton and Montgomery County?

Five Rivers MetroParks manages 18 parks, the 2nd Street Market and portions of six regional recreation trails. The City of Dayton and other cities as well as many of the townships in Montgomery County own and operate parks as well. The Miami Conservancy District and other public agencies in the region own and operate various parts of our wonderful paved trail network—the largest in the county.

Who manages the recreation trails, part of the nation’s largest paved trail network?

Six bikeways pass through Montgomery County, and all six are partially or completely managed by MetroParks. The Miami Conservancy District and local municipalities also manage portions of these trails. (Download a map of the bikeways in Montgomery County.)

How much does it cost to visit the parks?

Nothing! Residents of Montgomery County generously support Five Rivers MetroParks with a property tax levy.

Then why do I have to pay to attend certain programs or to rent a shelter or campsite?

Fees are applied any time a facility or activity is not available for public access, for the exclusive use of an individual or group. Programs that benefit the individual through knowledge, skill development or entertainment have fees to offset the cost of providing the program. All fees stretch tax dollars so MetroParks can continue to maintain all facilities to the highest standard and provide the community with the programs, services and facilities it deserves.

When are the parks open?

Most parks are open from 8 AM to 10 PM April 1 through Oct. 31, and 8 AM to 8 PM Nov. 1 through March 31. Sometimes hours are extended for particular activities such as night fishing. Also, certain sections of some parks, such as the reservable area at Possum Creek MetroPark, are closed for the winter season to save money and keep you safe. Except for RiverScape, the parks are closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day but open all other holidays.

What if I need help in the parks?

Dial 911 in a life-threatening situation. For non-life-threatening incidents, call for ranger assistance at (937) 535-2580. Tell the dispatcher what you need and where you are.

How do we plan a wedding in the parks?

Weddings are permitted at two of our garden parks. Call (937) 275-PARK (7275) and ask for the wedding facilitator at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark or Cox Arboretum MetroPark for availability, rates and guidelines. (Weddings are not permitted at Aullwood Garden MetroPark.) You also can reserve shelters at nearly every park for weddings and receptions. Weddings in non-reservable areas require a special permit.

How do I plan a special event, 5K or fundraiser in one of the parks?

Learn more about hosting your special event in a Five Rivers MetroParks facility or reserving one of our facilities at Cox Arboretum MetroPark, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark or the RiverScape MetroPark Ice Rink.

How do I plan a field trip or presentation?

We’d love to host your class or group or come to you to talk about nature and the great outdoors! You can request a field trip or speaker by filling out a quick online form. Please give us at least one month’s notice to check with staff and volunteers to see who is available.

Will MetroParks sponsor my event or donate to my silent auction?

As a taxpayer-supported entity that also has its own fundraising efforts, MetroParks isn’t able to contribute to raffles or sponsor events.

How can I volunteer for MetroParks?

There are so many ways to supercharge your MetroParks. You can volunteer, make a donation, become a sponsor or become an advocate for our mission to protect the region’s natural heritage and provide outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature.

How do I apply for a job at MetroParks?

Check out current job openings and apply online. The formal process for anyone seeking employment at MetroParks begins with the online employment application. Only online applications are accepted. MetroParks’ human resources department reviews the qualifications of all applicants and manages the interview and hiring process.

Why shouldn’t I feed the wildlife?

People food doesn’t always supply proper nutrients for the health and well-being of animals. It can cause some creatures to lose their healthy fear of humans and predators — as well as their natural instinct to search for food.

What should I do if I come across wildlife that appears helpless?

As a general rule, leave the animal alone. Young wildlife may appear orphaned, but usually mom is nearby. Sick or injured wildlife can panic and cause unintentional harm, both to you and themselves. For wildlife issues within a MetroPark, call 937-275-PARK (7275) to be directed to our conservation staff. Call the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife at (800) WILDLIFE for residential assistance.

Where can I fish without a license?

Carriage Hill MetroPark, Possum Creek MetroPark, the Blue Lake and the Lagoon at Eastwood MetroPark, Sunfish Pond at Germantown MetroPark, Lake George at Twin Creek MetroPark and any body of water in a MetroParks conservation area not connected to state waterways. Any fishing restrictions are posted at each water area.

What bodies of water at MetroParks are stocked with fish and when?

Every first Friday, the first pond at Possum Creek MetroPark is stocked with trout in winter months and catfish during summer months.

What are the boating regulations at Eastwood MetroPark Lake?

Power boats are permitted on even-numbered days. Sailboats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and fishing boats at idle speeds are permitted on odd-numbered days. Kayaks and canoes are permitted every day.

Where can I make a fire and buy firewood in the MetroParks?

Open fires are permitted only at overnight frontcountry campsites. Because of the threat of the emerald ash borer, you are not permitted to bring firewood to any MetroParks facility. A limited supply of firewood will be included in the price of your overnight camping permit and you can purchase more if you choose.

How do I reserve a campsite or shelter?

We make it easy for you to plan your outdoor staycation or gathering in your MetroParks: Reserve shelters and campsites online or call (937) 275-PARK (7275) or stop by MetroParks’ headquarters, 409 E. Monument Ave., Third Floor, in downtown Dayton, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM.

Where do I get a copy of ParkWays, park brochures or a Twin Valley Trail map?

ParkWays is distributed three times a year to all Montgomery County residents via the U.S. Postal Service and is available online and at all the parks. The 2nd Street Market is a great place to pick up this and other MetroParks publications. Or you can contact us with at least one week’s notice and let us know what you need, and we’ll gather it for you to pick up from MetroParks’ headquarters, 409 E. Monument Ave., Third Floor, in downtown Dayton, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM.

Why can’t I hike on the trails at MoMBA or ride my horse on the hiking trails?

To ensure all visitors have the same great experience in nature, certain trails are designated for specific uses. This prevents hikers and horseback riders and their animals from being spooked by fast-moving mountain bikes.

How can I reach a real person?

Visitor service representatives answer all calls to MetroParks from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday and from 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday (April 1-Oct. 31) and from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday or from 11 AM to 4 PM Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 1-March 31).

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