Cities and counties renew regional partnership

The 19 riverfront cities, counties, park districts, and agencies along the Great Miami River have renewed their commitment to working together as partners.  They committed to a joint funding model for the Great Miami Riverway initiative through May 2027.

The Miami Conservancy District (MCD) Board of Directors approved the program renewal at their June 2022 meeting. MCD has provided office space, overhead, and administrative support for the program since its launch in 2017.

“The Miami Conservancy District mission continues to provide value, not only by protecting billions of dollars of residential and commercial property, but also providing recreational amenities and partnerships like the Great Miami Riverway that help our region promote responsible economic development and improve the quality of life,” said MaryLynn Lodor, general manager of MCD.

The Riverway Coalition formed after a 2015 US Army Corps of Engineers study determined the Great Miami River corridor had significant potential to drive economic growth if the communities worked together under a unified framework.

“The Riverway is attracting new visitors and businesses to Montgomery County, but also to every community along the Great Miami River,” said Montgomery County Commissioner, Carolyn Rice. “Together, we’re experiencing millions of dollars of public and private investment including job growth, housing, restaurants, parks, and more connected miles of bike trails.” she said. “This partnership really pays off for our communities.”

Riverway communities have invested more than $150 million in public places including Treasure Island Park in Troy, RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, and RiverCenter at Bicentennial Commons in Middletown. The communities have also worked together on projects such as the recent completion of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail which now links the cities of Franklin and Middletown and for the first time connects the 50,000+ residents of Middletown to the nation’s largest paved trail system.

Private sector investment has also increased along the corridor, including:

  • The transformation of the former Champion Paper Mill into the Spooky Nook Hamilton - a $125 million facility and the largest indoor sports complex in North America.
  • The planned redevelopment of the former Dayton Power & Light Hutchings Station power plant into a 200-acre mixed use development in Miamisburg.
  • The renovation of a former granite and monument business into the Crooked Handle brewery - a warehouse-style event space and outdoor biergarten overlooking Piqua’s Lock Nine Park.
  • The announcement of a brand-new mixed-use development in West Carrollton and adjacent park improvements and modification of a low dam on the Great Miami River into a whitewater park.


“The Riverway has helped us amplify the message that the City of Sidney is seeking new investors in our downtown,” said Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan. “We work side by side to find developers and advocates who understand that the river is a key part of our economic future.”

The goal of the Great Miami Riverway initiative is to develop and implement ongoing marketing, planning, and programming to:

  • Increase use of recreational, historical, and cultural assets
  • Attract more visitors
  • Support economic development
  • Strengthen river corridor neighborhoods

The partners are:

  • Montgomery County Commissioners
  • Miami County Commissioners
  • Miami Conservancy District
  • City of Sidney
  • City of Piqua
  • City of Troy
  • City of Tipp City
  • City of West Carrollton
  • City of Miamisburg
  • City of Franklin
  • City of Middletown
  • City of Hamilton
  • Five Rivers Metroparks
  • MetroParks of Butler County
  • Miami County Park District
  • Great Parks of Hamilton County
  • Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Miami County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Sidney/Shelby County Visitors Bureau

The Great Miami Riverway is building a strong, vibrant network of communities, connected by 99 miles of river, by increasing economic and community investment to attract more visitors, customers, jobs, and talented workers to southwest Ohio.

Contact: Dan Foley, Director