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Signs honor the journeys of women conservationists in Hamilton County parks

sophie's sign.PNG
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 20:08:00-04

CINCINNATI — In honor of Women’s History Month, Great Parks of Hamilton County has been shouting out local conservationists doing great things for the planet we call home.

Conservationist Sophie Revis is one of seven Ohio women getting kudos for her work with nature and the environment.

The idea was to put their pictures and bios along trails in Hamilton County’s parks to highlight how they're making a difference.

“History has told us women don't belong in conservations or science. In fact, one of the women we highlighted, Margie Berkus, actually had a professor tell her that women didn't belong in the field,” said Great Parks interpreter Will Buelsing.

That’s something Great Parks is hoping to reverse, one sign at a time.

WCPO was there when Revis caught her first glimpse of the mobile exhibit at Sharon Woods.

“It's pretty overwhelming, to be honest,” she said.

She proudly read us her write up, on display for local nature enthusiasts and anyone walking, running or hiking in the park.

“Sophie's path has led her to explore how we can effect change close to home,” the sign reads. “As an urban conservationist, she is committed to combating the effects of climate change in at risk neighborhoods connecting people to great outdoors.”

Revis runs the green team at Groundwork Ohio River Valley, bringing young people to nature through projects ranging from planting trees to urban gardening.

As a young person, Revis said she felt like an outcast at school, but nature turned into her reprieve.

“I graduated with a 1.9 GPA - I wasn't bound for college ...looking at other options I rested on Americorps or (Civilian Conservation Corps). That's where I discovered how good it feels to work outside,” she said.

That’s where she learned how “earth work” can help transform communities.

“It was like something clicked in me,” she said.

Kristin Goshdigian, who was walking in Sharon Woods with her children, said she was glad to learn about Revis’ journey and those of all the other local conservationists.

“If our kids, our daughters don't see that - they don't realize the changes they can make in the world,” said Goshdigian.

Since we shot our story, the "women in conservation project" has moved to Glenwood Gardens on Springfield Pike, and it will be there through early next week.

You also can find all the bios online here for great reads of local women like Revis making a global difference.

“I just want to help people realize that we have a home here and make it better for the kids coming after me,” she said.