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Meet Tim Zelek

Grab your hiking boots and join our adventure through the Creative, Innovative and Inspiring life of our very own Landscape Architect, Tim Zelek.

Tim and his wife Betsy joined St. Barnabas 35 years ago and have been involved in so many projects and events in the life of this congregation.  Their children, Anne and John, grew up at St. B and now Tim and Betsy enjoy sharing the great outdoors with their grandson.

Many of you may know that Tim was responsible for the original landscape design for St. Barnabas and once again contributed his expertise to our 2023 landscape renovations.  


In honor of his retirement, Betsy wanted to celebrate Tim’s 29 years in the Planning Division with Great Parks (formerly known as the Hamilton County Park District) as a Landscape Architect by shining a light on all of his contributions to creating spaces where we can explore nature and make memories with our friends and family.

Betsy shared that Tim “has been involved in so many great projects in his time with the park district – from creating a new sledding hill and horse trails, visitor centers and other building and lots of new trails.  He has touched most of the 22 parks that make up the district, with projects big and small."

"His favorite project (and mine) is Glenwood Gardens, located at the end of Glendale Milford in Woodlawn.  He started work on Glenwood Gardens in the early stages, when the properties were being acquired.  He worked closely with the families who owned the land and gained their trust as they negotiated acquisition terms."

"Next, Tim spent hours and hours hiking through the woods, crossing creeks and over bridges to identify the best possible layout for the walking trails and open spaces we now enjoy.  He helped design the gardens you see as you enter the park by car and the even more impressive gardens you see as you walk through the entrance and into the charming building that once was a home and is now the Costwold Visitor’s Centre."

"The other tremendously creative project Tim led at Glenwood Gardens was the 12-acre Highfield Discovery Garden, often referred to as the Children’s Garden. Tim and his colleagues visited many children’s gardens around the country to get inspiration for their design.  They chose a storybook theme, and then designed several unique areas of the garden to represent a beloved storybook or character.  The garden is a real treasure! The work he has done will last for many years to come."

"I’m proud that he has played a small role in making our parks so wonderful." ~ Betsy

Thank you, Tim, for blessing us with your beautiful spaces and for making our Great Parks a special place to play, learn and live.

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