As I began my journey with Cleveland Metroparks on April 2, 1983, I was definitely not looking 34 years into the future. Unlike William A. Stinchcomb, the 27 year old, City of Cleveland Chief Engineer of Parks, who in 1905 had the vision to create what would eventually become the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District in 1917, I just wanted to explore my new workplace and how I fit in. Through my time as a naturalist, nature center manager and now coordinator of the Centennial, I have fallen into a deeper understanding of Stinchcomb’s vision and what it has meant to so many. For this I am grateful.
Fast forward 100 years from the beginning of Ohio’s first metropolitan park district to today where Cleveland Metroparks has become a leader in conservation. One can now explore over 23,000 acres of parkland that includes 18 reservations and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Green space abounds in this local gem that is nationally-recognized having just won its fourth Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management from the National Recreation and Park Association.
Cleveland Metroparks is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2017. Programs, exhibits, projects, and more will be available to guests all year long. The recently released book, The 100 Year Trail: A Centennial Celebration of Cleveland Metroparks is a wonderful account of the first 100 years researched, written and published by our own employees. It is currently available at all of our Nature Shops. Cleveland Metroparks is also doing its part in enhancing green space around the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. For Arbor Day 2017 (4/28), we are planning on partnering with various community groups to plant 100 trees in each of four different locations (Euclid Creek-Wildwood; Brecksville, Garfield Park and Rocky River reservations). In keeping with the Arbor Day theme, on Saturday and Sunday (4/29-30), guests can visit any nature center or the Zoo to receive a free seedling (while supplies last) to take home and enhance their own green space.
Stinchcomb knew that the outdoors played a big part in people’s health and welfare. This vision has held true for over 100 years and will continue into our next century. We invite you to enjoy the woodlands, beaches, trails, golf courses and all that Cleveland Metroparks has to offer. Who knows where one small step will take you years from now?
Plan your Cleveland Metroparks visit today at clevelandmetroparks.com.
About the Series
Sustainable Cleveland works together with community leaders, organizations, businesses, and citizens to reshape Cleveland into a vibrant livable city with thriving businesses and a flourishing natural environment. Each month, Sustainable Cleveland features a guest blogger to highlight their efforts and success stories in turning Cleveland into a sustainable city, at home, at work, and in the community. Share your success stories here.