Donna Studniarz, Chief of Strategic Initiatives
Kelly Coffman, Senior Strategic Park Planner
Sara Byrnes Maier, Senior Strategic Park Planner
Cleveland Metroparks 2020: The Emerald Necklace Centennial Plan
Lakefront Concept Plans
The Lake Erie waterfront presents an opportunity for the community to enjoy dramatic vistas and interaction with the water. Cleveland Metroparks manages, maintains and programs over 500 acres along the lakefront since taking over the properties in June 2013.
Conceptual Master Plans have been completed for the Lakefront Reservation (Edgewater, Wendy Park/Whiskey Island, E. 55th Marina and the northern portion of Gordon Park) and the Euclid Creek Reservation (Wildwood, Villa Angela and Euclid Beach). The plans reflect input from public meetings in March and December 2014, as well as planning and public meetings held during 2013, the transitional year of management transfer to Cleveland Metroparks, and from surveys over the summer of 2014. Improvements identified in the plans are intended to create a framework for long term management of the parklands and facilities.
Goals of the plans include providing safe, clean parks for all people, incorporating values of urban ecology and sustainability, improving public access to the water, fostering Century Parks that will endure for the next 100 years, improving neighborhood connections and supporting the lakefront as a catalyst for strengthening the surrounding community.
Strategic Planning Process
The Strategic Plan, completed in 2012, provides direction and guidance for Cleveland Metroparks. As accomplishments occur towards the original key directions, the organization has updated the document to focus on five strategic goals for the coming years:
- Protection – Implement natural resource and green infrastructure practices to create and manage urban park spaces more resilient to ecological change and disturbance as part of the surrounding and regional community.
- Relevancy – Strengthen the relevancy of the Emerald Necklace and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as the park system enters its second century. Affirm the Park District’s role and identity in response to changes in demographics and economics and continue to emphasize conservation education. Support the resurgence of the City of Cleveland and the inner ring suburbs.
- Connections – Advance connections and trail systems that complete the Emerald Necklace and, in partnership with other agencies and communities, connect with local, state and regional trail networks, communities and places of interest.
- Come Out & Play – Expand and strengthen outdoor experiences and recreation opportunities consistent with the organization’s mission, and keep pace with market trends to contribute to the region’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and play.
- Organizational Sustainability – Continue sustainable business practices to support Cleveland Metroparks capital, operations and maintenance needs over the next ten-year levy cycle and beyond.
Reservation Planning Process
Each of Cleveland Metroparks’ 18 reservations has unique characteristics. Reservation Plans have been developed for each park. These plans provide a key working tool for management of elements including natural and cultural resources, facilities, trails, and long-term infrastructure needs.
The planning documents are updated on a regular basis. The update process involves staff from Strategic Initiatives, Park Operations, Natural Resources, Outdoor Experiences, Planning and Engineering, Marketing and other areas of expertise. Steps of the update process include evaluation and analysis, conceptual design, preliminary budgets, and final recommendations. Public input will be sought at several times for each plan.
The following schedule has been established for updates to the reservation plans:
- 2015: Acacia, Euclid Creek, North Chagrin, South Chagrin
- 2016: Bedford, Brecksville, Hinckley, West Creek
- 2017: Big Creek, Brookside, Garfield, Huntington, Ohio & Erie Canal, Washington
- 2018: Bradley Woods, Lakefront, Mill Stream, Rocky River