Cleveland Metroparks today officially dedicated the new Trailside Program Center at Brecksville Nature Center in Brecksville Reservation.
The new 1,540 square foot auxiliary building pays homage to one of the most historic buildings in the Park District, Brecksville Nature Center. The nature center is the last of Cleveland Metroparks three original trailside museums, as two were lost to fires in the 1970s and 1980s. Interior finishes of the Trailside Program Center are made from the same Wormy American Chestnut as was used on the original nature center. The wood was salvaged from previously razed structures within Cleveland Metroparks and repurposed into trim, wainscot, cabinets and shelving, which further ties the two buildings together aesthetically.
In 2017, Brecksville Nature Center served nearly 30,000 guests through school and special programs within a limited 1,000 square feet space.
“As Cleveland Metroparks moves into its second century of stewardship and continues building on its mission, the new Trailside Program Center will forever expand the Park District’s ability to connect more children and families with nature education and hands-on learning,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman.
Fall and winter programs offered at the Trailside Program Center include monthly children and family programs, as well as adult programs. Children’s programming includes Nurture with Nature, Pioneer Living, Animal Crackers, Make & Take, Local Wildlife Programs, Kids Clay Class and more. Upcoming adult programs include Primitive Skills Weekend, Bowl Burning, Nature Inspired Crafts and a lecture about White-tailed Deer.
In addition to the expanded programming space, guests visiting Brecksville Reservation will enjoy newly constructed restrooms. Enhancements included the installation of four heated, single occupant, flushable toilet facilities.
Construction of the Trailside Program Center took a total of nine months. Work was a collaboration between Cleveland Metroparks building trades and site staff and an outside contractor. The new restrooms were constructed entirely by Cleveland Metroparks staff over a period of six months, this included installing a half mile of sanitary and water lines.
The total investment for the building and site improvements was approximately $750,000. Approximately $335,000 was contributed to the project from Cleveland Metroparks donors.
For more information and to register for programs at the Trailside Program Center, visit clevelandmetroparks.com