Park District expands West Creek, Lakefront and South Chagrin reservations in 2023
Cleveland Metroparks has expanded from an initial three acres a century ago to over 25,000 acres of protected park land in its 106th year. The Park District reached the historic milestone following the addition of more than 100 acres in West Creek Reservation including the former Parmadale campus and Padua soccer fields. Since Brian Zimmerman joined Cleveland Metroparks in 2010, the Park District has grown by over 18%, adding nearly 4,000 acres including an estimated 500 acres in 2023.
West Creek Reservation – which directly serves Seven Hills, Independence and Parma – has more than doubled in size since it became Cleveland Metroparks 16th park reservation in 2006. The major additions of four separate properties to the western portion of West Creek Reservation will provide additional recreational opportunities for park visitors including a planned expansion of the reservation’s trail network and future greenway connection to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Towpath Trail as well as protect natural resources including forests, streams and the surrounding watershed.
“Cleveland Metroparks continues to prioritize strategic acquisitions that connect communities and protect our region’s natural resources in the vision of the Emerald Necklace that was established more than a century ago,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. “With this significant expansion of West Creek Reservation thanks to the support and partnership of the West Creek Conservancy, Cleveland Metroparks has passed a major milestone 106 years in the making with the protection and conservation of more than 25,000 acres of parks across 49 communities.”
West Creek Conservancy and Cleveland Metroparks have partnered for decades to improve the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans through protection of vital park land and natural habitats. Since 2017, West Creek Conservancy has led the significant environmental cleanup and restoration of the approximately 80-acre former Parmadale campus, including removal of 18 structures. The Conservancy also undertook stream and floodplain restoration of the adjacent former Padua soccer fields, a 19-acre property on W Ridgeview Drive that was also transferred to Cleveland Metroparks for permanent protection and recreation.
“We love seeing the growth and expansion of West Creek Reservation and ultimately the Greenway, which was one of the original dreams of this organization’s founders,” said West Creek Conservancy Executive Director Derek Schafer. “From all of us at West Creek Conservancy, we extend our most sincere appreciation to Cleveland Metroparks, a critical partner not only in West Creek, but throughout Northeast Ohio. Importantly, I’d like to also recognize the instrumental support from Mayor DeGeeter, the City of Parma and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District – Progress Through Partnerships.”
In 2023 Cleveland Metroparks anticipates adding a total of 500 acres across 11 park reservations including:
- Approximately 154-acre Ironwood Golf Course added in Hinckley Reservation
- Approximately 48-acre Gordon Park South added to Lakefront Reservation
- Approximately 3 acres in The Flats added to Lakefront Reservation
- Approximately 150 acres of the former Hawthorne Valley Country Club are expected to be added to South Chagrin Reservation by the end of 2023.
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