On July 23, Cleveland Metroparks turned 97 years old. Started in 1917 after many years of deliberation in the Ohio State Legislature, the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District became the first metropolitan park district in the state of Ohio. The first acquisition of land was a 3.4 acre parcel in Rocky River Reservation. By 1920, Cleveland Metroparks owned 109 acres of land in Rocky River and Big Creek, a number that would balloon to 9000 acres in nine reservations by 1929. The original nine reservations were: Rocky River, Huntington, Big Creek, Hinckley, Brecksville, Bedford, South Chagrin, North Chagrin and Euclid Creek. Today we celebrate with 18 reservations, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and over 23,000 acres.
th Anniversary. The last of the original three “Trailside Museums” of Cleveland Metroparks still standing, this facility has been helping share the outdoors with people since 1939. Situated in an oak-hickory forest, this fascinating facility was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. I urge you to venture out to this Center and discover the warmth of the chestnut walls, black walnut doors and sandstone foundation…all of which was harvested from the surrounding woods in the late 30s.
th Anniversary gave me time to reflect on many good memories that are part of my story. It also gave me a chance to reflect on the bigger picture of Cleveland Metroparks and all it’s meant to me and so many others. As we gear up for the 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2017, I look forward to hearing more stories, creating more memories, and providing so many with an opportunity to celebrate the connection between this great park system and our lives.
P.S. If you’d like to share your story, we’d love to hear it. Your Parks, Your Stories is a program set-up to share your stories of how Cleveland Metroparks has impacted your life. Feel free to contact Foster Brown, Historical Interpreter at 440-786-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See the Roots Revealed Blog post from 12-4-13, Your Parks, Your Stories: Cleveland Metroparks Memories Project.