This winter has been mild, to put it mildly. In most years though, those of us who live in Northeast Ohio have experienced some cold, brutal winters. On the flip side we can also suffer through extreme high heat and humidity in the summer. But, for the most part we have a temperate climate that encourages us to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Cleveland Metroparks in all four seasons.
There is a group of individuals who are out in the parks in all kinds of weather. Rain or shine, snow or heat they are busy working to keep the parks beautiful and accessible for the rest of us. These folks are the hard-working maintenance crews of Cleveland Metroparks. Several generations of Cleveland area residents had their first work experience as seasonal maintenance workers; others have retired after long careers. During the Great Depression scores of men kept their families fed by working in the Cleveland Metropolitan Park System.
Since the early years of the park system maintenance and construction crews have been the backbone of the organization. Some of the work done by these men and women include the following . . .
They trim trees, plant flowers, and clear trash. They build shelters, benches and picnic tables. They clear snow in winter and clean up after spring floods. They set up tables, tents and chairs for special events all year long. They maintain park vehicles and patch roads. Meanwhile, each and every one of these hard working men and women get to know the reservations intimately. Several of them have added to my historical knowledge of the places they know so well. Others have challenged me to seek out information on place names and the origins of old structures, or the remains of buildings now gone.
If you see some of our workers out and about during your visits to Cleveland Metroparks give them a wave or say hello and maybe offer a thank you for all they do to make our Emerald Necklace shine!