Near West citizens draw future Zone Rec at second workshop

Resident of Cleveland's Near Westside have begun to envision a premier ecological renovation on 25 acres of greenspace surrounding the city-owned Michael J. Zone Recreation Center.

The site hosts thousands of visitors every year, seeking after-school opportunities and recreation options. It also borders I-90 where thousands of daily commuters rush past it.

As part of the Cleveland EcoVillage project, community members have participated in two design charrettes intended to ask, "How can the Zone Rec greenspace educate thousands of people a day about ecological renovation, meet the recreational needs for the surrounding neighborhoods, and provide a strong community center for the EcoVillage area?"

To date, over 150 neighborhood residents have attended design charrettes, educational meetings, or participated in design committees focusing on the future of the space. The most recent meeting was on June 11, 2003. In this meeting, the participants played the role of landscape architects and worked in teams to draw the future of the greenspace with all the features they most desired. Some of the main suggestions drawn include:

  • Wetland and/or a stream along the south border, for aesthetic appeal, environmental education, and purification of water run-off.
  • Small environmental education center focused on wetland ecosystems
  • Outdoor swimming pool and wading pool/ice rink and fountains
  • Natural sound barrier of trees blocking out highway traffic noise
  • Trees, benches, grills, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and bathrooms scattered along the paths, especially near high-use areas such as ball fields.
  • Minimize parking lot size and replace with a skate park
  • Add pedestrian connection to RTA stop across Lorain Avenue.
  • More paths that are multi-use: walking, biking, rollerblading
  • Community garden
  • Bigger playground; additional playground on far east side of grounds
  • Food stand near fields or other high-use area
  • Tennis courts on north side converted to basketball court; new kids' court

Councilman Matthew Zone, EcoCity Cleveland, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, ParkWorks and the Cleveland Green Building Coalition have all joined forces to make this most recent Cleveland EcoVillage project a national model. Click here to see some of the drawings and read more of the outcomes .


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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



See drawings and ideas from the second community workshop

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