Regreening an urban county

Over the past two years, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission has been developing an ambitious greenspace plan for the countya Greenprint that seeks to redefine Ohios most urban county as a place where natural places are protected and restored, accessible, and part of daily life.

The plan, which will be released in Spring 2002, aims to:

  • Build off of the county's unique geography and natural history.
  • Emphasize the environmental, community, and economic importance of greenspace.
  • Inspire decision makers to make greenspace a priority.
  • Promote the connection of neighborhoods to greenspace and the county's natural resources.
  • Encourage the "regreening" of the more urban portions of the county to make them more desirable places to live.

Currently, there are 26,000 acres of parkland within Cuyahoga County (8.8 percent of the county land area) and approximately 115 miles of trails. The greenspace plan proposes protection of approximately another 20,000 acres of land and the creation of 330 miles of additional trails.

The new trail system would put every county resident within a couple of miles of a trail for hiking and biking. The system would build off of the central north-south spine of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the east-west spine of the Lakefront Bikeway. Linking to these spines would be three loopsa City Loop connecting parks developed in the 1890s (Rockefeller, Luke Easter, Garfield, West Boulevard), a First Ring Suburb Loop following creeks (Euclid, Mill, West, Abram), and an Emerald Necklace Loop completing the Cleveland Metroparks trails around the county. In addition, there would be a University-Heights Leg and a Southwest Leg.

Its estimated that new trails would cost about $250,000 a mile to construct. So the 330 miles would cost $82.5 million, or about one-quarter of the cost of a football stadium (a relatively modest civic investment considering the potential impact of such an amenity).

For more information, call the planning commission at 216-443-3700.



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

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Cuyahoga County is at an important point in its history. The county needs to establish a vision of the role which nature must have in the life of our community, and a plan to accomplish that vision - to advance the countys quality of life, regional competitiveness, image, economic benefits, green infrastructure, and community interconnectedness.
Greenspace Plan,
Cuyahoga County Planning Commission


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