News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Lehmans

Meaden & Moore


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


New West Creek Reservation center immerses you in the watershed
The $4.5 million Stewardship Center sprang from a citizens effort to save green space in Parma
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Center Director Gayle Albers is interviewed for TV in front of center's green roof and water cistern
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cleveland Metroparks yesterday opened a new park visitor center. But the building at the West Creek Reservation in Parma is so unusual, it’s called a “Watershed Stewardship Center.“ WKSU’s Mark Urycki explains the park itself has an unusual background.

Audio interviews

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:21)


There are a lot of unusual things about the West Creek Reservation. The newest of the Cleveland Metroparks came about only because developers wanted to build commercial properties on this last bit of green space in Parma. Citizens like Dave Lincheck came up with another plan and offered it to city officials.

“(At) several meetings around my kitchen table – and some of the other volunteers’ kitchen tables -- we put together a concept plan for a park.”

Another member of that citizens’ group, Tim DeGeeter, says they were able to pass a ballot issue to preserve the land and another to raise money for a park.

“This was a landfill here at one time.  Talk about a transformation.”

Now mayor and touting progress
Tim DeGeeter is now the mayor of Parma. He points out that the motto of his city is “Progress through Partnerships.” 

That smelly landfill, says Dave Lincheck, may have made several key partnerships possible.

“If it weren’t for that landfill, probably all of the valley would have been developed, and none of this park would be here.”

Self-taught and banding together
That little group of average citizens later became the West Creek Conservancy and over the years, they learned how to build a park.

In fact, almost $5 million for this park came from grants and donations. That’s the new way of doing business for park systems around Ohio, says the head of Cleveland Metroparks, Brian Zimmerman. 

“The bottom line is citizen activists started a movement. And it tickles me greatly because if you think  back to the history of the Metroparks, Rocky River [Reservation] was actually donated by citizen activists.”

Part of the sewer district's mission
One of the partner organizations with offices at West Creek is the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. That’s because this park’s mission revolves around water runoff. The manager of the new Stewardship Center, Gayle Albers, says university researchers and other experts will be working at the center’s laboratories.

“Our focus is to bring folks to the center, including professionals, landscape architects, residents, just about anybody who can learn about watershed science.” 

Living the lesson
It’s a green building that acts almost as a demonstration project itself. Up on the roof, naturalist Tim Krynak points out that sedum and other succulent plants are growing  to prevent rain water runoff. He says what doesn’t evaporate goes into a large cistern. The sidewalks around the center use porous asphalt and concrete so water slowly seeps into the ground rather than running off.

Inside is a high-tech topographical map of the Parma area, with hi-def projectors that show you first the river, then the tributaries, then the city streets, and so on, at the tap of a screen.

The West Creek Watershed Stewardship Center may have opened on the Summer Solstice, but officials say its construction and design -- and maybe even mission -- were influenced by the weather of 2011, the wettest year on record. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Pluto: The Browns split from Manziel is long overdue
Get Brock Osweiler from the Denver Broncos! He's fantastic and seems like a great person.

Democratic Senate hopeful P.G. Sittenfeld pushes for local gun control
That makes no sense at all... why not let cities determine driving codes as well? Maybe Cincy want's folks to drive on the left side of the road. What could go ...

Exploradio: Autism in the workplace
I would love to get more information re: Autism on The Town and other such programs in Northeast Ohio. Thanks!!

Human trafficking cases rise in Ohio
It is about time this is presented to proceed with a plan of prevention..to protect our youth.And very necessary to inform communities through school, churches ...

Fermented food company aims to preserve Cleveland's farm-to-table movement
This is terrific! I make my own sauerkraut and consider it vital to good health. Well done, I wish you all success.

Ohio doctors get new guidelines for prescribing certain painkillers
I would gladly smoke pot to get off pain killers but its not legal.It would save the hassle of doctor visits for pill counts,pee tests,blood tests,driving to pi...

Ohio unemployment cuts are nearing a Statehouse vote
What about those that are laid off seasonally? My husband has been employed by the same company for 26 years and has been laid off (for the last 17) mid-Januar...

Ban on microbeads is a big step in fighting plastic pollution
What a bunch of liberal "so open minded their brains fell out" tree huggin yuppies. Professing to be wise they became fools.

Who's on -- and left off -- Ohio's medical marijuana task force?
Biggest joke everm these people are evil they know marijuana is harmless they rigged the polls last nov everypne kmows it

Dayton 'Black Lives Matter' protesters to appear in court today
Police to fast with the trigger finger and not the brain.A lot of police officers out here judge by color first instead of accessing the situation first. If a p...

Copyright © 2016 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University