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.

Don Drumm Studios

Lehmans


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


Senior 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

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
Nicely done!!! A little known fact about the El Salvadoran and Columbian scholarships.. A big thank you to the Faith Community for their support of Gay Games 9....

What do Ohio farmers need to do to control Lake Erie problems?
This was a great article, thank you, Karen Schaefer. There was an error- Roger Wise is the past president of the Ohio Farmer's Union; not the Ohio Farm Bureau ...

Registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends Monday at midnight
Judy Benson and Sally Tatnall are loved and appreciated by all in our community and throughout the US for their untiring work for OLOC and for educating the com...

Like any family, the Gay Games has its generation gaps
Great article ... important perspective.

Gay Games rodeo: Changing stereotypes
Robin, Thank you for a fine piece of recorded history. This is history in the making; a gay, Asian man, one of the last bronc riders in IGRA, and Rodeo at Gay G...

Ohio lawmakers hold hearing on prison food problems
So you fine them..this has been going onand the law makers are aware of this issue.I have been told by many about the maggots and rotten food not fit for a dog ...

Interview with early Beatle Pete Best
"the Leshdu (?) Quartet.." Actually that's the Les Stewart Quartet. George Harrison was in that band at the same time as the Quarry Men.

Copyright © 2014 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