Cleveland Metroparks shoreline project creating 36-acre island and more access to nature

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — In a visionary plan being proposed by the Cleveland Metroparks, the City of Cleveland, the State of Ohio, and the Port Authority, 43 acres of new parkland would be created along the Shoreway, by widening the shoreline between the East 55th Street Marina and Gordon Park.

Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman told Fox 8, “creating habitat, places to engage with the water, expanding trails, providing better public access to the neighborhoods and quite honestly, very great sightlines as you travel through Cleveland.”

According to the Metroparks, recycled sediment dredged from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River would be used to create the new parkland.

Perhaps the most ambitious part of the project would be using the sediment to create a 36-acre island off shore, near the site of the former First Energy Power Plant.

The island would be connected to the shore by a bridge and various trails. 

“This island concept really helps break down the wave action coming into that particular area, where we see the overlapping of the freeway system there, so a lot of things have to go hand-in-glove there, and it can be done over phases of time.” 

Funding for the project would come from various federal, state and local agencies, that are committed to making the Lakefront more user-friendly for Clevelanders and visitors to the region.

“We just don’t have a lot of this green buffer, so part of it’s about armoring with this green infrastructure, it’s about creating better access points, it’s really about trying to embrace the natural realm there,” said Zimmerman.

The entire Lakefront project could take 15 to 25 years to complete.

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