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Park-goers react positively to proposed shoreline renovation project

Metroparks shows off lakefront plans to public
Metroparks unveils plans for Cleveland lakefront
Metroparks unveils plans for Cleveland lakefront(Cleveland Metroparks)
Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As Cleveland Metroparks unveiled their project aimed at rejuvenating the lakefront, park guests were excited to imagine a spruced-up park on the east side. The idea to create more room for fishing, nature, and bike trails, as well as a quiet area for water activities and even the creation of an island.

“It’ll be great, and hopefully it’ll draw more people,” Willie Parker Jr., who has visited the Lakefront Reservation near E. 72nd St. his whole life.

The project is part of the Cleveland Harbor Easter Embayment Resilience Study. Renderings of the proposed plan include a complete transformation of 80 acres of land, which stretches between E. 55th St. and Gordon Park.

Anis Atkinson, another visitor, was also impressed when told about the project. She explained the area needs change.

“As you look around, you see grass,” she said. “Grass and rocks. That’s not that interesting.”

Other park visitors shared their thoughts but declined to participate in an interview. One guest, however, mentioned he is in favor of the redevelopment, as long as it is easily accessible to people who live in the inner neighborhoods of Cleveland.

Parker Jr. agreed: “Really, there’s nothing to do on the inner part of the city which is two minutes away.”

The Metropark’s held a news conference Thursday night with several community partners and focused on addressing questions from the public like if I-90 would have to be reconstructed since part of the project is to shore up the shoreline that currently sees 20-foot waves rain on to the freeway. A representative with ODOT said it would be time-consuming and costly if they needed to relocate or adjust I-90, but it is possible. But that currently is not something being considered.

The group says it could be 15 to 25 years before the plan is fully realized because it will rely on public support and funding sources to carry it through phases 1 and 2 that include the creation of an island from sediment dredged from the river.

This is just the first of the meetings that will allow the public to have a say in the vision for the Lake Erie Shoreline.

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