PARMA, Ohio - The ribbon cutting for the newest park in Parma, the West Creek Reservation, is Friday at 10:30 a.m. The project has been more than 10 years in the making.
The Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace has two new sparkling gems. The first is the West Creek Reservation in the heart of Parma. The reservation is 324 acres, of which 40 acres are open meadows. Visitors will find deep forests, an all-purpose trail, hiking trails, several picnic areas and beautiful overlooks.
"This is a huge thing that Parma can celebrate as a major win," said Jen Brumfield, Cleveland Metroparks Naturalist.
"Part of it is a reclaimed landfill, but yes. it's been up to the grassroots organization. West Creek Conservancy has really done an amazing job acquiring land, putting together conservation easements and then working with the city of Parma," said Gayle Albers, Watershed Stewardship Center Manager.
The second and largest gem is the new Watershed Stewardship Center. It's West Creek's main attraction. It offers family friendly activities like walking through a sewer. There are discovery stations and citizen science projects, but it's more than that.
"This center is pretty unique, and our audience not only the everyday person, but also university personnel and professionals that can come take training and workshops," Albers said.
The center showcases classrooms, a laboratory for research and an aquarium.
"We want folks to see what a healthy watershed looks like, what a healthy creek system stream system looks like," Brumfield said.
The entire building was designed using sustainable architectural standards. It features a green roof made with soil and vegetation that saves energy while reducing storm water run off. Cisterns catch some rainwater and some is used to refill the wetlands.
"It's all about sustainability, even beyond building the building, that once we're open we hope to utilize this facility to do recycling and hopefully become a zero waste facility," said Albers.
If you like nature, a peaceful walk or just want to learn how you can help the environment, this facility is not to be missed. The public is welcome at Friday's 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting and may stay for the day until 4 p.m. Saturday June 22 is Community Discovery Day with special events, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
West Creek Reservation is located at 2277 West Ridgewood Dr. in Parma. For more information visit the Cleveland Metroparks web site: http://bit.ly/12dbIvA