2014 is going to be an exciting year for Euclid Beach and our Lakefront!
Happy New Year! It's never too cold to start thinking about spring and summer at our lakefront parks. And this year, things are already heating up with all of the excitement and potential around the ownership transition to Cleveland Metroparks and the passage of the Metroparks operating levy. It has only been a half a year since the Cleveland Metroparks transition and we already see the difference in what Metroparks management means for Euclid Beach, Villa Angela and Wildwood parks: regular beachcombing, rangers patrolling the parks by car, by foot and sometimes by horse, dedicated maintenance staff routinely emptying trash and recycling bins and landscaping once overgrown flowerbeds, teams of structural engineers assessing park infrastructure and Urban Beach Ambassadors educating park visitors about the importance of taking care of our Great Lake.
Looking ahead to 2014, the Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach™ Team welcomes the opportunity to collaborate and support Cleveland Metroparks as we work together as a community to reimagine and reshape the future of our Lakefront parks! But before we look ahead to 2014, it is important to highlight some of our group’s past activities and accomplishments in 2013.
2013 Highlights of the Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach™:
- In 2013, over 200 volunteers from around the community and the region participated in our monthly Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach™ beach cleanups, collecting close to 2,500 pounds in trash and recyclables and participated in beautification projects like painting and repairing park benches and trimming back overgrowth.
- Partnered with youth theater company, Upstage Players with support from a Neighborhood Connections Grant to put together a summer play writing program focused on Great Lakes education at Euclid Beach Park.
- Collaborated with Heather Triplett, Director of Cleveland Metroparks Volunteer Services and Alliance for the Great Lakes to secure an $15,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation to launch a pilot the “Urban Beach Ambassadors” program. The Urban Beach Ambassador curriculum and activities will now be incorporated into the 2014 Trail Monitor training curriculum.
- Worked with Waterloo Arts, Northeast Shores Development and the Beachland Ballroom to organize the Euclid Beach Blast festival - an evening of live music, sand castles, engaging art and food to explore and celebrate all things great about Euclid Beach and Lake Erie.
- Partnered with local businesses to support beach cleanups and local business involvement in the community. We are especially thankful to Chili Peppers Mexican Grill and owner Steve Newman’s commitment to offer coupons and giftcards to our volunteers!
- We continue to work with Alliance for the Great Lakes, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Ohio Beautiful to encourage cigar manufacturer Phillip Morris to explore biodegradable alternatives to plastic cigar tips which are is the most commonly collected trash item on Cleveland’s beaches.
Looking ahead to 2014 we hope to:
- Merge and collaborate activities and programming with the Friends of Euclid Creek Watershed Organization.
- Explore program and event fundraising and partnership with the Cleveland Lakefront Parks Conservancy
- Continue monthly beach cleanups at Euclid Beach but also expand activities to include neighborhood and Euclid Creek stream cleanup/planting activities
- Collaborate with Upstage Players to grow the pilot summer internship program
- Partner with Collinwood Recreation Center to hold several outdoor fitness events in the parks this spring/summer
- Partner with Cleveland Metroparks to expand and grow Euclid Beach Blast 2014
- Begin dialogue with Cleveland Metroparks and community stakeholders about identify focus areas and opportunities for community input in park programming and improvement plans.
We as a community have a historic opportunity to continue to support and shape the amazing transformation of our Lakefront parks that began this past summer! In 2014, let’s show Cleveland Metroparks and decision makers that we are engaged and excited about creating a world-class Lakefront!
If you are interested in getting involved or would like to receive email updates about all of the activities the Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach™ Team has planned for the coming year, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach Team on facebook - facebook.com/adopteuclidbeach and don’t forget to like Euclid Beach Blast too– facebook.com/euclidbeachblast.
Stephen Love is a Lake Erie fanatic from Cleveland, OH. In his day job he works for the Cuyahoga Land Bank and in every other waking moment is the founder and coordinator of Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach Team and Euclid Beach Blast! He started Euclid Beach Blast out of a desire to explore the connections between environmental stewardship, art, public spaces, music, and community.