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Wherever you are in Lake County,

you’re never more than 10 minutes from

exploring and enjoying Lake Metroparks.

LAKEMETRoPARkS.COM

Veterans Park J.DELL PHOTOGRAPHY


using funds wisely Managing financial resources

“Taxpayers expect accurate financial records from their local governments. Lake Metroparks’ dedication to accountability is evident, and I am proud to present the Auditor of State Award with Distinction to the park district.”

—Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, February 2 O12

Lake Metroparks takes public accountability seriously and understands the need to remain sensitive to the ever-changing economic conditions and demands we all face. Even though a zero-growth operating budget was maintained for the past four years, Lake Metroparks tightened its belt even further by reducing operating expenses by 5 percent in 2012. Energy savings and several other cost containment measures are constantly evaluated and implemented to reduce expenditures. The park system is currently operating with 28 fewer full-time employees than it had in 1994 while protecting 2,785 more acres of unique natural resources than it did at the time. As staff throughout the park system retire or move on to positions outside the agency, each vacancy is evaluated and not filled whenever possible; responsibilities are reassigned to remaining staff in order to reduce costs. The park system will never take the support of the people it serves for granted. The agency has a remarkable track record of augmenting local tax monies with outside sources, including private contributions, sponsorships and more than $15 million in grants since 1990. Lake Metroparks has been recognized on the local, state and national levels for its fiscal responsibility. The taxpayers of Lake County rightfully insist on the wise and practical administration of their investment in the park district that they own. Clean audits and awards are expected—and that is exactly what Lake Metroparks consistently delivers.

Now and for future generations


Scenic Vistas

Lake Metroparks preserves and provides access to incredible views Lake County is a beautiful place to live and work. Some of the unique natural features and landscapes include Lake Erie, the Grand River and Chagrin River valleys, Little Mountain, Mentor Marsh and the vineyards of southern Madison. Lake Metroparks’ skilled craftsmen have constructed several observation decks and overlook areas that offer snapshots of some of Lake County’s most impressive features. These stops along park trails allow visitors to take a moment—or longer—to reflect on the county’s best scenic views preserved for all to enjoy.

SEVEN SCENIC SPOTS TO VISIT 1. Falls at Paine Falls Park: The deck at the bottom of the

stairs off the Paine Road parking lot offers a great view of Paine Falls.

2. Chair Factory Falls: A great waterfall view at the end of this trail is accessible from Lake Metroparks’ Greenway Corridor just south of I-90.

3. Big Creek Valley at Girdled Road Reservation: Located

a short walk from the park’s Girdled Road parking lot, the overlook offers a panoramic view of the Big Creek Valley that is great at any time of the year, but especially breathtaking in the fall.

4. Skok Meadow: A deck offers a wide-lens view of this restored meadow featuring an abundance of wildflowers throughout summer.

5. Lake Erie at Lake Erie Bluffs: An overlook sits on the

towering bluff above Lake Erie and its wild, sandy shore at Lake Metroparks’ newest park.

6. Downtown Cleveland from Chapin Forest Reservation:

On a clear day, across a blanket of tree tops, downtown Cleveland is viewed all the way from Kirtland from an overlook at Chapin Forest.

7. Grand River at Indian Point Park: A great view of the

state-designated “Wild” Grand River makes it easy to see the area’s strategic advantage to past inhabitants.

view from Chapin Forest Reservation overlook J.DELL PHOTOGRAPHY


Enjoy Green Space New access to land along lake and stream corridors

Since 1959, when Lake Metroparks acquired its first piece of land, the park district has focused its conservation efforts on the county’s stream corridors and the Lake Erie shore. Purchases were joined over the years to form parks capable of supporting a range of outdoor education and recreation activities. It took years to develop these areas, but the goal was always the same—to protect them so that future generations could enjoy them. Over the past several years, Lake Metroparks has seen this hard work come to fruition and the park district has made a concerted effort to expand public access across Lake County. This effort has taken many forms including opening new parks, constructing new trails, providing parking areas and trail heads, installing scenic overlooks and decks highlighting the park district’s best views and providing access to streams and ponds for fishing. Since 2010, the park district has opened Gully Brook Park on the Willoughby/Willoughby Hills border and Lake Erie Bluffs on the Lake Erie shore in Perry Township. Over the same time span, Lake Metroparks has also added nearly four miles of new trail and 85 parking spaces, constructed four new observation decks/viewing areas, expanded fishing opportunities on nine acres of lake, 11,500 feet of stream and 1,300 feet of Lake Erie shoreline, and opened nearly 500 acres to controlled archery deer hunting.

Pete’s Pond Preserve

Pleasant Valley Park

Pete’s Pond Preserve

Now and for future generations


This year, there are several access improvement projects underway including: • The opening of Pete’s Pond Preserve in conjunction with the Wickliffe Board of Education. This park is located on land owned by the school district behind Wickliffe High School. The new park will feature 6,000 feet of trail and ten designated parking spaces at the northeast corner of the school’s parking lot. Future phases of development will focus on scenic overlooks and outdoor teaching areas. • The addition of 4,000 feet of mowed trail at Pleasant Valley Park. This park is open for fishing access to the Chagrin River. Recently, nearly a mile of mowed trail has been opened to the public north of State Route 6 with parking available in the lot south of Pleasant Valley Road.

Abbey Road Property

Lake Erie Bluffs

• The opening of the Abbey Road Property in Leroy Township on the Grand River. Construction on this park is likely to begin this fall and will include a small parking area accessible from Baker Road, 3,500 feet of trail and 2,400 feet of Grand River frontage. The park will also be accessible to Grand River canoeists and kayakers featuring a picnic area for those wishing to stop on their float down the river. Lake Erie Bluffs


Making Memories

Lake Metroparks traditions celebrate seasons

Each northeast Ohio season has distinct characteristics and people enjoy participating in annual activities unique to each season. Lake Metroparks celebrates seasonal changes in nature and offers experiences that have become annual traditions for many Lake County residents. These programs provide opportunities for generations to gather and celebrate family along with the changes in the seasons. Maple sugaring and a colorful quilt show are signs of spring along with budding trees and the bright songs of birds. Some of the ways we enjoy summer include swimming, boating, picnicking, playing in the parks and watching the sun set on Lake Erie. Fall brings the start of school and Bug Day!, where children become masters of “bugology.” The harvest season is celebrated in many ways, concluding with the annual Halloween Hayrides—a family-friendly evening wagon ride through fields and woods. When the snow flies, Lake Metroparks’ winter events have become traditions for many in Lake County. Colorful, sparkling displays inside Penitentiary Glen Nature Center share the beauty and wonder of nature in winter and, at Farmpark’s Country Lights event, Santa’s Workshop and wagon rides through thousands of lights generate fond memories for years to come. Whether you seek to reconnect or disconnect, perhaps the best way to enjoy nature’s beauty is by exploring the well-maintained trails throughout the park system year-round to discover and celebrate changes in all seasons.

“One of the best Halloween outings for young children and families.”

—Magical Whooloween participant J.DELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Now and for future generations


Prudent Preservation Managing resources in times of resource scarcity Lake Metroparks continually strives to find new ideas for improving quality and productivity and fulfill the agency’s mission in the most economically-efficient manner possible. In today’s lean economy, stewards of our natural resources have fewer resources and greater demands on their time, staff and equipment. Lake Metroparks has been busy adjusting concepts and responsibilities associated with resource management to promote efficient stewardship. Stocking ponds and stretches of streams with fish, maintaining multi-use trails, protecting fragile habitats, maintaining places for public recreation and providing high-quality outdoor programming will always be priorities. These practices help connect the public with the resources protected by Lake Metroparks. Staff members continue to look for ways to manage as efficiently as possible while operating within budget. Invasive, exotic plant and pest infestations continue to present ecological threats that are managed as they arise. People are in more frequent direct contact with some incredibly adaptable wildlife species like coyotes and white-tailed deer. These issues may present some new challenges for park resource management. Lake Metroparks is committed to protecting and conserving Lake County’s resources for future generations. Promoting the wise use of recreational resources ensures that the public is served while being the most effective and prudent resource managers possible.

Parks and protected park lands are proven to improve water quality, protect groundwater, prevent flooding, improve the quality of the air we breathe, provide vegetative buffers to development, produce habitat for wildlife and provide a place for children and families to connect with nature and recreate outdoors together. moe whitehouse


Parks are essential. Lake Metroparks protects unique natural resources and provides recreational and educational services that are vitally important to the economic and environmental well-being of Lake County and Northeastern Ohio. Parks improve the quality of life and make Lake County livable and desirable for businesses and homeowners.

J.DELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Now and for future generations


Wherever You Are in Lake County...