Located on the west bank of Cleveland’s Flats Waterfront District, a 1.3-mile trail of abandoned railroad yard is the focus of a new revitalization project called Lake Link Trail and Greenway. The project sees an area transformed into a green space with pedestrian/bicycle trails, parks, gardens and a natural storm water management system that will connect with Wendy Park (another area that will be redesigned with a sustainable approach) located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. The initiative is a collaboration between the San Francisco-based landscape architectural firm Conger, Moss, & Guillard and LAND Studio, which was formed in 2011 through the merger of Cleveland Public Art (CPA) and ParkWorks, two of Cleveland’s leading non-profit organizations focused on enhancing public spaces.
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The Storm Water Management Program is part of a 25-year plan, endorsed by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, that reduces untreated waste and pollutants in local streams, rivers and Lake Erie. Twenty green infrastructure areas across the city have been identified for reduction of urban storm water runoff. Some of these projects involve the recovery of abandoned public spaces that will serve both a recreational and ecological purpose.
Cleveland’s Flats district (mixed-use industrial neighborhood) has recently developed into new living, office, commercial and recreational spaces. The renovation of old warehouses into restaurants, bars, an outdoor music venue and the brand new Greater Cleveland Aquarium is proof of the efforts to make this area more accessible to residents and visitors, as well as to new economic investment.
Through strategic green planning and community partnerships, projects like the Lake Link Trail and Greenway create a sustainable habitat for the community.