Building Benches and Community in Euclid’s Green Creek
On an unseasonably warm day this past October, Euclid Planning and Zoning Commissioner Paul Beno welcomed volunteers – associates of Solon-based Swagelok Company – to the Green Creek stream corridor in the southwest corner of the city.
Euclid acquired the land through a tax foreclosure by the Euclid Railroad Company and a $38,100 grant from the State of Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC). A significant part of the City’s grant match is the value of the project’s volunteer labor.
Over the past year, the City and volunteers have removed thousands of pounds of debris from the area – everything from illegally dumped tires to a satellite dish – with the goal of creating an outdoor learning area for students from Euclid and throughout the region.
"We're serious about our mission of open-space preservation”, affirms Beno. This environmentally sensitive space will be off-limits for any future development which would harm the natural watershed or stream area. No manmade structures or hard surfaces means less stormwater runoff into Lake Erie, to which the stream eventually flows.
The idea for an outdoor classroom is borrowed from other communities where land-based learning opportunities demonstrate how quickly nature can reclaim the land despite human interactions. Euclid schools have future plans to develop curriculum that fits state standards; meanwhile the land will be available to any educational organization serving Euclid area students.
Mike Murton, Operations Manager for Swagelok, remarked “Swagelok appreciated that the project was related to education and supportive of Euclid Schools, and that we could be involved in a project early in the development of the learning laboratory”.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Paul Beno at 216-289-8180.
Allison Lukacsy is the Community Projects Manager at the City of Euclid. You can reach her at (216) 289-8160 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org