Lake Metroparks Video: “Confluence: Stewarding Cleveland’s Water”

Cleveland is taking significant strides in watershed management and environmental stewardship, particularly concerning the Great Lakes. A recent video from Lake Metroparks highlights the city’s shift from tackling “point source” industrial pollution to addressing more diffuse “non-point source pollution” from urban areas. Innovative solutions like porous concrete surfaces and green roofs are being employed to manage stormwater and reduce pollution. Collaborative efforts across public and private sectors aim to make these initiatives both effective and equitable.

For a comprehensive look at Cleveland’s watershed management strategies and collaborative efforts, watch the full video:

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The Clevelander Magazine: A Reflection on Cleveland’s Changing Lakefront

The Clevelander - August '64

The Clevelander magazine, a publication that had undergone three major format changes since its inception, began as the organ of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and later the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, had evolved from a monthly publication to a hardcover quarterly and finally to a monthly members’ newsletter.

The August 1964 issue of The Clevelander featured a cover story that highlighted the ever-changing landscape of Cleveland’s lakefront. The cover depicted the old Browns Stadium and the industrialization of the lakefront, reflecting the city’s approach to utilizing the lakefront at the time. This cover serves as a stark contrast to the current mission of the Green Ribbon Coalition, which aims to make the lakefront more accessible to people for recreational purposes and parks.

The Clevelander magazine premiered in May 1926 with a strong civic profile, featuring guest writers such as Wm. R. Hopkins, Newton D. Baker, Tris Speaker, Linda Eastman, and Bp. Joseph Schrembs. By World War II, the magazine had become more business-oriented, but still featured articles by civic figures. After the Chamber of Commerce transformed into the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, the magazine briefly became a hardcover quarterly in April 1970, with articles written mostly by professionals. However, this format was short-lived, and the magazine was converted into a monthly members’ newsletter by the Growth Association in May 1972.

The Clevelander’s August 1964 cover serves as a reminder of the city’s past approach to the lakefront and highlights the importance of the Green Ribbon Coalition’s mission to make the lakefront more accessible for recreational purposes. The transformation of the lakefront from an industrialized area to a space for people to enjoy reflects the changing priorities of our area and its residents. The Green Ribbon Coalition’s efforts to create parks and recreational areas along the lakefront align with the evolving needs of the community and contribute to the ongoing transformation of Cleveland’s lakefront.


Reimagining Cleveland’s Lakefront: A Vision of Collaboration And Inclusivity

In a recent panel discussion covered by, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb asserted their shared commitment to redeveloping downtown Cleveland’s lakefront, overcoming past challenges and promising to transform it into an inclusive and accessible community asset. The event, titled “It Takes A Planner,” was sponsored by Advance Ohio and the American Planning Association and moderated by reporter Steven Litt.

Executive Ronayne emphasized the importance of strategic alliances, highlighting that successful redevelopment requires cooperation from the public sector, private entities, and non-profit organizations. His vision includes enhancing the city’s appeal by creating accessible pathways to the waterfront, thereby enriching the residents’ quality of life and strengthening Cuyahoga County’s tax base.

Mayor Bibb echoed this collaborative sentiment. He acknowledged Cleveland’s previous struggles with lakefront development plans but emphasized his optimism for the future, given the unique alignment between his office and the county executive’s.

For decades, city planners, developers, and civic organizations have proposed numerous plans to enhance the downtown lakefront and improve its connectivity with Lake Erie. These ambitious visions have historically been hindered by infrastructural barriers, such as the Ohio 2 shoreway and rail lines.

However, Ronayne noted several promising prospects. Cuyahoga County is seeking proposals for a new courthouse and considering plans for a new jail that could free up substantial space near the lake for development.

The collaboration was recently challenged when Cuyahoga County Council delayed a decision on Cleveland’s proposal to form a lakefront development authority, the Northcoast Development Corp, with the county. Yet, both Ronayne and Bibb remain hopeful that council members will come to appreciate the value of this initiative.

Mayor Bibb added a poignant perspective, acknowledging Cleveland’s history of racial segregation. He shared personal experiences highlighting the lakefront’s symbolic inaccessibility and emphasized the opportunity to use the lakefront master plan to dismantle these historic barriers.

Both Bibb and Ronayne assured residents that their voices are crucial to the redevelopment process and will continue to be heard. Executive Ronayne underscored this sentiment by proposing a Freshwater Institute aimed at educating the next generation about water ecology.

The panel also included Brian Zimmerman, CEO of Cleveland Metroparks, Joyce Pan Huang, city Planning Director, and Mary Cierebiej, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.

As the Green Ribbon Coalition, we stand firmly in support of these inclusive, environmentally-conscious endeavors. We believe that access to our beautiful waterfronts should be a right enjoyed by all. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor and advocate for these critical initiatives to ensure they align with our mission of a greener and more inclusive Cleveland.

For more detailed information, you can find the original article here.

Please join us as we support and advocate for more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive waterfront spaces. Together, we can help shape a brighter future for Cleveland.

Big Creek Connects: “Cleveland Land Bridge/West Shoreway Concept Alternatives”


We are excited to share a new article titled “Cleveland Land Bridge/West Shoreway Concept Alternatives,” published by Big Creek Connects. This piece offers a look at several innovative initiatives that the Green Ribbon Coalition is championing. Our goal is to rejuvenate the downtown Cleveland lakefront, enhance the local communities, and pave the way for sustainable economic development. The article elaborates on concepts such as the conversion of the aged Main Avenue Bridge into a greenway and the diversion of truck traffic away from residential areas for improved quality of life. Your feedback is invited.

Read the article:


Crains: “A Vision for Lake Erie”


Thanks to Crain’s this very comprehensive coverage, “A Vision for Lake Erie,” in their January 30, 2023 issue. GRC Director Dick Clough’s column is on page 15, “Lakefront progress needs boost from an independent authority.” Clough advocates for an independent body which will maintain a galvanizing continuity of leadership, and he outlines a short list of items to be addressed immediately.

We invite you to read Dick Clough’s column in the forum here:

“A Vision for Lake Erie” by Jay Miller prefaces a forum by a number of contributors in the issue:


Cleveland Magazine: “Visions of Lake Erie’s Waterfront”

Land bridge

Land bridge

Thank you to Cleveland Magazine and author Jill Sell for this May 1 piece covering how Cleveland leadership is discussing ways to make the lakefront more accessible to everyone.

GRC leader Dick Clough and GRC were in the article extensively with respect to two major ideas for the lakefront – the harbor land bridge and the proposal to relocate the freeway near Gordon Park to follow the bluffs, opening up all of the land to the north.

Read the article here. “Cuyahoga County Releases Finished Report, Interactive Site, on New Lakefront Public Access Plan”

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Thanks to and Steven Litt for covering this story. Cuyahoga County has just released the finished Lakefront Public Access Plan, which outlines several projects the county plans to coordinate soon in Cleveland, Lakewood and Rocky River.

We invite you to read the full article on here.

Why NYC Is Reinventing Its Parks – NYC Revealed

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Inspiration: “New York City might be known as the concrete jungle, but its parks have been an ever-present part of this bustling metropolis from the beginning. The city’s 30,000 acres of parks serve as an escape for New Yorkers and serve the city itself in many unseen ways.”