My Emerald Necklace

Okay. It’s not just MY necklace. But I hope the title of this post caught your attention.

The Emerald Necklace is a collection of parks (Cleveland calls these parks Reservations) that, until recently, surrounded Cleveland and its suburbs on three sides. The forth, and northernmost side that was missing is now complete with the Lakefront Reservation. All these places are operated by the Cleveland Metro Parks.

Recently I heard Brian Zimmerman, head of the Cleveland Metroparks, on the radio. One of the topics he was excited about was our new Lakefront Reservation. In addition to Gordon Park and the Marina, the Cleveland Metroparks now operates Edgewater Park that used to be under the supervision of the Ohio State Parks.9493755_orig

Edgewater Park is north of W. 65th and stretches west to West Blvd. The Cleveland Bike Path runs through Edgewater Park on its way to the western boundary of Cleveland at W. 117Th.  In addition to bike paths and great views, lots of people swim there and now there are plans for volleyball and other activities.  In a sense, this park is the clasp on the Reservations that makes up The Emerald Necklace.

Edgewater Park

Edgewater Park

Since we’ve been living in Cleveland we have visited many of these Reservations. Some are rather tiny and unknown. Some, like the Cleveland Zoo, are very well known and heavily visited.  In the middle of these reservations is the Ohio and Erie Canal that is a delicate strip of land that looks like it could be a fob hanging off the clasp of the necklace.

The chain that holds many of the Reservations together is the Valley Parkway. When I did a lot of biking, I used to bike on the Parkway to the annoyance of cars. They wanted me to ride my bike on the popular bikeway that roughly parallels the Parkway.  Walkers, skateboarders, roller bladers, and moms also used that paved path with strollers.

The Metroparks are very popular for people seeking recreation, a place to have a picnic, learn to play golf, take a swim, or see wildlife.  The Cleveland Hiking Club has at least one walk in the Metroparks every day of the year.  With 22,000 acres, it is easy to find a walk at just the right level for everyone.

Oh, and did I mention that Edgewater Park has Honey Hut Ice Cream?