Ohio Canal Corridor supporters break ground for new towpath trail section on Scranton Rd Peninsula
(Plain Press, September 2012) About 250 people gathered in a Scranton Peninsula field at 1871 Scranton on July 30th for a groundbreaking ceremony for a 2/3 mile stretch of the Ohio Canal Corridor trail and a Cuyahoga River Habitat Restoration project. Many of those in attendance brought their own shovels to participate in the ceremony. Many others sent virtual pictures of themselves with shovels that were posted at the event.
The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail currently stretches from Zoar Ohio in Tuscarawas County, through Stark and Summit County up to Harvard Road in Cleveland, just east of the Harvard Denison Bridge. Another small segment was recently completed at Steelyard Commons. The new 2/3rds mile Scranton Peninsula stretch of the trail will eventually connect to other segments of the trail and to the trailhead at Canal Basin Park.
Ohio Canal Corridor partnered with the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga County, Cuyahoga RAP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the Ohio EPA and the Trust for Public Land on the project. Over $7 million in public dollars were raised for the project including: $3.175 million from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund; $3 million from the Great lakes Restoration Initiative Fund; $500,000 from the State of Ohio Cultural Arts Facilities; $425,000 from a Clean Ohio Trail Grant; and $134,000 from U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
In addition to building a 2/3rds mile section of trail, Ohio Canal Corridor says the project will restore 2,800 feet of natural shoreline on the Cuyahoga River and transform a boat marina into a two acre habitat for fish and restore nine acres of upland into meadowland.
A number of politicians were present at the groundbreaking. Many gave praise to Ohio Canal Corridor Executive Director Tim Donovan for his dogged persistence in continuing the struggle to see that the remainder of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail is completed.
Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman Dennis Kucinich both had kind words for retired Congressman Ralph Regula and his efforts to create the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and help in securing support for efforts to create the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
Cuyahoga County Executive Edward FitzGerald said “the county is not going to rest until Wendy Park (on Whiskey Island) is connected to this trail.”
Ward 3 City Council Representative Joe Cimperman promised that when the trail is complete the kids from the Lakeview Terrace would have the same access to the trail as kids in Brecksville.