port authority hears call of nature, re-opens lakefront preserve

The month of May has brought a stretch of warm weather to Northeast Ohio. The presence of sunny days is a happy coincidence for folks wanting to visit the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, re-opened by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority on May 1.

The 88-acre wildlife haven had been temporarily closed during environmental remediation of five acres on the site. New soil and seeds were added to the acreage, while a loop trail meandering through the space has also been re-opened to the public.

Since the park's comeback, about 200 nature lovers already have visited the preserve, reports Brian Lynch, the port authority's vice president for planning and development. May is the beginning of the spring bird migration season and a prime time for visitors to walk the trails of the former dredging containment facility along Lake Erie.

Feathered creatures aren't the only animals flocking through the park. According to the port authority, the preserve is also packed with various species of mammals, reptiles and insects, not to mention a healthy stock of plants, trees and shrubs.

"The life cycle is remarkable," says Lynch.

The preserve remediation project was conducted by the port in partnership with Cuyahoga County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio EPA, and the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District. Once the newly refurbished five acres officially becomes green space, Lynch can see the entire park becoming an even bigger destination for birders and people wanting to access the lakefront.

"It's great having this green space on the lake," he says.
SOURCE: Brian Lynch
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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