after $3m makeover, zone rec center reopens to the public this saturday

Cleveland's near west side will gain another signature community park when the redeveloped outdoor space at Zone Recreation Center, which is comprised of 22 acres of land south of Lorain Avenue between W. 53rd and W. 65th streets, reopens this Saturday.

A public ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. The celebration will include a farmers market, food trucks, kickball, skateboarding, three-on-three basketball tournament and dog park dedication. Residents and visitors are encouraged to bring their dogs.

The multifaceted park is one of the largest in Cleveland. Features include new tennis courts, resurfaced basketball courts, new water-spray park and playground, new ballfields and a new dog park. The new Zone Rec also includes water-saving features and sustainable landscaping that reaffirm the City's commitment to weaving sustainable design into its community parks.

"The City administration really wants to move forward on low impact development that respects the tag line, 'Green city on a blue lake,'" says Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone, whose father fought the State of Ohio's proposal to build a highway here 50 years ago, ultimately leading to the development of the recreation center that bears his name. "We want to build it and design it from not only a functionality standpoint, but also lessening our carbon footprint."

Last year, the City of Cleveland opened the new Collinwood Recreation Center in a former Big Lots store along Lakeshore Boulevard. The building is a creative reuse of an existing space that includes many energy-efficient and sustainable features. The new Zone Recreation Center demonstrates similar outside-the-box thinking.

Zone Recreation Center is located in the Cleveland EcoVillage, an area dedicated to sustainable living within the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. The EcoVillage features a green-built rapid station, large community garden, many eco-friendly homes, a new garden store and a slew of gardens and green spaces. Residents here have long struggled with blight along Lorain Avenue, and many hope that the new Zone Rec will help catalyze other, similar improvements to the faded corridor.

The multipurpose pathway that weaves its way through the new Zone Rec green space will eventually connect with the Towpath Trail via Walworth Run, and to Edgewater Park and Lake Erie via bike lanes planned for W. 65th Street.

Source: Matt Zone
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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