Euclid Beach Park Goers: A better park starts with YOU
Euclid Beach Park Pavilion on July 5th
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Last time I checked, littering was illegal. Apparently some visitors to Euclid Beach State Park broke the law on the 4th of July! While walking through the parks on the morning of July 5th, I saw the deplorable conditions firsthand: trash all over the pavilion, trash all over the grass, foil trays and balloons left as if the barbeque was going to pick back up any minute!
Thankfully, state park maintenance staff was already on the scene taking care of the mess, especially in light of Mark Naymik's recent series of articles in the Plain Dealer highlighting the embarrassing conditions of Euclid Beach and Edgewater State Parks. In fact, since the series of articles, maintenance crews have frequented both parks planting flowers, laying down mulch and fixing benches-all calls from on high in the ODNR to make cosmetic improvements to quiet growing criticism. It's a great temporary improvement but is far from solving the bigger issues at play.
While the question of longterm stewardship, staffing shortages and ownership looms over policymakers and decisionmakers heads (State Parks vs. Cleveland Metroparks), the question we need to be asking ourselves today is does it matter who operates the park if we cannot be our own stewards?
Millions of dollars in deferred infrastructure and maintenance investment aside, if we cannot take our own initiative to respect our public spaces and lakefront assets (neglected as they may be), then shame on us for complaining and pointing the finger at the State of Ohio!
Great parks are respected parks. If we all want a better lakefront park then the least we can do is start acting like we will take care of it when the day comes! And it starts with simply PICKING UP YOUR TRASH! And if you see people littering and do not want to confront them, take pictures, take video and post it to Cleveland.com's lakefront action center here: http://www.cleveland.com/naymik/index.ssf/2012/06/clevelands_lakefront_parks_we.html. You can also post comments about litter bugs on twitter using the hash tag and name "#savelakefront."
Urban Beach Ambassador volunteers will soon be walking and biking Euclid Beach, taking photos and videos, talking to people and working directly with park rangers to crack down on littering so litter thugs, watch out!
A Better park doesn't start with millions of dollars of investment (although it should end with it)! A BETTER PARK STARTS WITH YOU!
Stephen Love is a Lake Erie fanatic from Cleveland, OH. In his day job he works for the Cuyahoga Land Bank and in every other waking moment is the founder and coordinator of Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach Team and Euclid Beach Blast! He started Euclid Beach Blast out of a desire to explore the connections between environmental stewardship, art, public spaces, music, and community.