Over the next 3 days Cleveland Metroparks (CMP) is holding public input sessions concerning its new Master Plan (see event calendar). These meetings are our chance to tell the park service exactly what we would like to see in the new plan and why it is important. Despite encompassing over 20,000 acres, CMP provides only one climbing location (the 1/2 mile cliff line known as Whipp’s Ledges in the Hinckley Reservation). Similarly they have only one mountain bike trail and no camping. In late 2009 and early 2010, the NEOCC worked with Cleveland Metroparks to open a new climbing area within the 2500 acre Brecksville Reservation. The rock in this area sits on 29 acres, which is only 1% of the reservations acreage! Ultimately the proposal was turned down. Similarly proposals to eliminate the need for personal liability insurance for a private climbing permit and to open climbing at the Rocky River Reservation were also turned down. You can find more information about these efforts by filtering posts by subject (see drop down bar at right) and choosing Cleveland Metroparks.
Recently the NEOCC submitted formal recommendations to the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County (MPSSC) Board of Park Commissioners concerning climbing access and stewardship. On Wednesday, November 17 a group of ~10 local climbers attended the noon Board of Commissioners meeting. Two of us were allowed into the small meeting room and the rest waited outside in support. While no decisions were made that day, it was a chance for us to establish a dialogue with the park service and will hopefully be the beginning of working towards a mutually agreeable solution to the lack of climbing in the park. NE Ohio has over 72,000 acres of park land, an estimated 40,000 climbing participants and only one outdoor climbing area. Climbing is part of a $730 billion Outdoor Recreation Economy which generates 6.5 million jobs, and with 58% of Ohio college students planning to leave the state within the first few years of finishing school (their #2 reason for doing so is to find a place that is “active, exciting and fun”) we need our local parks to take a leadership role in establishing climbing management plans.
NE Ohio climbers will be attending the Nov 17 Metroparks Serving Summit County Board of Commissioners meeting to request access to boulders and cliff line in the Gorge Metro Park. Come and show them that we are organized and motivated to gain climbing access in NE Ohio. Details and links below.
When: Nov 17, 2010. 12(noon)-2pm.
Where: Sand Run Administrative Offices, 975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron, Ohio 44313
Although I have never been there, a lot of Ohio climbers have made the trip out to Logtown Quarry at one time or another. As far as I know, it is the only legal sport climbing area in Ohio. There is a link to the new online guide in the Area Information section of the NEOCC website. Below is a nice picture from the area taken by Bryan Cunningham.
This past month I was surprised to learn that the Access Fund was awarding me a Sharp End award. My first though was, “for what?” Don’t get me wrong, I have been working hard on behalf of local climbers since forming the NEOCC last May, but I thought these awards were for people that achieved big results, like opening a new area, or preventing the closure of an existing one.
There is a link below to the Spring 2010 edition of the Access Fund’s Vertical Times which announces the awards (page 11). In this edition there is also reference to a quote, “80% of success is showing up,” which I suppose sums up the justification for giving me the award. Although the NEOCC may not have any big accomplishments to tout yet, we have achieved less tangible results. Among these is starting annual clean-ups at local crags AND areas where we would like to obtain access in the future, as well as establishing positive relationships with the various local park services.
So now that we have “shown up,” I hope that the next year brings continued progress and maybe some of those big results. Thank you to everyone that has been involved so far.
This past weekend I attended one of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) public input sessions for the new Trail Management Plan (TMP) and Environmental Impact Study (EIS) they are working on. If you were unable to attend, you can still give your two cents online by clicking here and choosing “comment on document.”
Cuyahoga Valley National Park has announced three dates for the first public input sessions concerning the new Trail Management Plan (TMP) and Environmental Impact Study (EIS). These dates are Thursday, February 11th from 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, February 13th 10:00 am-noon. All meetings are at the CVNP Happy Days Lodge (500 West Streetsboro Road (Route 303), Peninsula, Ohio).