WEST CREEK

The Ohio & Erie Canalway boundaries in Cuyahoga County stretch to include the developing West Creek Preserve which follows the course of West Creek from Parma through Seven Hills, Brooklyn Heigths and Independence before it empties into the Cuyahoga River. The idea to create a greenway park was first explored by Cleveland Metroparks. Later, in 1984, Tom Yablonsky a Parma resident and founder of Ohio Canal Corridor with Jeffrey Lennartz met with Mayor Petruska of Parma in the role of planning consultant for Planning Resources and reintroduced the idea. Tom recalls that, "Mayor Petruska held a personal affinity with the area as he swam and fished West Creek as a child." Then Councilman Michael Reese was truly excited about the prospect and included the idea in his mayoral campaign. His untimely death preventerd any action when he became mayor Unfortunately, through the unusual set of circumstances, the idea did not find the necessary traction to move it ahead.

In 1989, when the County Planning Commission was preparing the seminal North Cuyahoga Valley Corridor Study (NCVC Study, 1992) , there was a decision to draw a tight boundary line at the interface of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Valley View, precluding the inclusion of West Creek into the study area. The rationale here was that Valley View had experienced a loss of property through acquisition of parcels to create the National Park and that experience had not been forgotten nor forgiven at that time.

Since the original feasibility study conducted by the National Park Service relied on the Cuyahoga County Planning Study for its basis, that document, Route To Prosperity (1993), also failed to alter the boundary provided in the North Cuyahoga Valley Corridor Study, despite objections by Ohio Canal Corridor. Fortunately, the true boundary exercise was conducted within the completion of the Corridor Management Plan (2000).

In between the timing of the County's NCVC Study and the onset of the CorridorManagement Plan (1998), a new organization emerged in Parma to advocate for a West Creek Greenway. Dave Vasarhelyi, Sue Zurovchek, Dave Lincheck, and Jeff Lennartz led the early efforts for the West Creek Preservation Committee. In the beginning, they approached Ohio Canal Corridor to act as their fiscal agent untilthey cleared the necessary hurdles imposed by the IRS. We were honored to do so and play a small part in their birth as an organization.Their history of accomplishment has been nothing short of remarkable. They have led the voters of Parma through 2 successful ballot initiatives that resulted in a community consensus that the West Creek Greenway was important to the future of their community (not a golf course) and a local tax whereby Parma citizens raised $3 Million to purchase the Gannet Property along West Creek. They have worked succesfully with a number of organizations,including Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga RAP, Ohio EPA, Staate of Ohio, Cuyahoga NRAC, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and the 4 cities and villages within their watershed to develop plans, find funds to purchase properties adjoining the creek. Cleveland Metroparks has evaluated the offer to absorb this new greenway into their system and responded positively following a series of public meetings with Parma residents.

Formore information, visit http://westcreek.org/

Towpath
Trail
Scenic
Byway

Scenic
Railroad

Big Creek
West Creek

Mill Creek


Signage
Huletts

Canal Basin
Park