I lived most of my childhood in Rhode Island surrounded by beautiful beaches, scenery that would make you cry and amazing ocean views. Like many, I have come to have a strong connection with the soothing sounds of the rolling tides and the calming effect of the wide open water views.
When I returned to Cleveland as a preteen I visited Edgewater Park and was very disappointed. The beach area was riddled with trash and the sand was laden with rocks and sticks. It did not feel like a beach.
However, that is not the case any longer!
On June 6, 2013 Cleveland Metroparks signed a historic long-term lease agreement with the City of Cleveland and the State of Ohio that transfers management of six lakefront parks to the Park District, adding another gem to the “Emerald Necklace” and encircling Greater Cleveland with parklands, which includes Edgewater Park and beach lakefront!
Edgewater Park Bathhouse circa 1927
A little history on Edgewater Park…..The grounds for Edgewater Park were purchased by the City of Cleveland in 1894 and have provided popular recreational spaces for Cleveland residents since its opening the following year. Since the second half of the 20th century, however, Cleveland’s park department was faced with juggling depleting resources and the problems of general upkeep, pollution, and security for the public grounds. Unable to keep up its park lands, the City of Cleveland leased Edgewater Park to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for fifty years in 1978. While maintaining its identity as Edgewater Park, the park is now joined along with five other public spaces to make up the Cleveland Lakefront State Park.
The New and Improved…..
” To facilitate the transfer, the State of Ohio first had to agree to terminate the lease it had with the City of Cleveland to manage the parks. The agreement included $14 million from the state’s transportation and public safety budget to pay for lakefront park improvements. Cleveland City Council then voted unanimously to transfer management of the parks to Cleveland Metroparks in a new lease agreement. The final agreement gives the Park District a 99-year lease on the 14 miles of lakefront property at a cost of $1 a year, and three years to spend the $14 million in state funds on park improvements.” – The Metroparks website
New waterfront green space
As a way to introduce the new and improved Edgewater Park Lakefront renovation to the community, every Thursday, from June 12th until August 14th the Metroparks is hosting “Edgewater Live”. From 5:30pm to 8:30pm their will be live music, food trucks and happy hour :)!
Check out the link above to find out more information on which bands and restaurants will be featured at this awesome event! So bring a blanket, lawn chair…friends and family and come out an enjoy Cleveland!
Happy Frrreeeee Hunting!