Jan 19, 2024 - News

Cleveland identifies top priorities for parks and rec master plan

Sign reading "Estabrook" outside Cleveland recreation center on sunny winter day.

Outside Estabrook rec center in Old Brooklyn. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

We're no Pawnee, Indiana, but Cleveland is gearing up to put parks and recreation in the spotlight.

Why it matters: Feedback from more than 500 residents in a newly released "community needs assessment" by landscape architecture firm Olin will steer the city's 15-year master plan, which Mayor Justin Bibb launched last year.

The latest: Olin will present the survey's results to Cleveland City Council's municipal services and properties committee on Monday at 9am.

What they found: Maintenance was respondents' top concern. Half said poor upkeep is a major barrier to their visiting city parks and rec centers.

  • 38% cited a "poor or uncomfortable atmosphere."
  • Only 23% said their local rec center is in "excellent" or "good" condition.

Yes, but: Respondents generally said parks are in better shape than rec centers.

No surprise here: In five of the city's seven geographic areas surveyed, a pool was voted as the most important indoor amenity.

  • Outdoors, respondents across town wanted versions of the same three things: paved multipurpose trails, unprogrammed green space and ... more pools.

Between the lines: Though most respondents said parks and rec programming is "excellent" or "good," 40% said the lack of communication and publicity is a barrier.

The intrigue: Bibb has proposed using some of the money from a massive new tax-increment-financing district downtown — the "Shore-to-Core-to-Shore" plan — toward parks and rec projects identified in the master plan.

🧐 What we're watching: Will funding for prized neighborhood rec centers be enough to entice council members to support Bibb's unprecedented financing proposal?


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