The President's Corner
One positive result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that I get to spend a lot more time with the people I care about most – my wife, Deena, and my children, Colleen and Patrick. Colleen is about to graduate from the University of Akron in hopes of becoming a high school English teacher. So, I invited her to collaborate with me on this month’s column. We decided to write about things to do in Parma during pandemic. Colleen’s suggestions center around what to do inside the house, while my focus is getting outside, as you will see below.
When the pandemic started, I knew that if I did not form a list of activities to do at home, I could fall into extreme laziness or deep boredom. I love keeping busy, and always having something to do. With that being said, here are activities I suggest during this time.
We have to eat, right? I love baking and cooking. I have made homemade baked mac ‘n cheese, my dad and I made lemon bread and brownies together, and I was able to perfect some chicken, beef, and veggie dishes. A suggestion I have is find an old cookbook, or buy a new one, flip to a random page, and make that recipe! I want to try making macaroons next.
Tired of having normal Facetime or Zoom calls? Have a Zoom party with friends! A person who has an account with a school can get unlimited time on Zoom. Or, you can just have multiple 40 minute meetings, or use Google Meet with Google accounts. Maybe make it a themed party or call. You can even play virtual cards while Zooming using this link: http://playingcards.io. You can also share your screen and watch a movie with friends. It is time to spice these virtual calls up!
Other activities during this time can include starting a book club online by using Zoom or Google Meet, learning how to start a blog, or watching a new show on Netflix, HULU, Disney+, or another streaming site. I recommend "The Good Place" and "All American." I am currently watching "Survivor" on HULU and "The Designated Survivor" on Netflix. You could also learn a new language on Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, find that dusty instrument in your house and learn to play it again (or for the first time), buy a new video game, scrapbook, journal, or start finding new ways to write, paint, or play board games or work puzzles with the family. In short, use the extra free time during the pandemic to learn something new!
If you read my column regularly, you know I enjoy the outdoors, especially being a runner. Therefore, I highly suggest getting outside and visiting my favorite Parma parks. My top pick is the West Creek Reservation located on West Ridgewood Drive near Broadview Road. If you have not been here, you are missing out on one of Parma’s true gems. There are so many beautiful trails that can fit anyone’s mobility levels with plenty of room to socially distance. I highly suggest the scenic overlook, where, on a clear day, you can see a majestic view of the Cleveland skyline. On a warm day you will see many birds, frogs, turtles, and a plethora of other indigenous wildlife and vegetation.
Next, visit Veteran’s Memorial Park, formerly State Road Park, located between West 54th Street and State Road, just north of West Ridgewood Drive. Take a stroll around the lake, a walk or run along the paved paths, play disc golf, work out at the fitness stations, play a board game with a loved one, or just sit and enjoy people watching.
I also enjoy running and walking through Big Creek Reservation located in northwest Parma off of Snow Road. Here you can walk along the creek or stroll along the paved path that will take you into our sister-city Parma Heights to the south. This is where my wife and I enjoy taking our bikes for short and long trips. North will take you to Brookpark Road, while south will take you to Middleburg Heights and beyond via the other interconnected paved paths.
Finally, I enjoy Mayor James Day Park, formerly Nike Park, on West Pleasant Valley Road near Cuyahoga Community College’s western campus. A beautiful sprawling park, I suggest a brisk walk that includes entering the college property. In fact, see if you can make out the three Cs in the lakes on the western side of campus. There are also some fascinating memorial markers over there. You can also snap a picture with a friend, family member, or pet next to the fountain to capture a fond memory.
We hope that you enjoyed our column this month and pray that you are your family stay healthy, positive, and safe.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan