All In For Cleveland Metroparks Issue 5
Reasons to Vote for Cleveland Metroparks Issue 5 this November 8
Over the last decade, Cleveland Metroparks has become more and more important for our region. The acquisition and transformation of the lakefront parks have turned Cleveland’s lakefront into a regional destination. New park land and the addition of more than 50 miles of trails –including right in our backyard at West Creek Reservation – have connected more communities to park space than ever before. And the pandemic underscored the importance of our parks as a place to seek respite and connect with nature and each other, resulting in the highest park visitation on record.
Now, after nine years with no increase, Cleveland Metroparks has a 2.7 mill replacement levy on the November ballot to protect our important community asset. The ballot issue does not change the millage rate but updates it to current property valuations. This ballot issue (Issue 5 in Cuyahoga County and Issue 10 in Hinckley Township) will add about $2 a month per one hundred thousand dollars of property value. Issue 5 in Cuyahoga County and Issue 10 in Hinckley Township account for over 60% of Cleveland Metroparks annual budget.
Parks are important
Cleveland Metroparks protects and stewards nearly 25,000 acres across 18 park reservations. These parks are essential to every community in our region – offering us places to learn, explore and connect with each other and the outdoors. The Park District offers more than 5,000 free programs each year where we can be immersed in the wonders of nature. Each year, Cleveland Metroparks and Zoo draw more than 19 million visits – more than every major sports team, museum and major attraction in our region combined.
And while these parks are great for us, they’re vital for the environment. Our “Emerald Necklace” protects woodlands and wetlands and improves our region’s air and water quality as well as wildlife habitats. Issue 5 ensures that the Park District’s 105 years of environmental protection continues.
Cleveland Metroparks makes the most of our support
Issue 5 is Cleveland Metroparks’ only levy, the only local public funding, and it provides over 60% of the budget each year. In 2021, Cleveland Metroparks was recognized as the “Best in Nation” in Parks and Recreation Management. They are a point of pride for our region and are nationally recognized for their work in innovation, social equity, as well as financial management, with over 25 years of spotless audits.
Our support of Issue 5 will have a major impact on our region and future, and sound management has worked to transform every taxpayer dollar into four times the investment for our region. Over the last several years, 75% of new park land was funded through external partnerships, major grant awards, and philanthropic support which have brought transformative new amenities to our great park system.
Also simply said, parks are important and are good for the economy. According to a study by The Trust for Public Land, Cleveland Metroparks collectively contributes $873 million in economic value to the region’s economy by enhancing property values, reducing stormwater runoff, filtering pollutants from the air, attracting visitors, providing recreational opportunities for residents, contributing to the multimodal transportation network, improving community health, and boosting economic development.
There’s too much to lose
Despite broad approval and support of Cleveland Metroparks over recent years, there’s simply too much to lose if Issue 5 does not get the votes it needs to pass. This is Cleveland Metroparks only levy and–simply put–without public support, the award-winning Cleveland Metroparks will not exist in the way it does today and would face devastating cuts and reductions in services.
Representing over 60% of the annual budget, Issue 5 is an absolute necessity to continue:
- Maintaining and enhancing high quality parks, offering hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, water sports, winter sports, golfing, and other outdoor recreation.
- Programs that educate thousands of students, families, seniors, and local groups about our environment.
- Exceptionally maintained hiking and all-purpose trails, bridges and parkways, picnic areas, and facilities that so many of us use.
- Safe parks and zoo, with well-trained police officers and sound infrastructure.
- Enhanced access to parks and recreational resources for residents across Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township.
I urge you to vote for Issue 5 on or before November 8 and continue to protect our Emerald Necklace!
West Creek Conservancy
West Creek Conservancy is a non-profit organization known for protecting natural areas, restoring streams and wildlife habitat, and establishing trails and greenways in Greater Cleveland. We have conserved thousands of acres of local green space and natural parkland, and one of our signature projects led to the creation of Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation in Parma. Our staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, partners, and supporters work together towards our mission ~ to enrich the lives of all people in Northeast Ohio by conserving natural habitats, restoring the ecological value of our region’s lands and waters, and expanding opportunities to connect people from all cultures to experience nature and discover our great outdoors.