The shores of Lake Erie might be nice to look at, but for years the city’s beaches went unkempt, keeping potential beachgoers off the sandy shores. Then, last year the Cleveland Metroparks took over Edgewater Park on the city’s west side, and the park system is on track to take over management of nearby Whiskey Island too. Sound of Ideas intern Melissa Prax went out to Edgewater Park to see what’s changed.
These days, if you visit Edgewater park clean sand and well groomed grass can be found. Those looking to relax can hang out under umbrellas, and sports fans can opt to hit up some newly installed volleyball courts instead. Stephanie Poutz of Brunswick said that was not always the case.
“It was kind of like sketchy before, like I was afraid to go in the water, I wouldn’t have brought my dog here or anything because I’d be worried about what they’d get into,” said Poutz. “There was always trash around and it wasn’t really a family place.”
Poutz said today she can enjoy a clean park with her mom. Before the revamp, Poutz said the grossest thing she found was a half-eaten cheeseburger on the ground.
“Everybody’s really into like getting the Green-City-on-the- Blue- Lake right now,” said Poutz. “Everyone loves Cleveland, like we’re proud of where we’re from and a lot of volunteers I feel will be motivated to come out and help.”
Poutz already came with some friends from Baldwin Wallace to clean trash and check water safety levels.
“A lot of people hadn’t even known this place existed and we’re so close, so it’s kind of nice to get to know the area.”
For the many bikers, families, and even sea gulls, the makeover is even sweeter on a sunny day like this.
“If it can make a turn around and be as nice of a beach as it is now imagine what other beaches can do and parks, I feel like it is a sign that Cleveland is changing and cleaning itself up.”