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From Trash to Treasure: Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve


June 07, 2022

The GC of Cleveland Helps Restore a Natural Habitat

In the late 1970s until 1999, an area on the Lake Erie shoreline Ohio, originally named 'Dike 14', was a repository for dredging material from the Cuyahoga River, creating eighty eight acres along the shoreline just east of the city. Over time, nature took over and the area became recognized as an important migration stop along Lake Erie. In 2004, it was named an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society for the sighting of over 290 species currently recorded. 

In 2012, The Garden Club of Cleveland (GCC), along with several area environmental education organizations, formed a collaborative and worked with the Port of Cleveland to open the property to the public, naming it the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (CLNP). Today, GCC continues to help restore native plants and natural habitat to the Overlook at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, owned and managed by The Cleveland – Cuyahoga County Port Authority. The CLNP attracts over 25,000 visitors a year with visits increasing during COVID, as people recognized the importance of green space for health.  

Funds from The Garden Club of America’s Partners for Plants, along with generous donations from GCC members have gone toward this ongoing restoration. After three years of planning, fifteen club members recently spent a day in May planting over 350 native plugs at a site restored from poor soil, invasive plants and erosion. With the approval of the city of Cleveland and the assistance of the Davey Resource Group, the group planted Common Milkweed, Bee Balm, Columbine, Sideoats Grama plus eight other varieties of native plants that will attract and feed the many types of butterflies and birds that visit the Lake Erie shoreline. The GCC has contracted with Davey for several watering dates if needed. Members will continue to visit the area over the summer to weed and care for the plants. The club is happy to be a part of this “connecting people to the lake” effort to restore the shoreline of Lake Erie. 





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