Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan 2009
Brooklyn’s Big Creek Trail Plan links Parkway with Zoo
In August of 2007 federal funding was granted for a trail plan seeking an alignment through the City of Brooklyn that connects Cleveland Metroparks’ Big Creek Reservation in Parma with Brookside Reservation in Cleveland. Friends of Big Creek joined Cleveland Metroparks and the cities of Brooklyn, Parma, and Cleveland as partners in the study, which was administered by the city of Brooklyn.
The $75,000 study was funded with a $60,000 Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) grant through the Northeast Ohio Coordinating Agency (NOACA) after the project partners provided the $15,000 local match. Through a competitive bidding process, the project partners chose the Floyd Browne Group as the consultant for the study.
Although the study area lies primarily within the City of Brooklyn, the Big Creek Greenway Trail and Neighborhood Connector Plan complements the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan in the City of Cleveland. The primary trail route is supported by a series of connecting trails to the residential and commercial neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s civic center.
Big Creek Valley contains the last vestige of unprotected natural area within Brooklyn and is well worth preserving. With an intact floodplain forest, a meandering stream, and dramatic shale cliffs, this section of valley offers an ideal route for connecting the two reservations that border it. The Plan identifies key natural and cultural features in the Brooklyn community and creates trail and greenway connections among them, while protecting valued greenspace.
It was 95 years ago that Cleveland Metroparks founder William Stinchcomb had a vision of conserving Big Creek's green corridor in Brooklyn. As a major first step, Friends of Big Creek and West Creek Conservancy (formerly West Creek Preservation Committee), an urban land conservancy, have protected a crucial 3-acre natural area noted in the Plan. Details...
The Plan calls for two routes that make the desired connection between the reservations: one that is within the Big Creek valley and the other that follows a power line corridor through adjacent neighborhoods. An advisory committee formed to be the primary decision maker for the Plan selected this two-pronged approach, recognizing the desirability of both routes and the flexibility that the two options provide.
Both routes, along with several of the connecting routes, require the cooperation of involved landowners, so an extensive public involvement process was incorporated into the planning effort. Public workshops, stakeholder interviews, and a series of advisory committee meetings ensured that a constructive dialogue was begun. Within the report the Plan identifies the landowners involved, recommends a conservation strategy for greenspace protection, provides a detailed cost opinion, and gives guidelines for construction and funding.
The Plan was accepted by the Brooklyn City Council April 13, 2009.