Zone Recreation Center plans revealed

(Plain Press, August 2005) The EcoVillage website reports that, after nearly three years of planning and four public meetings, a draft green space plan for Zone Recreation Center is complete.

A partnership between neighborhood residents, Cleveland EcoVillage and the City of Cleveland Department of Parks and Recreation grew out of the first planning meeting at Zone Recreation Center on September 21, 2002.

The plan that has resulted from the public planning effort offers more green space and fewer parking spaces. It makes more use of the area in front of the building and adds a number of green building features and alternative uses to the site. The plan also calls for a number of new features while moving around existing recreational uses.

The basketball courts are moved to W. 65th Street right where it meets Lorain. Between the new basketball courts and the building is a splash park for children.  Small shrubs camouflage the splash park, the basketball courts and the building. There are 47 parking spaces along Lorain Avenue in front of the building and 62 spaces, as well as a drop off area, in the rear of the building. However, the rear parking lot is substantially reduced in size allowing for the additions of two tennis courts surrounded by shrubs and a soccer/football field with a small set of bleachers.

East of the building set back from Lorain Avenue is a skate park. Directly behind the skate park is a play area with swings, a tot lot and rock climbing. The area also features seating walls, a pavilion , benches, a concession stand and restrooms.

Next to the skate park is a new street/walkway called Alum Court. Where Alum Court meets Lorain Avenue is an enhanced crossing area marking Lorain Avenue where pedestrians can cross Lorain Avenue to get to the rapid or a bus at the new Eco Village Rapid Station at W. 61st Street.

The area east of Alum Court is called a transit-waiting environment. The area features an edible landscape garden plots, fruit trees, and berry bushes. Behind the area on the east side of the recreation center building is a rain garden, which presumably makes use of rain from the roof of the building.

Directly behind the edible landscape and the play area, and just to the east of the football/soccer field, two baseball fields are planned. To the east of the baseball fields lies a natural area where native plants and animals will be encouraged. The area abuts W. 53rd street and the RTA tracks on the east.

Throughout the 25-acre grounds are multi purpose trails. They weave in and out of each of the passive recreational areas and traverse the edges of the sports fields and facilities.

In March of 2005 McKnight & Associates, Davey Resources and artist Stephen Manka were chosen to help create a park design.  Details of the plan, a map and resident comments from the public meetings are available at the Eco City Website at or more directly at

The plan can also be viewed at Ward 17 Councilman Matt Zone’s new office at 6501 Detroit Avenue in the former Zone Travel office. For office hours call 664-3837. The office plans a grand opening on Sunday August 7th.  For more information call 939-1717.


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