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Environment


Sediment dumping ground opens as a nature preserve
Dike 14 opened today as the Cleveland Lakefront Natural Preserve
by WKSU's VALERIE BROWN


Reporter
Valerie Brown
 

A former dumping site for sediment dredged from Lake Erie is open today as a wildlife habitat.

Dike 14, now called the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is an 88-acre patch of land east of Cleveland. The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority took over the property and has been working for several years to allow visitors to use the site as a wildlife retreat.

Harvey Webster is with Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He says he hopes area schools will use the new preserve as a “land lab” for science classes. He says the park may also bring some additional income into the city from what he calls an eclectic group of consumers.

Director Harvey Webster talks about birders

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Webster: “We call them birders—or birdwatchers. If you have a place where bird congregate, then they will go there. They will go there to see the large number of birds. They’ll go there to see concentration of birds that might have rare birds. And if they go there, they will probably be looking for a place to grab a meal. Maybe they’ll hit some of the other cultural attractions. Maybe they’ll demand some other services which they’ll find in the city of Cleveland.”

Webster says now the port authority needs to come up with a plan to maintain the balance of the ecosystem so some plants don’t take over.

He says the agency may also consider partnering with another agency to manage the park in the future.

Listener Comments:

Dear Ms Brown, I was at contentious hearings years ago where the Port Authority was trying to open up Dike 14 to dredging. It wanted no part of public access. If you want the real heroes of the story you need to talk to Barbara Martin, a citizen who fought and pushed and publicized to make the Port Authority see the public wanted the Nature Preserve. I don't have her phone number handy, but I can get it for you. Thanks, Rosemary


Posted by: Rosemary Woodruff (Cleveland) on February 7, 2012 8:02AM
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