CVNP

kayakers in the Cuyahoga River
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Heavy rain this spring pushed local waterways to higher-than normal levels, and listener Patrick Pierquet from Wooster asks “OH Really?” how that could affect wildlife.

photo of Lake Erie tugboat
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Over the past 50 years, freight traffic on the lower Cuyahoga River has increasingly competed with smaller watercraft as the river has rebounded to become a recreation channel. Watershed is a series looking at our waterways and what the future holds for them. This installment looks at one river, competing interests.

photo of Cuyahoga River
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Fifty years ago, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. It wasn’t the first time this had happened. And it really didn’t become a big deal nationally until more than a month later when Time magazine ran an article on the fire.

Fifty years later, the river has rebounded. Watershed is a series from WKSU News looking at our waterways and what the future holds for them. In our opening story, we take a look at the current state of “the burning river.”

photo of Meg Plona, Gary Whidden
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the final Cuyahoga River fire came to the Brecksville Dam Friday as part of the X-tinguish Torch Fest.

“We have gathered to celebrate the river, and the river is rising to celebrate the occasion, right?” Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel asked.

A photo of Brecksville Dam
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Officials at Cuyahoga Valley National Park are preparing for this week’s 50th anniversary of the final Cuyahoga River fire.

The “X-tinguish Torch Fest” will symbolically bring a torch down the river on Friday.

The national park’s Maureen Finnerty says they’ve been working for several years on ways to focus people on the rebirth of the Cuyahoga since 1969.  And that includes having the river designated by the state as a Water Trail.

a photo of Cuyahoga Valley National Park sign
WKSU

A new study shows that Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) brought in more than two million visitors who spent more than $36 million locally last year. The CVNP’s community engagement supervisor, Pam Barnes, said national parks bring in $10 of local spending for every one dollar spent on the parks. She said she hopes to see more people take an interest in visiting national parks like Cuyahoga Valley.

“We like to feature this park. It’s a way to introduce the idea of national parks and as a gateway to national parks across the country.”

photo of Pamela Barnes
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is hosting Junior Ranger Day on Saturday to cap off National Park Week.

The event runs from noon until 2 and will offer activities for youth from 4 to 12 years old. Junior Rangers will be “sworn-in” at 1 p.m. and be given a badge for participating.

Pamela Barnes, community engagement supervisor with the parks, says it’s a way to engage young people in the nation’s parks.

photo of CVNP graffiti
CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is thanking the public for helping to successfully identify suspects who vandalized property in the park.

photo of Smokey the Bear
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Northeast Ohio has not one, not two, but three park systems that comprise about 70,000 acres of land – and almost 10 times that is protected throughout the state.

Listeners have asked our "OH Really?" project how these parks got started. WKSU’s Sarah Taylor and Kabir Bhatia answer some of their questions.

photo of First Ladies National Historic Site
FIRST LADIES NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

The National Park Service is expanding its presence at the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton. The site had been closed during the government shutdown but will reopen on Friday.

The federal government has been partially shut down for almost a week, but not all agencies and services in Ohio are equally affected.

Eligible households will still receive cash and food benefits for January, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said. The department administers both federal programs, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

WKSU

The partial government shutdown is already having an impact on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park – even though parts of the park are still open.

There are currently no rangers in the parks. 

JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

A large-scale volunteer program at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is turning 25 this year.

The Trailblazers program started in 1993, with the opening of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Participants work in pairs patrolling 110 miles of trail in the national park and assisting visitors with everything from flat tires to basic first aid.

photo of cyclists
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

About 100 people participated in the Akron Ride of Silence last night, one of hundreds of similar events happening around the world to honor cyclists killed on public roadways.

The sound of spokes was the only noise during the low-speed, 7-mile route that wound through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

photo of Boston Store CVNP
TOM JONES / CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is showing off plans for its $5.9 million visitor center tonight, and they’re looking for citizen input.

The new visitors’ center will be at the corner of Riverview and Boston Mills Roads in Boston Village.

The Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is leading the fundraising for the project, and has also coordinated the design process.

photo of shipping containers
AKRON SOUL TRAIN

Applications open today for a unique artists’ residency in Akron that takes place this summer.

photo of farmer's market
LAURA FONG / WKSU

The Countryside Conservancy has a new executive director. Tracy Emrick has been the acting director since last fall, when she took over from founder Darwin Kelsey. He passed away last December. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia caught up with Emrick over coffee. He asked her about her friend and mentor and what challenges she sees for urban farming in Northeast Ohio.

JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to open up federal lands for more oil and gas drilling. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on how that might affect the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

photo of Darwin Kelsey
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Hundreds of people gathered at Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula Saturday to pay their respects to Darwin Kelsey, founding director of Countryside Conservancy.

A lone violinist played “Ave Maria” at the memorial for Kelsey, one of the few somber moments in what was really a celebration life.

photo of Happy Days Lodge
MARK URYCKI / WKSU

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is trying to find anyone who attended a camp for Akron school children that closed nearly 70 years ago. Happy Days Lodge is now an event space and rental facility in Virginia Kendall area of the national park.

But when it was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it was a camp for children from the Akron Public Schools. Now, the National Park Service is collecting oral histories from people who attended the camp.

photo of Harold Miller
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The National Park Service officially turns 100 years old today. It includes Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is much younger: was established as a national recreation area in 1974 and elevated to  park status in 2000.

WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia recently took a time trip with one of the park’s roving historians to examine the valley’s past.

photo of Smokey the Bear
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Cuyahoga Valley National Park celebrated the National Park Service’s 100th birthday over the weekend. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, officials have some ideas about how to help the park thrive for another century.

Thousands of people enjoyed music, kayaking and face painting at Howe Meadow in Peninsula on Sunday. It’s part of what started as the Cuyahoga Valley Recreation Area in 1974 and was designated a national park in 2000.

photo of solar powered cars
AMERICAN SOLAR CHALLENGE

An eight-day, solar-powered road rally kicks off this week in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The American Solar Challenge takes place every two years, and features solar-powered cars built by college students.  This year’s event will hit nine national parks in celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park spokeswoman Jennie Vasarhelyi says the event is a perfect fit given the park's focus on sustainability and climate change.

photo of CVNP
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is hosting its first “Bio-Blitz” starting tomorrow at noon.

The 24-hour BioBlitz is being led by 70 scientists who will do everything from counting and cataloging the fish in Indigo Lake to identifying the types of spiders at Virginia Kendall Ledges.

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