City wants input from community to plan future of parks and recreation in Cleveland

Four open houses are scheduled for July 26, 27 and 29


The Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects (MOCAP) is in the first phase of planning the future of parks and recreation in the city of Cleveland, and wants input from residents. With that, a series of open houses scheduled for July 26, 27 and 29, on both the west and east sides of town, are part of a robust community needs assessment. 

  • Wednesday, July 26 at Gunning Park Recreation Center, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, July 27 at Zelma Watson George Recreation Center, 12-2pm
  • Thursday, July 27 at Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center, 6-8pm
  • Saturday, July 29 at South Branch Public Library, 10-12pm

The City seeks a diverse range of participation to ensure residents’ voices are heard and translated in the plans. 

“This plan will provide a playbook for the City to follow over the coming decade,” said OLIN CEO Lucinda Sanders. “For that playbook to be responsive to the needs of Clevelanders, we are hosting these open houses as one way to hear directly from residents what they would like parks and recreation in the City to look like in the future.”    

The open houses are being organized by OLIN, the Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm selected to guide the planning process, along with local community partners including ThirdSpace Action Lab, Neighborhood Connections, designExplorr, OHM Advisors, and others. Two pop-ups engagements will be held, as well, during Wade Oval Wednesday on July 26 at 5:30pm and at Public Square July 28 at noon.

The first of its kind in the city’s history, this multi-phased planning process will look at the city’s Neighborhood Resource and Recreation Centers (NRRCs), parks, pools, playgrounds and similar spaces across the city as well as the quantity and the quality of programs provided.

The City of Cleveland currently operates 179 unique parks and recreation sites, including 155 city parks, 23 recreation centers, and 1 golf course that total nearly 1,760  acres. These sites include 111 baseball fields, 108 playgrounds, 88 basketball courts, 70 tennis courts, 40 indoor or outdoor swimming pools, and hundreds of other public amenities and programs.  

Led by MOCAP, the 15-year master plan will create a roadmap that ensures just and fair capital investment in parks and recreation, provides equitable connections to quality parks and recreation activities while meeting the needs of city residents, community groups, and other stakeholders.    

“This is an incredible opportunity to revitalize public spaces in every neighborhood across our city,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “This plan is all about access and equity, removing barriers, building community, and creating places and experiences that enrich peoples’ lives.”    

The three-phase planning process is expected to take 18 months to complete. The goal of the first phase is to identify the current and future parks and recreation needs of Clevelanders, community groups, and stakeholders over the next 15 years. The second phase is the creation of a long-range plan that will reconcile existing conditions with the community needs assessment. The third phase entails a strategic plan outlining the best methods to finance and implement the long-range plan.  

To learn more about the project visit



The mission of MOCAP is to provide for the planning, designing, construction, and preservation of the City of Cleveland’s facilities and infrastructure through collaborative and comprehensive planning, leadership in management, excellence in sustainable design and technical expertise, and quality construction based on integrity and professionalism. The office oversees the Division of Architecture and Site Development, the division of Engineering and Construction, and The Division of Real Estate. 


OLIN is a nationally and internationally recognized landscape architecture, urban design, and planning studio with more than 40 years of experience in parks and recreation system planning and designing for the public realm. OLIN projects include a 25-year master plan to transform the post-industrial land along Philadelphia’s Delaware River, the campus and gardens at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, the award-winning 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., and the parks master plan for Fort Collins. OLIN is also the team behind the Eastman Reading Garden at the Cleveland Public Library and the plaza and greenspace surrounding the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building. More about OLIN and the studio’s work can be found at

Leave a Reply