Preservation of Former Padua/Camp Corde

Protect, Restore, Connect – West Creek, as of the end of 2020 completed the conservation of the former Padua Franciscan/Camp Corde/CYO property – a property this organization has been attempting to acquire for 15+ years – completing the puzzle that West Creek Preservation Committee at the time, originally came together for!

It is located directly adjacent to West Creek Reservation and the former Parmadale property, which was a Clean Ohio Round 10 acquisition.  The entrance to the property is located at the intersection (with a traffic light) of W. 29 and W. Ridgewood in the City of Parma. It is approximately 19 acres in size and contains 1900 LF of stream and 2.4 acres of forested wetland.  In 2006, this parcel was acquired by Padua Franciscan High School for the purposes of soccer/lacrosse.  Important to note about the property, beyond the ecological assets is the access amenities it will provide for the 18,700+ homes within 1 mile of the park and trail system. At the entrance of the property is a traffic light, access road, ample parking, and an enclosed pavilion which will be a publicly reservable space. The access drive provides direct access to West Creek Reservation and the trail that connects near Channel 55. Further, along the access road, there is a pre-constructed ramp and stair system that directly links to the former Parmadale campus; under demolition/restoration at the time of writing this application.  This project is a true blend of conservation, restoration and recreational connection. The nearly 19 acres will be added to the Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation, topping over 500 acres, with annual visitation peaking above 180,000 per year (and poised for continual growth, especially with more direct contact to the Watershed Stewardship Center). The access drive not only provides a much-needed pedestrian/bicycle friendly entrance to the park, but will additionally provide sustainable access for safety and maintenance personnel. The traffic light provides DIRECT safe access to the Park and trail system; the ramp/stair system DIRECTLY connects to Parmadale – an imperative connection and new amenity for residents and visitors. The enclosed pavilion is a turn-key park amenity and will be improved in partnership with the Cleveland Metroparks as a reservable space for educational and public events.

In addition to conservation and recreation, this site will undergo significant restoration, following acquisition. Approximately 800 LF of stream will be restored/modified, and major grading will occur to enable functional floodplain alleviation.  Upland and riparian areas will also be re-established, returning this area to pre-athletic field conditions. The restoration project will include the future re-alignment of a trail from the parking lot area to the pavilion as well. Working in concert with NEORSD, CMP, and the City, we are taking an approach that will turn a privately held asset into a public amenity, successfully synthesizing conservation, recreation, and ecological function (with the added bonus of direct park connectivity and Parmadale connectivity – with traffic light access, complete with parking). The parking lots were established pre-riparian/wetland set back ordinances, so in tandem with the stream/habitat restoration, we’ll remove over 14,000 SQ FT of parking lot, eliminating encroachment into the riparian area improving NPS loading and stormwater surcharge into the stream channel. Maintaining and improving the parking is imperative to provide additional access for park visitors; as the main lots at the Park are already commonly over-capacity. Thus we will utilize current assets versus building new or expanding comparatively.

View news article: West Creek Conservancy purchases Parma’s Padua Park

Support for this project has been provided by the Clean Ohio Greenspace Program, Cleveland Metroparks, and the James A Cox Foundation.