Friday, May 24, 2013

New harbor view platform installed on the beach at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park

Harbor view platform provides new access to the beach for those with mobility impairments.
A new harbor view platform awaits visitors to the beach at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park this season. The T-shaped beach-level wooden platform extends from the parking lot toward Lake Erie. Wooden benches are available at both ends of the platform for visitors to sit and enjoy the view of the harbor.

“This platform allows seniors and others with mobility impairments to get from the parking lot down to beach where they can see the sunset and lighthouse,” said Lake Metroparks Executive Director Paul Palagyi.

The idea for the harbor view platform came from a group of Metroparks staff members that analyzed all of the agency’s programs and properties to look for ways to increase accessibility to the parks for seniors and the mobility impaired. The beach-level platform is being built by Lake Metroparks employees.

 “We expect to have it done by Memorial Day,” Palagyi said.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lake Metroparks successfully releases rehabilitated American bald eagle to the wild

An American bald eagle was brought to the Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center by ODNR Division of Wildlife officer Scott Denamon April 1, 2013. The eagle was found in the Chagrin River at Pleasant Valley Park Willoughby Hills. The eagle’s injuries included soft tissue damage in the right wing. It also displayed a wing droop in the same wing.

Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center trained staff provided professional supportive care, physical therapy and exercise in flight cage. The eagle recently performed well during a recent creance (flight in field using tether), and the staff felt confident that his release would be successful.


Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center is currently caring for three American bald eagles, which underscores the success story of the improving numbers of this once Federally Endangered species.  The other injured bird has a broken wing and still recovering from surgery. 

The third bird is our permanent resident, Apollo, a juvenile eagle, not yet white in the head and tail, with a permanent wing injury He was hatched from a Lake County nest on private properly and is not able to be released due to his wing injury. Apollo is on display in the wildlife center yard at Penitentiary Glen Reservation daily.

Click to watch release of Bald Eagle on YouTube

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wildlife Center caring for orphaned bobcat

This cute 3-week-old bobcat is receiving care by
wildlife specialists at 
Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center.

On May 13, the Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (DOW) contacted the Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center to arrange care for this orphaned bobcat. It was found by the side of a road in Athens, Ohio (southeast of Columbus) not far from a dead female bobcat. DOW transported the baby bobcat to the Wildlife Center on May 14.

"That ODNR Division of Wildlife would choose to entrust care of this orphaned bobcat to Lake Metroparks demonstrates confidence in our Wildlife Center," notes Paul Palagyi, Lake Metroparks Executive Director. "This affirms the Center's excellent reputation and the high level of care that our professional, educated and experienced staff provides."

A local veterinarian performed a full physical exam on the animal and determined he was fairly healthy except for being slightly malnourished and needing treatment for parasites. Wildlife Center staff anticipate to remedy both conditions. The bobcat is fed formula every two hours for 16 hours a day and making steady improvement. Young bobcats can survive alone in the wild around six to nine months of age. The goal is to release the bobcat back into a suitable habitat as determined by the DOW sometime this fall.

The bobcat is a native, threatened species in Ohio, and is very rarely seen. For more bobcat facts from ODNR, click here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Park improvement project at Chagrin River Park

Parking lot at Reeves Road entrance to be paved.

The parking lot located at the Reeves Road entrance to Chagrin River Park will be paved beginning this week. Work will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7, and is scheduled to be completed Tuesday, May 14. There will be limited to no access to the park through the Reeves Road entrance throughout this project.  Dates this entrance is scheduled to be closed are Thursday, May 9, Friday, May 10, and Tuesday, May 14.

Chagrin River Park will remain open for visitation. Visitors may park and enter Chagrin River Park at one of the two other entrances.  These are located at 1000 Rural Drive (Eastlake) and 37699 Erie Road (Willoughby).  Each entrance offers trails that reach all destinations in the park including the picnic areas, shelter and playground located off the Reeves Road entrance. A picnic shelter and picnic areas are also available at the Rural Drive entrance.

Rural Drive entrance: Take Rt. 2 to Lost Nation Road and go north. Turn left onto Reeves Road; pass the Reeves Road entrance and follow to Rural Drive. Turn left and the entrance is located at the end of Rural Drive.
Erie Road entrance (From the east): Take Route 2 to the Lost Nation Road exit and go south to St. Clair Street (directly across from the east-bound Route 2/Lost Nation exit ramp). Follow the St. Clair Street detour south on Lost Nation Road to Erie Road. Turn right onto Erie Road. Chagrin River Park is located beyond the St. Clair Street intersection on the right.

Erie Road entrance (From the west): Take Route 2 to the Lost Nation Road exit. Follow the St. Clair Street detour south on Lost Nation Road to Erie Road. Turn right onto Erie Road. Chagrin River Park is located beyond the St. Clair Street intersection on the right.

For more information or to check access updates, visit or call 440-639-7275.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spend the night in the parks

Lake Metroparks introduces tent camping in five parks

In an effort to provide more opportunities to enjoy our parks, Lake Metroparks is expanding its camping opportunities to include tent camping so campers may experience unique natural features and the great outdoors. Staff created sites to highlight different natural resources, thus providing a variety of camping experiences.

These new opportunities offer a “primitive” experience for small groups of up to eight people staying in tents. Campers must hike about ¼-mile to more than a mile or paddle to the campsites. 

Each location is different, and there is only one campsite per park to provide a quiet, intimate natural experience—much different than crowded campgrounds. There is a lakeside site on Hidden Lake, a site high on the bluffs over the Grand River, a creekside site along Big Creek and two different riverside sites along the Grand River.

The paddle-in sites may require a 3- to 8-mile paddle by canoe or kayak to reach the campsite. The idea is to paddle a stretch of the Grand River  spend the night under the stars and then paddle another stretch the next day. Imagine paddling 27 miles and spending two nights on the wild and scenic Grand River  That is now possible in your Lake Metroparks.

Each site has a designated area to pitch a tent, a place to build a fire, a grill and a picnic table. The sites do not have restrooms, running water or trash cans. Campers are expected to practice a “leave no trace” camping ethic including carrying in and carrying out all supplies and trash, with the goal of leaving the area better than it was found. 

Sites are available from May 1 until October 31 and subject to temporary closure due to high water or extremely wet conditions.

Click here for a list of campsite locations, reservation procedure and the rules and regulations for tent camping in Lake Metroparks.