Dear Conservancy supporters,
I hope you’re having a great start to the new year! 2018 was a busy one for the Conservancy. A few highlights:
- Raised $7 million for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s new Boston Mill Visitor Center, opening fall of 2019.
- Welcomed about 10,000 youth to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center.
- Connected 9,000 music-lovers with concerts at iconic Cuyahoga Valley National Park venues.
- Planted 2,000 native trees with 500 volunteers who donated over 2,000 combined hours.
- Welcomed 60,000 visitors to Trail Mix retail stores for park information, snacks, gifts, and more.
- Celebrated 115 wedding in historic park spaces.
As busy as it was, our staff, board and committee leaders are even more enthused about what is ahead of us in 2019. In addition to our usual operational work in the park and ongoing fundraising for park activities and projects, we will be celebrating:
- The 50th anniversary of the last burning of the Cuyahoga River. We will join with other community partners in special activities this year to honor the restoration of the river and of NE Ohio. Cuyahoga Valley National Park protects 20 miles of the river and we recognize the important role the park plays in protecting the watershed. We support the potential designation of the Cuyahoga River as a Water Trail and will be offering a variety of events to promote the river as a critical natural resource in our region.
- The 25th anniversary of the opening of Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center (CVEEC). A generation of children, over 75,000 of them, have participated in the center’s signature residential program. For 25 years children have tested the quality of the Cuyahoga River and learned about river and watershed protection. For many young people, this is the only national park they visited in their childhood and they learned an environmental ethic and a love for nature, while enjoying the fun experiences of singing around a campfire and hiking in the woods at night. CVEEC also has been a first job experience for hundreds of young adults who have gone on to careers in teaching, being an NPS ranger, or program administrators.
- The opening of the Boston Mill Visitor Center. Next fall will mark one of the most exciting changes in CVNP’s history: the opening of a central, easy-to-find visitor center. Local residents as well as out-of-state visitors will find interesting stories and helpful exhibits that will assist them in having a rich visit to our national park. Thanks to local supporters, we will have a state-of-the-art visitor center in an historic building.
All of this will occur alongside significant growth in our ability to reach new people with park experiences with our diversity initiative, our ongoing development of new programs, and efforts alongside our NPS colleagues to create improved services for visitors and strengthen resource protection in the Boston area of the park. We look forward to a busy and exciting year. Thanks for being part of our growth and the success of the park.
Deb Yandala, CEO