Lake Metroparks has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation for the construction of an observation tower at the agency's newest park -- Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township.
The new park provides visitors with access to almost two miles of undeveloped Lake Erie shoreline through two access points off of Lane Road and Clark Road.
"The Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation values its long-standing partnership with Lake Metroparks," said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.
"This is the second centennial grant made by the Lake-Geauga Fund in recognition of our upcoming 100-year milestone in 2014. We are pleased to support all efforts that celebrate and preserve the unmatched natural resources and beauty of this region for future generations." Construction of the observation tower is scheduled to begin next spring. Total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200,000 to $250,000.
"Thanks to the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation, the addition of this 50-foot coastal observation tower will serve as a cornerstone of this amazing 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs Park," said Paul Palagyi, executive director of Lake Metroparks.
"This tower will give visitors an impressive panoramic view of Lake Erie, the shoreline and the landscape of central Lake County."
"The 50-foot observation tower will be situated overlooking the lakeshore with multiple viewing platforms along a staircase that will culminate in a deck featuring 360-degree views."
"The height and location of the tower will provide visitors with a unique view of the lake and the surrounding woods, fields and wetlands along with the associated wide-range of wildlife -- particularly the large number of bald eagles that are regularly seen at the park."
"The south shore of Lake Erie is known worldwide as an important corridor for bird migration. As songbirds migrate north in spring and south in fall, large concentrations of birds can be witnessed migrating around the smallest of the Great Lakes, sticking close to the shoreline."
"The view of the lake and this amazing park is about to be raised to new heights," said Frank Polivka, president of the Lake Metroparks' Board of Park Commissioners. "Thanks in large part to the grant from the Cleveland Foundation, visitors to the park will have an amazing view our greatest natural resource - Lake Erie."