Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Rivers Roads and Rails: West Creek and Cuyahoga River
77 total

Rose Mary Snell Interview, 2008

With family connections dating back to Schaffee Rd. and the Cuyahoga Valley since the 19th century, Rose Mary Snell discusses the Council mission to act as a liason between residents, the park, and civil governments. Important to Snell is the cooperation between Summit and Cuyahoga Counties for regional water and park management. She also discusses her desire to see land purchases of the National Park, Metroparks, and Sagamore Hills.

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Jeff Bennett Interview, 2008

Jeff Bennett, a middle school teacher, purchased a Victorian house in Zoar in 1992 and has been active as a Zoar trustee since the early 1990s. He discusses the town hall restoration, preservation, tours, and educational programming at Zoar, and his thoughts on living in Zoar.

Tim DeGeeter Interview, 2008

A former Parma Law Clerk with an educational background in Cleveland, Tim DeGeeter discusses the political and legal effort to see the goals of the West Creek project become a reality. Believing that greenspace and parks are areas that communities grow around, DeGeeter's use of the ballot to increase efforts and citizen's awareness are vital to the success of the West Creek project.

Laura McShane Interview, 2008

A librarian and board member of the WCPC, Laura McShane discusses the grant writing process, watershed projects, maping program, and citizen support of the work of the organization. As a librarian and researcher, McShane provides some historical background of the area while emphasizing the role of the project in community building. McShane attempts to make clear the role of environmental conservation in preserving communities, linking sprawl with environmental hazards.

Scott Curtis Interview, 2008

Scott Curtis discusses his past work as a councilman and member of the WCPC. Issues discussed include the opening of trails and projects in Seven Hills, Hinkley, Pleasant Valley, and work with ODOT. Curtis also highlights his transition into the legal profession and the impact and influence of preservation and conservation in Cleveland on his career.

George Hoy Interview, 2008

The owner and operator of the Inn at Brandywine Falls, George Hoy relates the history of the structure. He also discusses the participation of the family in the preservation of the house, his self publication, and uses of the inn. A member of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, Hoy articulates his participation in the sponsoring of an acre of park land as well as extensive reflections on the "Penninsula Python."

Ron Schadrach Interview, 2008

A self-described "active observer," Ron Schadrach discusses his unique role in the identification of areas for preservation. Schadrach speaks about the involvement of local boy scouts and the paradoxical struggle to utilize education effectively. While the boy scouts proved helpful, Schadrach emphasizes the lack of teacher support in the creation of a learning facility in West Creek. In a related issue, Schadrach also highlights the dissatisfaction of many citizens of Parma in the wake of the…

Jim Kastelic Interview 2 of 2, June 2008

Educated in urban geography and a former employee of the Cuyahoga County Regional Planning Commission, Jim Kastelic details his array of experience with West Creek preservation. Kastelic details the challenges of convincing a suburban community of the benefits of green space and the significance of preservation and restoration in general. Kastelic notes the positive impact that the West Creek Preservation Committee has had on the residents of Parma and the influence that he believes will…

Charles Germana Interview, 2008

Charles Germana, President of Parma's City Council, discusses the issues surrounding the city and the impact of the West Creek Project. Discussed at length are issues of population density and overdevelopment. The issue of the use of land in Parma is described as a "synergy" of influences. Ultimately, the councilman discusses the impact of West Creek on a specific issue of land in Parma to be used as a park and to combat issues of population and the density of retail in a suburban community.

Walter Allen Interview, 2008

Walter Allen, an artist and active participant in West Creek preservation, details his life and work as a designer for the organization. Born in the 1920s, Allen's story highlights not only his work with West Creek and carreer as an artist, it highlights the historical impact of national events on the city of Cleveland. Allen, a product of the GI bill and graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, details this and other elements of history in relation to the greater Cleveland area.

Dean DePiero Interview, 24 June, 2008

The mayor of Parma, Dean Depiero discusses his political effort in concert with the West Creek conservation project and the impact of the environmental efforts on his community. From a political perspective, the mayor focuses much of the interview on the process by which he and local constituents came to support the efforts of conservationists and the impact the project has had on Parma's economic, environmental, and social landscape.

Rhonda Russell Interview, 2008

Rhonda Russell discusses her ownership of the Downtown Emporium since 1970 and her organization's effor to advocate for parks in the city of Cleveland. Russell emphasizes the importance of improving and maintaining parks in a market economy, as well as the park's unique connection to the Ohio Valley. Russell believes that the use of this natural resource can thrive alongside the economic interests of others. Her conviction then facilitates a greater appreciation for park funding, of which she…

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Fred Miller Interview, 2008

Fred Miller is the principal of Boliver Elementary School and president of Tuscarawas Valley Historical Society. In this interview, Miller discusses the impact of Sandy Beaver Canal and I-77 on Tuscarawas County; the use of two aqueducts in Bolivar; and the involvement of the historical society. He describes the impact of the new Towpath bridge and discusses changes to the Towpath landscape, especially the Stark County Dump.

Pat Holland Interview, 2008

As a railroad breakerman since 1978, Pat Holland discusses his goal in connecting downtown Cleveland with the Midwest Railway. The interview discusses the loss of records due to fire, restoration, and historical preservation of the railway. Holland also discusses the fundraising and economic challenges that have impacted the RR in Cleveland.

Jack Gieck Interview, 2008

Current President of the Board of Cascade Locks Association discusses the beginnings of Cascade Park in the 1980's. Fundraising and committee efforts, and membership growth. Highlights Mustill store, rehabbing, and historical choices made around canal. Ideas for current and future development projects are listed. School, local business, and community involvement are vital to success. Efforts to bring people to park. Discusses fundraising efforts and how project has changed since he began. Park…

David Lincheck Interview, 2008

Dave Lincheck, Director and co-founder of the West Creek Preserve and Greenway discusses his grassroots fight to preserve the greenspace of Cleveland from commercial developments that undermine living space. Projects include the wetland restoration project and the conservation of physical landscapes in Cleveland's west side. Lincheck believes that conservation projects increase the livability of the city, underlying issues such as urban sprawl and the development of rural areas that may have…

Jen Maurer Interview, 2008

Cascade Locks Association director Jen Maurer explains the strategic plan to preserve and rehabilitate the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She argues that the historical benefits for the public outweigh disagreements over the park. Maurer discusses the Mustill house and store and how Virginia Wojno-Forney was the visionary for its successful restoration.

Barbara Hermes Interview, 2008

A Parma resient since the late 1960s, Barbara Hermes reflects on the organization of citzens around the preservation of West Creek and the improvements of watersheds for the purpose of creating a towpath. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Hermes talks at length about funding and political issues and debates surrounding this and other conservation projects. The interviewee also comments on the role of the committee in educating future children about the environmental significance of WCPC and…

Darwin Kelsey Interview, 2008

Darwin Kelsey discusses the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Initiative, a nonprofit founded in 1999 to rehabilitate local farms within the park. A former employee of Sturbridge Farm, a living history site, Kelsey discusses working in the research department and how a background in historic preservation and living history facilitated future endeavors such as the CVCI. Kelsey discusses in detail the necessity of agricultural and farm preservation and how increased awareness of farm advocacy can have…

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John and Diane Palivoda Interview, 19 June 2008

Long time citizens of the community, Diane and John Palivoda talk about their role in facilitating community organization around the West Creek project. Discussion topics include childhood memories of nature and the surrounding area, the generational divide on issues pertaining to the environment, and the economic and social impact of the West Creek conservation project.

Dan Rice Interview, 2008

Dan Rice, Curator at the Summit County Historical Society, discusses his role promoting the Ohio and Erie Canalway project and working with developers seeking to mesh their projects with the canal. Rice discusses the roles of congressmen John Seiberling and Ralph Regula in building public support for the Canalway initiative. He also discusses the use of the canal in educational programming and efforts to teach about sustainability. Throughout the interview, Rice emphasizes his faith in the…

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Sue Zurovchack Interview, 2008

This interview focuses on the origins of the West Creek conservation projects as well as the collaborations between citizenry and government. Particularly focusing on community organization and activism, the interview emphasizes the significance of a public understanding of issues pertaining to environmental concerns. Also discussed are educational inititiatives and the significance of the involvement of the MetroParks in the project.

Tim Dobeck Interview, 2008

The Law Director of the City of Parma, Tim Dobeck reflects on the grassroots effort to initiate the West Creek Project in 1998. While ignorant of the land area as a child, Dobeck speaks of the impact the project and space has had on his professional and personal life in recent years. His legal effort saved the space from commercial development and he discusses the land's use as an environmentally protected greenspace.

Neil Hess Interview, 2008

A Jackson County native and graduate of Ohio University's geology program, Neil Hess discusses his work in environmental consulting and his specific work on the West Creek project. Hess reflects on the initial goals of the project as well as the experience of working with volunteers and a public separated by class as well as education. Hess details throughout much of the interview the economic, social, political, and pragmatic use of nature and the importance of conservation projects.

Michael Owen Interview, 24 June, 2008

Background in real estate and art. Created network between creative people and revitalization. Self employed as a consultant for Cascade Locks; set out to create an arts district. Northside Project Ice House renovation with choreographer, David Shimotakahara. Northside intended to be magnet for Metropark visitors. Saddened over damage done by 'urban renewal". Rails against local leaders and entrenched old boy network. Looks back on transformation of the area. Credits two local entrepreneurs. Joy…