Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Environmentalism"
58 total

Francis W. Chiappa Interview, 2 July 2013

Francis Chiappa describes his role in the Cleveland Heights Nuclear Freeze Campaign in the 1980s. He worked hard along with other members of Cleveland Heights to make Cleveland Heights a Nuclear Free zone. He describes his background that placed him on the path of activism. He also describes the challenges and triumphs in the process of designating Cleveland Heights nuclear free.

Sudmir Ragupathy Interview, 14 July 2006

Sudmir Ragupathy discusses the place of technology at the Ingenuity Festival and its role in shaping Cleveland's economic future. Recognizing Cleveland's poor environmental reputation, Ragupathy speaks about his organizations and vision of a Cleveland regional environmental economy.

Melissa Miller Interview, 21 April 2010

Melissa Miller of the Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation discusses the commitment to solving problems of storm water overflow from the Big Creek Tributary, beginning with a storm water management project on Milligan Avenue in the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood. This interview gives background information on the Neighborhood, the Big Creek, and the Re-Imagining Cleveland project.

Darwin Kelsey Interview, 2011

Darwin Kelsey directs the non-profit Cuyahoga Countryside Conservancy, which helps restore historic farming properties in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, as well as assign the properties to contemporary farmers to work in sustainable ways. Kelsey has a history of working in museums and studying historic agricultural traditions, and goals to restore local community agriculture. Kelsey described the negative effects of the modern food system, with decreasing numbers of farmers and insufficient…

Mark Cheimalecki Interview, 01 May 2009

Mark Cheimalecki, long time member of Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Patrol, talks about his introduction to skiing in the 1970's,changes in ownership and management of the ski resorts, and the problems of X-treme skiing and snow-boarding. Cheimalecki describes the medical training,duties and procedures used by ski patrol members, as well as the importance of proper training and equipment needed to ski safely. He notes efforts by a group of African-American skiiers to introduce inner city youth to…

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Beth Knorr Interview, 2011

Beth Knorr currently works as the Farmers' Market Manager for Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy. She has earlier non-profit and farming experience through her work at the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, OH, where she met the director of Countryside Conservancy, Darwin Kelsey. Beth and her husband still work on the Crown Point farm, where they grow mainly vegetables.

Tim Atkinson Interview, 2008

An equipment operator and work leader, Tim Atkinson his role in the Park staff. Discussed are the means by which Atkinson evolved from a volunteer position to a leader in various projects and the challenges posed to staff personell. These include the seasonality of trails, seasonality of staffing, and the extensive flooding damage to the Towpath. Atkinson discusses also the successes of the Towpath project in terms of improving the quality of life and the ability of the visitor centeer to…

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Jeff Lennartz Interview, 2008

Jeff Lennartz, acting treasurer of the West Creek Preservation Committee and a development engineer, addresses viable fundraising and economic issues facing the group and the effects on projects. Accompanying this discussion are the social, political, and fiscal challenges that are at the core of preservation and conservation and the impact they have had on the work of Lennartz.

Jon Elsasser Interview, 2008

Jon Elsasser is the president of the Zoar Board of the Ohio & Erie Canal Association and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Timken Company. Elsasser discusses Towpath Trail surfacing and bridge repairs after the 2005 flood and his hope that the trail will move beyond Zoar. He also discusses the semi-annual Civil War reenactment; town hall renovation; cemetery improvements; and other projects.

Randy Bergdorf Interview, 2008

Randy Bergdorf reflects on his role in the 1992 study for the funding of roads and his work on the Towpath Trail project. A library employee with a passion for history, Bergdorf discusses his passion for preserving and relating the history of the park to citizens. Challenges to this and other endeavors such as the Roads Project include the inability to tax local residents, since the park owns many of the houses.

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Christine Freitag Interview, 2008

Christine Freitag, curator of Botany at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and native of Akron talks about her work with Ohio's conservation effort, focusing primarily on the the impact on the natural landscape, wildlife, and environment in the region.

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Irene Toth Interview, 2008

Irene Toth, a member of the board of trusttees of WCPC and an amatuer historian discusses both the history of the West Creek area and her life in Cleveland since 1928. Also discussed are the positive environmental effects of the project and the social identification of the "naturalist group" she is a part of. Toth also examines the group's future and transition from a single-issue committee to a conservancy advocate.

Anthony Spzak Interview, 2008

Active in pressuring Parma's City Council in the late 1960s and 1970s, Anthony Spzak reflects on his past work to improve the landfill conditions of the city in order to protect his children and family. Motivated again by health in relation to sewage, Spzak discusses his motivation for working with WCPC to halt the building of a golf course and to the adverse affects of poorly managed drainage systems. Spzak's interview notes the correlation between issues pertaining to public health and the…

Walter Herip Interview, 2008

The President, Creative Director, and Project Coordinator of Herip Design Associates, Walt Herip discusses the economic and historical developmental changes of the Penninsula since 1970. After his graduate studies in Europe ended in 1976, Herip began his company in 1980 and was chosen to design the 25th anniversary logo for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Steve Tuckerman Interview, 2008

An employee of the Ohio EPA, Steve Tuckerman discusses his work in managing water quality in Ohio and his current work in improving the Cuyahoga River watershed. As an employee of the EPA, Tuckerman outlines the goals of the EPA in maintaining dams and other watersheds in the area, including the protection of habitats for wildlife and ensuring environmental safety for citizens. Tuckerman also outlines the improvements that his organization has made in Northeast Ohio as well as some of the…

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Irv and Dorothy Hazel Interview, 2008

Irv and Dorothy Hazel discuss their work with the West Creek Conservation effort, primarily focusing on their roles as contributors. The interview focuses great attention on the origin of the organization and discusses critical fundraising, financial, legal, and environmental concerns within the internal controls of the group. Briefly, the couple puts the West Creek conservation effort into the broader context of Cleveland history and the impact of environmental issues on the local economy and…

Robert Greytak Interview, 2008

Robert Greytak, a resident of Parma and graduate of CSU's civil engineering program, discusses his leadership of and work with the West Creek Reservation Committee. While focusing primarily on fundraising and the arduous process of receiving grants, Greytak also details his rise in the organization and his passion for environmental conservation. As environmental concerns increase with each passing year, Greytak's discussion of fundraising and grant acquisition for enviromental projects is placed…

Robert Eckardt Interview, 2008

Robert Eckardt of the Cleveland Foundation discusses his work in the fundraising and grant writing for the creation of National Parks in Northeast Ohio. Echardt discusses in detail the Trust for Public Land grant and the role of the Cleveland Foundation in securing land for National Parks in the recent years. The interview also discusses newer projects such as the Towpath Project and citizen awareness in land preservation.

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Pat White Interview, 2008

Pat White, a former mayor of Bolivar, Ohio, got involved in the Ohio Canal project through Dick Lebold. As Mayor, she supported the project despite the cost overruns and slow pace because of what she viewed as its commercial, employment, and public advantages. She lists various fund-raising events, discusses grant funds for park purchase, and how the EPA limited the negative impact of a landfill on the area.

Jerry Hruby Interview, 2008

Jerry Hruby has served as the Mayor of Brecksville, Ohio, since 1988 and serves on the advisory board of the National Park Service. He discusses studies of deer, coyotes, drainage, and wetlands in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the 2006 flood, bald eagles in the park, the Ohio Canal as living history, park superintendent John Debo, and the park's role in regional tourism.

Kathy Fernandez Interview, 2008

Kathy Fernandez has lived in Zoar and worked for the Ohio Historical Society there since 1975. She discusses the formation of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and its role in getting the canal designated a national heritage area in 1996. She also discusses congressman Ralph Regula's vision for the canal in the 1960s. She notes the challenges that had to be overcome to win support for canal improvements.

Terry Stahurski Interview, 2008

Terry Stahurski discusses his work in West Creek Preservation after a court ruling that resulted in the destruction of wooded areas of the west side. Hoping to preserve green space, reduce pollution, and secure environmental protection, Stahurski began grantseeking and fundraising. He describes the environmental degradation in the West Creek watershed in Parma. The interview also focuses on the necessity to inform the public and continuing support for conservation projects.

Chris Soukoup Interview, 2008

A Detroit native, Chris Soukoup discusses the legal aspect of land acquisition for West Creek. His legal perspective specifically addresses the challenging and paradoxical issue of land preservation and commercial development. Using first hand accounts and experience, Soukoup explains how urban commericial development can be achieved without compromising the intent of preserving greenspace and land.

Peg Bobel Interview, 2008

Peg Bobel grew up in Akron and became interested in nature by spending time in Virginia Kendall Park and Munroe Falls, which led to her environmentalist activism, including in the Sierra Club. Bobel later served as Executive Director of the Cuyahoga Valley Association (later CVNPA) from 1989 to 2001. She wrote "Trail Guide to the Park," "Nature of the Towpath," and "Beyond Cleveland on Foot" and hosted the first Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor planning meeting to help preserve…

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Chuck Knaack Interview, 2008

Chuck Knaak retired as a high school teacher to work on the Tuscarawas County Lands Committee. He discusses the completion of a segment of the Towpath Trail to Zoar, plans for a towpath bridge over I-77, the economic impact and educational value of the project, the creation of a canal museum as part of the Zoar town hall renovation, the history of the Zoar Community Association, preservation and cultural and heritage tourism events in Zoar, and the critical role of grants and donations from…

Stan Koehlinger Interview,2008

Chair of Zoar Area Committee of Tuscarawas Canal Association. Sixmile trail with old Iron Bridge, pedestrian bridges, and culverts. Thirteen years of trail development through funding grants. Recreational potential; good public support. Issues of I-77 bridge and problems raised by property owners along path. Dream of a working lock. A locate a lock in Zoar; good commercial and recreational draw. People use Towpath to walk, foot races. Signage helps. Future bridge near Route 212.

Sue Klein Interview, 2008

Sue Klein is a volunteer in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and a board member in the CVNP Association. She moved to the Akron area in 1968 and became active in efforts to safeguard the Cuyahoga Valley from over-development. She discusses the role of the CNVP Association is getting the valley designated as a national park unit in the 1970s and recounts early cleanups and old building restorations in the valley.

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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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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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

Peter Bode Interview, 30 July 2014

Peter Bode, a recent graduate of Cleveland State University (CSU), talks about what he did before going to the university, while he was at CSU, and what he has done since. He states that from a young age he was very involved in nature, so much so that as he grew up he became a landscaper. Due to several injuries, he could no longer continue in that line of work so he went to CSU to gain training to become an environmental scientist. While at CSU, Bode was involved with a great many things,…

Martha Eakin Interview, 05 June 2006

Martha Eakin of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center describes her involvement over the years with Shaker Lakes and the Center. Martha's mother, Jean Eakin, was a major figure in the battle against highway development through the Shaker Lakes in the 1960s, and Martha has continued to be involved since. Biographical information about Jean and Martha is included in this interview, as is the rationale and timeline of events leading to the organization of political action against highway development, and…

Richard Horton Iinterview, 4 October 2006

Richard Horton, longtime Director of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, talks about the history of the Center and describes in detail many of the educational programs, public events and fund-raising campaigns, staff development programs, and conservation campaigns carried out by the Center during his tenure. Additionally, Horton offers his own insights on environmental education and parks management. Interview contains biographical information.

Norma Rodgers Interview, 2006

Norma Rodgers of Shaker Lakes Nature Center discusses her work at the Center. Major topics include the early history of the Nature Center, public and educational programming, organizational management and strategic planning, budgetary issues, and cooperation with other governmental bodies and civic and educational organizations. Rodgers was also a member of the Shaker Heights City Council and the Joint Committee on Doan Brook, which are both discussed in some detail.