Stories from the towpath groundbreakng  

July 30, 2012 

Scranton Road groundbreaking in photos
Keynote speaker Senator Sherrod Brown at the groundbreaking.
Project Manager Stan Kosilesky discussing the trail with University Hospitals' Steve Standley.
Former Congressman Ralph Regula, Godfather of the towpath.
Independence Excavating had heavy iron on site by 8:20 am.
Golden shovel groundbreaking.
Plain Dealer metro section's front page photo. Courtesy of Gus Chan.
A small portion of our virtual bring your own shovel display.
Evy Lindenmaier, winner of the LockKeepers gift certificate.
Like us on Facebook
View our photos on flickr
Relevant links  

Ohio Canal Corridor 

Ohio and Erie Canalway

Towpath Trilogy  

A triumphant day!!! 

"Victory has 1,000 fathers, defeat is an orphan." - Ralph Regula quoting JFK  


"Today, it's clear that the towpath trail has a long paternity line." - Tim Donovan 


On Monday July 30, 250 towpath trail  supporters packed a small clearing at the northern end of the Scranton Road peninsula in celebration of the first publicly funded section of the towpath trail to ever break ground in Cleveland. Many of these folks brought shovels from home and participated in a community groundbreaking alongside their elected officials.  


Another 500 joined in the festivities in collage form. These 'virtual' supporters snapped photos of themselves mugging with a shovel in order to show their support for the project, and the response was so overwhelming that we nearly ran out of hanging space for the photo collage.  

This groundbreaking was just a starting point. It will be followed by a ribbon cutting late next summer, and then by other towpath groundbreakings. Make no mistake, connectivity is coming. The towpath will reach to Canal Basin Park. 


Construction on this project will begin in September.


We are working on an edited version of the groundbreaking ceremony, and this will be completed in the coming weeks. More information about the event and project is available on the Ohio & Erie Canalway website.  


Event Program

Duration: 1 hour

Emcee:  Tim Donovan, Executive                               Director of Ohio Canal Corridor

Speakers: Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator 

Joe Cimperman, City of     

Cleveland Councilman 

C. Ellen Connally, Cuyahoga 

County Council President   Edward FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County Executive  

Frank Jackson, Mayor of  


Dennis Kucinich, United States


Ralph Regula, Former United  

States Representative

Brian Zimmerman, Executive  Director of the Cleveland Metroparks  

A day in the life...
6:30 am: Arrive on site/unlock site gate.
7:00 am: Waid's Rainbow delivers portalet.
7:05 am: City of Cleveland delivers stage/tables/chairs and begins stage assembly.
7:20 am: Cleveland Metroparks delivers tent and begins assembly.
8:00 am: Unroll and apply 'Christo' banner of virtual groundbreaking photos. onto prepared foam board along fence line.
8:20 am: Independence Excavating delivers heavy equipment as backdrop.
9:00 am: City of Cleveland delivers sound system.
9:30 am: Dennis Althar delivers alternative sound system.
9:35 am: Louie Sainato of Rivergate Tavern delivers water and Gatorade.
10:00 am: First guests arrive.
11:10 am: Program begins.
11:30 am: Louie Sainato delivers pizza.
11:40 am: Louie Sainato delivers more water.
11:50 am: Program ends and ground is broken.
1:00 pm: Event winds down. Photo collage is taken down and site cleanup begins.
1:30 pm: Cleveland Metroparks retrieves tent.
1:45 pm: City of Cleveland retrieves stage/tables/chairs.
2:00 pm: Site cleared.
3:00 pm: Independence Excavating retrieves heavy equipment.
3:30 pm: Site gate locked. 
Bring your own shovel gets great press
It wasn't just trail supporters who found the concept of a community groundbreaking compelling.

Ohio Canal Corridor was extremely proud to find that the towpath groundbreaking was the lead story in the Plain Dealer's Metro section on Tuesday. This prominent location was driven largely by the incredible photos of the community groundbreaking.  

A big thanks goes to everyone who brought their shovel. You made this press moment possible, and the moment was far richer than anything we could have purchased.   
Virtual BYOS     
Over 500 people participated in our virtual groundbreaking. We were able to display roughly 400 square feet of 'virtual bring your own shovel' photos. This collage spanned the entirely of the site's fence line.

It was a stunning visual, and it received recognition in many media outlets including Crane's Cleveland and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

You can view the photo gallery at the Ohio & Erie Canalway Flickr site. We did our best to tag the photos, but mistakes were surely made. Please submit any corrections to

The Cleveland Planning Commission deserves a special mention as they volunteered the printer and ink that was essential in turning the virtual BYOS into a physical reality.
Winner, winner LockKeepers dinner 
Congratulations to Evy Lindenmaier, the lucky winner of the $100 LockKeepers gift certificate. Evy was at Wade Oval Wednesday (an awesome, awesome event), and was kind enough to take a photo with a groundbreaking shovel. For that, she wins $100 to one of the best restaurants in Cleveland. 
Thanks from the Ohio Canal Corridor       
Whether you attended the groundbreaking, snapped a virtual BYOS shot, or passed the word of the event to friends and family, we thank you for your continued support.

Please do not reply to this email. Replies go to an unmonitored account. Direct inquiries to