A Statement from Western Reserve Racing
Since the pandemic started last March, parks have provided a great resource for people of Northeast Ohio when their options for recreation and outdoor activity have been limited. More people than ever before have used the parks in the region, including the CVNP, and we are truly grateful for that!
But with that additional usage comes additional wear and tear on the trails. While some may see this as a problem, we see this as evidence that trails have been used by people who are thankful to have such parks to visit. More people certainly have a new appreciation for the outdoors and the parks in their backyard, including the CVNP. This increased usage stands as an opportunity, rather than a problem in need of fixing.
It’s a new day! We should be encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors and the CVNP.
- We support having as many people visit the park as are able. But everyone, park management and park users alike, have a responsibility to work together to balance the increased visitation with trail sustainability.
- We prefer infrastructure improvements over restricted access.
- We encourage more public enjoyment - responsible and sustainable enjoyment - through education and investment in our trail systems.
- We support improving trails to accommodate the increased traffic. Such improvement includes hardening and widening trails where appropriate. There is much acreage unused. Widening a 1 foot trail to 3 feet allows more people to stay active with minimal impact on the environment.
It is also important to continue to move forward with special events in our parks. There is tremendous vitality in these events; they build community and appreciation for our parks and the environment. We host a number of events that attract participants from outside Northeast Ohio. These participants are often first-time visitors to the area and are awestruck by the beauty of the landscapes and the history that lies within the CVNP and the neighboring park systems.
As the initial donor to the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Trail Forever program, we recognized the importance of building and maintaining sustainable trails within the park system and we continue to support those efforts. While the path to supporting increased usage may not yet be clear, we believe that striking a balance between encouraging more public enjoyment and protecting and preserving the environment is possible.
Jim, Joe, and Vince
Western Reserve Racing