What We’re Doing
Reviving Cleveland’s largest park for everyone to enjoy
Connect more people to the benefits of a close-to-home green space
Since 1897, Rockefeller Park has helped connect Clevelanders to the benefits of the outdoors. Originally deeded to the city of Cleveland by John D. Rockefeller—one-time resident and American oil tycoon—for use as a public green space, Rockefeller Park now sprawls across 200 acres on the city’s east side as Cleveland’s largest park. This park acts as a bridge between smaller parks, connecting multiple neighborhoods to Lake Erie, and is home to the Cultural Gardens, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and celebrate the many nationalities and ethnic groups that settled in Ohio. In the park’s prime, visitors strolled along the walking paths to enjoy the vivid autumn colors or rested on the grassy knolls under the sunshine. During the summer, kids would enjoy toy sailboat races on the lagoon or go fishing in Doan Brook, the seven-mile stream that runs the length of the park and is a key part of the east side communities’ watershed.
In recent years, Rockefeller Park has fallen into various stages of disrepair with hazards such as broken lighting fixtures that create a higher safety risk for visitors, or the crumbling stone walls of Doan Brook. While the Cultural Gardens and greenhouse are popular among visitors, the park itself isn’t necessarily used as an active space for the local neighborhood. With only a few entrances and accessible parking lots, nearby residents find it hard to connect with the park to walk, bike, or enjoy family time outside. Lack of consensus has plagued Rockefeller Park improvements, but Trust for Public Land has the opportunity to partner with the community stakeholders to revitalize the park to its former glory. We’re helping improve access for nearby residents and create a better, safer recreational experience with trails and bike paths. To reconnect visitors to their gleaming stream and address dangerous storm water flooding, restoration of Doan Creek is underway. Once complete, Rockefeller Park will reflect local community needs by providing a beautiful, safe green space for generations to come.
1250 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH, 44113