(Parma)- The new Watershed stewardship center in Cleveland Metroparks' West Creek Reservation is officially opening this morning.
The center in Parma off West Ridgewood Drive between Broadview and State Roads was developed between a partnership with Cleveland Metroparks, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and the West Creek Conservancy.
The park improvement project cost about $11.5 million and is meant to promote healthy urban watersheds.
Naturalist Jen Brumfield says visitors can learn what they can do in their own gardens to manage storm water. One way to conserve water is with a rain barrel. You collect water falling from the sky, and save it for later use in the garden.
A more expensive way to conserve water is with a living green roof. The center has one of the largest in Ohio. You need the right structure to support it because it's very heavy, but overall it's a stunning addition says Brumfield. Water that collects on the roof will runoff and can be diverted into another garden. At the Metroparks' center, it's diverted into a wetland where there are frogs, toads and turtles.
(Photos by Colleen O'Neill/WTAM 1100)
There's an aquarium inside the building that has about 10 species of fish which are native to the area including Blue Gills and Pumpkin Seeds. There are labs and classrooms for students and biologists to do research.
Visitors can also walk through a real sewer pipe donated by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
You can check out the new Watershed Stewardship Center during the free Community Discovery Days from 11am to 4pm today and 10am to 4pm Saturday. There are activities for the family like guided walks, you can plant native seeds and view a state of the art topographic map.
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