Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Zone Rec Center Support

Have you ever wondered how you could help a group trying to make positive change in the inner city? Here is how, write a letter of support.

This is from Many Metcalf from the Cleveland Ecovillage Yahoo group:
Many of you may be aware of or have participated in the planning process for the award-winning Zone Recreation Center Sustainable Greenspace Master Plan, which will be a major catalyst for reinvestment on Lorain Avenue. Your show of support for this plan is now urgently needed. Mayor Jackson's office recently asked the parks department to replace the soccer field at Zone Recreation Center in its current location with a new irrigated, grass field. While improvements to the soccer field are unquestionably needed soon, the Mayor's request does not take this into consideration and is not compatible with the greenspace plan generated by our community. The sustainable greenspace master plan calls for the soccer field to be rebuilt in a new location with sustainable elements and a durable, synthetic playing surface. Please take a moment at this crucial time to let the Mayor's office know that there is community support for the greenspace plan.

Below is a sample support letter that you can copy and paste into an email or letter to the Mayor's office, Mayor Frank Jackson, Office of the Mayor, 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114, frankjackson@city.cleveland.oh.us. Or you can call the Mayor's office directly at 216-664-3990. It may also be helpful to contact the mayor's chief of staff, Ken Silliman, at Ken Silliman, Chief of Staff, 601 Lakeside Avenue, or cc him at ksilliman@city.cleveland.oh.us, or give him a call at 664-2000.

Please also cc me, Mandy Metcalf at mmetcalf@dscdo.org so that we know you've responded.

To learn more about the greenspace plan, go to www.clevelandecovillage.org and click on Zone Recreation Center planning.

Here is the sample letter:

Mayor Frank Jackson
City of Cleveland
601 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114

Dear Mayor Jackson,

I would like to express my support for the Michael Zone Recreation Center Sustainable Greenspace project. I was troubled to learn that the soccer field at Zone Rec will be rebuilt in its present location, and I hope that this will not jeopardize the future implementation of the plan.

I participated in the extensive planning process for the Zone Rec Sustainable Greenspace Master Plan, which included involvement from the City Parks department and over 300 local residents. The resulting plan captures the desires and the imagination of the community for a recreation center campus that incorporates ecological design and environmental education while providing needed recreational improvements and new amenities.

Some of the features of the plan I'm excited about include a new central gathering area that reflects the history of the site in its design, areas of natural habitat including a meadow area, wetlands that capture stormwater on site, rain gardens, and butterfly gardens, parking on Lorain Avenue that can be shared with local businesses, alternative energy demonstrations, a new durable synthetic turf soccer field, improved baseball and basketball facilities, a new outdoor splash park, new tennis courts, public art, and a rock climbing wall. The plan promotes the Cleveland EcoVillage neighborhood's goals of ecological sustainability and healthy living. It has already gained national recognition as an innovative demonstration of sustainable neighborhood investment.

The proposed allocation of $2.5 million for the greenspace project in the City of Cleveland capital budget, in addition to support pledged from Councilman Matthew Zone, will provide the necessary match for foundation and private funding that can make the project a reality quickly. Please accept this letter as an expression of support for implementation of the award-winning Sustainable Greenspace Master Plan for Zone Recreation Center.

Thank you,

Your name and address here