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Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell)
Brecksville, Ohio - The National Park Service (NPS) has completed a Conceptual Development Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the potential impacts of upgrades to visitor and employee facilities in the Boston Mills Historic District and nearby areas. The public is invited to provide comment starting Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 30, 2012.
The Boston Mills area has become a center of visitor activity due to the presence of the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and other NPS facilities including the Boston Store Visitor Center, Boston Mill Boarding Station, M.D. Garage, and the park's Volunteer Center. Nearby park facilities on Hines Hill Road and Stanford Road include Hines Hill Conference Center and Stanford House. Congestion and overcrowding are problems for both visitors and local residents during peak visitation.
The EA includes an analysis of three Alternatives which are different visions for the future of NPS facilities in the Boston Mills area, including a No Action (status quo) Alternative and two Action Alternatives. Additionally, for each Action Alternative, three Options for the potential use of the historic Zielenski Court property (a possible future NPS acquisition) as a new public use facility were evaluated.
The NPS has identified Alternative 3, Option B as its Preferred Alternative. This alternative includes substantial changes to the Boston Mills Area in order to focus on improving pedestrian movement and safety, concentrating parking outside of Boston's center, and restoring natural features. The NPS would seek to acquire Zielenski Court and transform it into the park's main visitor center with associated amenities including a welcome plaza and pedestrian bridge over the Cuyahoga River. The alternative also includes new parking areas paired with the closure of some existing lots, improved walking paths, a short interpretive trail loop, moving Boston Mill Boarding Station, expanded camping opportunities, and the restoration of native meadows, forests, and streams. A Statement of Findings in compliance with Director's Order 77-2: Floodplain Management is posted as an appendix to the EA.
Public input is a valuable component of the planning process. During the review period, the NPS is seeking substantive public input such as specific issues or impacts NPS may have not addressed or considered. The document and background material is available as an electronic copy on the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/bostonplan.
Comments can be submitted via PEPC through Sunday, September 30, 2012. Comments will not be accepted over the phone, by fax, or email. However, written comments can be mailed to: Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Road Brecksville, OH 44141.
CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.