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Proposed park finds support in Clark-Fulton neighborhood

The Trust for Public Land won six-figure grant for build
Clark Avenue Park
Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 06:43:35-04

CLEVELAND — Local and state leaders support a grant for a new park in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, and for the people who live there, the outside investment is welcome.

"That's a very good idea because we have kids around here," said Luis Lizardi.

His house is near the corner of W. 58th and Clark Avenue. He's been there for five years and watched as the neighborhood changed.

"It was kind of ugly, now it's getting better," he said.

On Tuesday, he was working hard on his front porch, creating ramps for his daughter's return home. The 25-year-old has been in the hospital and needs a wheelchair to get around.

This small construction project will parallel a larger one to come across the street from his house.

"We're really excited to see it funded," said Sean Terry with The Trust for Public Land.

The TPL was awarded a $600,000 grant to create a park along Clark Avenue.

"This is probably a huge step in the right direction for a bigger investment that's happening in the community right now," Terry said.

For him, the proposed park is another chance for the neighborhood to shake off the image it carried since the 2013 discovery of three women being held captive in a house on Seymour Avenue.

"The investment just hasn't been made historically," Terry said. But now, it has.

Terry isn't the only one who sees the new green space as a good thing for the area.

"This neighborhood is improving," said Donna Shirey.

Shirey and her husband own a small brick building on the south side of Clark Avenue. It was a former print shop.

After moving back to Cleveland from Seattle, "we bought the building to be here long term." But it will likely be demolished for the new park.

For Shirey, a native Clevelander, that's okay. She said the new community space is important for the area.

"We like it that it's an area in transition," she said. "We think that's great. We like to invest in that."

The Shireys will have the building appraised, and the city will buy it before the space becomes a park.

Right now, TPL said there are no renderings of what the new park will look like or how much space on Clark Avenue near W. 58th will become green space.

From small investments like the changes to Lizardi's house to the big ones like the proposed new park, people in this area are waiting for what's next.

"We usually take her to sit on the porch," Lizardi said about the new park. "But it will be nice to take her around the park."

A groundbreaking date has not been set as of Aug. 17, 2021.