From Public Nuisance to Community Greenspace

Through strategic planning and cooperation of public and non-profit entities, 3.6 acres of land surrounding Bear Creek in Bedford is now home to a flood plain habitat protected by the West Creek Conservancy.

Bear Creek flows into Tinker’s Creek, the largest tributary of the Cuyahoga River.  In 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency determined that three abandoned homes and a large garage structure on the property impaired the floodplain.  In response, the owners, the Gries family, donated the land to the Cuyahoga Land Bank in 2015 for demolition and repurposing.

Through that generous donation, and working with several partners, including the West Creek Conservancy, the City of Bedford, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and others, the Cuyahoga Land Bank was able to use Cuyahoga County Demolition Program funds to facilitate demolition of the buildings, making way for the flood plain habitat.  The transformation of the land into “Lorry’s Woods,” named in memory of the Gries family matriarch, is now a protected greenspace, owned and maintained by the West Creek Conservancy for the enjoyment of the public.

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