Culture, Events, Living, Neighborhoods, Ohio City

Cleveland’s Parks and Rec Goes Pawnee: Citywide Master Plan to Make Li’l Sebastian Proud!

Well, well, well, it looks like Cleveland is following in the footsteps of Pawnee! That’s right, the City of Cleveland has just announced their first-ever Citywide Parks & Recreation Master Plan, and it’s sure to make Leslie Knope proud.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a miniature horse named Li’l Sebastian roaming the city’s parks in the near future.

But don’t worry, we’re not expecting any Jerry Gergich-like mishaps during the planning process. This is a job for the experts at OLIN, who have worked on numerous public spaces across the country, including the award-winning 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C.

So, what can you expect from this new plan? Here are some highlights:

  • A 15-year master plan that will create a roadmap for equitable and just capital investment in parks and recreation
  • Inclusive community needs assessment to identify the current and future parks and recreation needs of Clevelanders, community groups, and stakeholders over the next 15 years
  • Creation of a long-range plan that will reconcile existing conditions with the community needs assessment
  • A strategic plan that will outline the best methods to finance and implement the long-range plan to make it a reality

The planning process is expected to take 18 months to complete, with public engagement opportunities and other ways to get involved with the master plan to be announced this summer.

The City of Cleveland currently operates 179 unique parks and recreation sites, including 155 city parks, 23 recreation centers, and 1 golf course that total nearly 1,760 acres. That’s a lot of green space!

This is a great opportunity to revitalize public spaces in every neighborhood across the city, remove barriers, build community, and create places and experiences that enrich people’s lives. As Mayr Justin M. Bibb said, “This plan is all about access and equity.”

As Ron Swanson once said, “There’s nothing we can’t do if we work hard, never sleep, and shirk all other responsibilities in our lives.” We have a feeling that the team behind the Citywide Parks & Recreation Master Plan is taking this advice to heart.

So, get ready to enjoy new and improved parks, playgrounds, pools, and similar spaces across Cleveland. It’s time to put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the green spaces of Cleveland.

To learn more about OLIN and the studio’s work, visit


Kyle is a content creator with a passion for exploring and telling stories. When he's not at his computer, you can find him in the city with his wife Kaitie, and/or his two kids. You'll enjoy reading about his experiences and insights if you're all about The Land, through, The Cleveland Tea Newsletter, and some of the posts on Cleve or Leave.

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