The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation announced today the award of $10 million to Western Reserve Land Conservancy – Ohio’s largest land trust – that will have a transformational impact on the Euclid Beach Neighborhood Plan and efforts to create a unified public park along Lake Erie.
The Land Conservancy will use a significant amount of the funds to financially support the residents of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community (EBMHC) and provide much-needed resources for tenants as they transition to alternative housing by August 31, 2024, the date of EBMHC’s closure. Funds will be used to cover moving expenses, purchase mobile homes for fair market value from tenants who wish to sell, pay for the relocation of mobile homes that can move to other mobile home communities in the region, and support the hardship that residents will incur in making their move.
The decision to close the park and unify existing Cleveland Metroparks properties surrounding EBMHC – Villa Angela, Euclid Beach and Wildwood Marina – came as a result of a comprehensive 12-month community engagement process led by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, and Cleveland City Council. The result of that listening process was clear: the Collinwood community wants to unify the three parks into a single publicly-accessible shoreline park.
“Former Mayor, George V. Voinovich, a long-time Collinwood resident, worked to unify these parks over 40 years ago in concert with my office,” said Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek. “It’s a dream we both shared for the benefit of the community. Thanks to the generous gift by the Mandel Foundation and the hard work and vision of Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the greater community will finally be able to realize the goal of a unified lakefront park system in the Collinwood community.”
“For over 40 years, the City of Cleveland and the Collinwood neighborhood have tried to combine Euclid Beach, Villa Angela, and Wildwood Marina into a single public green space that will attract much-needed investment into the community,” said Matt Zone, senior vice president at Western Reserve Land Conservancy. “With the generous support of the Mandel Foundation, this long-standing vision will finally become reality. We purchased the property to keep it in local hands, ensure it would not become expensive high-rise apartments, and to treat the residents of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community with the kindness and respect they deserve. We are very grateful to the Mandel Foundation for their commitment to Cleveland and the people who call this wonderful city home.”
“The grant awarded to Western Reserve Land Conservancy will serve as a catalyst for tremendous investment in furthering lakefront access and recreational opportunities for all our citizens, but especially the residents of neighborhoods that are adjacent to Lake Erie within The City of Cleveland,” said Jehuda Reinharz, Mandel Foundation President & CEO. “The investment is a significant part of our effort to strengthen neighborhoods and provide our fellow citizens an enhanced quality of life.”
“This grant awarded by the Mandel Foundation marks significant investments in the Collinwood neighborhood and comes on the heels of our recent grant to help build Irishtown Bend Park in Ohio City,” said Stephen H. Hoffman, Chairman of the Board of the Mandel Foundation. “This grant is centered around our belief that our citizens and neighborhoods are our greatest assets; thus, we want to help in strengthening these communities for all who live, work and play in them. These lakefront projects will not only boost the Foundation’s previous investments, but will spark new investments and new interest in these wonderful lakefront neighborhoods.”
Western Reserve Land Conservancy will be reaching out to EBMHC residents over the coming weeks with specifics around the resources that will be provided to support their transition into alternative housing.