PENINSULA – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined Senator Rob Portman and others in unveiling the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s (CVNP) new Boston Mill Visitor Center. The new center is the result of a public-private partnership where federal dollars leveraged private investment and the local community invested through generous donations. The project began in 2017, included renovating the main building that was originally built around 1905 and will now serve as an information and welcome center for the millions of people who visit the park each year.
“For the first time in the 45 years Cuyahoga Valley has been a part of the National Park System, we have a front door to welcome visitors. I was honored to participate in today’s opening ceremony to celebrate that,” said Congressman Joyce. “We are very proud to have a portion of the Buckeye State’s only national park here in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, and now with the Boston Mill Visitor Center, we can help people better understand the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s resources and encourage them to visit Cleveland and Akron and enjoy all that Northeast Ohio has to offer. Having grown up and lived my entire life along the shores of Lake Erie, I know the natural resources we have here are truly special, and it’s great that we have our parks – whether they be local, the metropark systems or this national park – to protect them.”
Dave currently serves as the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, which is in charge of funding the U.S. Department of the Interior which includes the National Park Service. He is also a co-sponsor of the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act, a bipartisan bill that would establish a dedicated fund to address the deferred maintenance backlog needs of the National Park Service. This backlog has exhausted agency budgets, negatively impacting visitor access, enjoyment, and safety on these lands, and the ability for the government to properly preserve them.
“Today, I participated in the unveiling of the new visitor’s center at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Boston Mill Visitor Center was made possible through the Conservancy’s work to raise money from community and corporate supporters,” said Senator Portman. “Whether biking, fishing, kayaking, or hiking with my family, I’m proud to be one of the 2.7 million visitors to Ohio’s National Parks annually. I’m committed to protecting our parks and that’s why I introduced the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act to help address the nearly $12 billion backlog of long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service. This includes more than $100 million in deferred maintenance at Ohio’s eight national parks. These parks are national treasures and we must do our part to ensure that these parks can be enjoyed for many generations to come.”
Located within a one-hour drive of the four million people in the greater Cleveland/Akron/Canton metropolitan area, CVNP protects nearly 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The park offers visitors over 140 miles of hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding trails as well as focused educational programs. In 2018 alone, the park had over two million visitors, supported by the work of over 100 employees, both permanent and temporary, and nearly 6,000 volunteers.