Twinsburg -- Employees and patients of The Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center and area residents alike can now enjoy the nearby wetlands and unique geology that surrounds the facility with a 1.5-mile scenic walking trail, completed in July.
The 12-acre project began March 16 and will become part of the 88 acres of wooded land where the Clinic currently sits at 8701 Darrow Road.
"It's certainly open to our patients, but I think this is really more for the staff and the community to use," said Mario Cammarata, horticulturist with the Cleveland Clinic. "There are two trails, one surrounded by wild flowers, [and another] with beautiful rock formations. It's really very picturesque. This is all part of the stay healthy thing ... for people to get a little bit of exercise."
"It's unique as you don't get see such unique wetlands or rock formations like this often."
A formal dedication ceremony for the trail will be Aug. 14 from 1 to 2 p.m.
According to Dr. Richard Kratche, medical director of the $96 million Twinsburg facility completed in July 2011, maintaining and improving health and wellness is sometimes as simple as going for a walk.
"It is recommended to walk at a brisk pace for at least 150 minutes every week for all who are able to walk," Kratche said when the trail broke ground earlier this year. "We also know that there are health and wellness benefits derived from spending time in nature."
Cleveland Clinic officials partnered with the Davey Tree Expert Co. to build the all-natural trail, which abuts Interstate 480 and includes a nature conservancy and natural wetlands.
Frank Monteleone, regional business development manager with Davey Commercial Landscape Services, said the proximity to wetlands and the nature conservancy meant all construction materials had to be unprocessed, natural materials.
"The boardwalks and bridges over the wetland areas are constructed of lumber that is cut and kiln-dried, only with no stains, sealants or any kind of chemical treatment," Monteleone said.
The trail can be split into three sections. The western portion, at .63 miles, is closest to the interchange of I-480 and Darrow Road. A conference room opens onto the middle portion, which steps immediately into the wooded area of an eastern trail, which measures .7 miles.
The southern section of the trail, accessed by a natural rock-ledge stairway, runs across a rock outcropping that overlooks the eastern trail and much of the nature conservancy. The soft-surface trail also has benches along it for resting or viewing, and engraved bricks purchased by donors highlight the trail.
"There's nothing like standing up there and looking down at the bridges, boardwalks and the natural landscape," Monteleone said. "It's a beautiful picture."
The walking trail will also be used by the Clinic for health and wellness programming.
According to Kratche, the Clinic in Twinsburg hosts a "Healthy Strides" program that invites members of the community to "Walk with a Doc." The Clinic has hosted "Walk with a Doc" in the past at Dodge Intermediate School and along Officer Joshua T. Miktarian Parkway.
The trail will be named The Razinger Family Community Trail, in honor of the family's private, lead donation to the project. Kratche said a majority of the funding -- all donors requested that funding remain private -- was raised through philanthropic means, including the Razinger family's donation. Additional support came from community members, corporations and caregivers at Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center.
The family health center was originally built around all high-quality wetlands and headwater streams with a conservation easement used to protect 37 acres of the property.
For more, including donor funding information, contact Monteleone, Regional Business Development Manager, Davey Commercial Landscape Services, cell (440) 343-1363, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Cammarata, horticulturalist for the Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic, email@example.com, (216) 372-8046
What was cost of project/contract between Clinic and Davey?