Padua Franciscan High School recently sold Padua Franciscan Park to the nonprofit West Creek Conservancy.
The 18-acre site located at 2901 W. Ridgewood Drive in Parma includes a soccer field, enclosed pavilion and wooded land. The space was used by Padua for retreats, gatherings, and athletics for the past 15 years. Formerly known as Camp Corde, Padua purchased the property in 2005 from Catholic Charities.
“Padua owes an incredible debt of gratitude to the Board and to the extraordinary efforts of our donors, that now with this sale has helped to secure Padua’s future,” said Principal David Stec ’86, who will be taking on a new role as president in July. “With the addition of field turf at Padua Stadium in 2014 and the increased ability to use it, Padua Park is no longer a necessity. It will be better utilized to strengthen our ecology and increase the green space of Parma.”
Selling the land to this particular nonprofit aligns with Padua’s mission to be a good steward of the environment and care for all creation. West Creek Conservancy’s mission is to conserve natural habitats, restore the ecological value of the region’s land and water, and to connect people to nature.
“One of our patrons, St. Francis of Assisi, was a protector of nature and the environment. WCC has a proven respect for creation. We Franciscans are confident that this property will be treated with respect so that all who seek peace and beauty can find it here,” said Padua President Fr. Allan DaCorte, ofm.
Connecting Padua Franciscan Park to the West Creek corridor, which includes West Creek Reservation and the West Creek Watershed, is described as a key remaining piece of a puzzle: it will create new park and trail connections, increase entryways, and allow more public spaces for the area and its residents.
“It was a pleasure to work with Padua to permanently preserve this area, a lasting legacy for generations and the region,” said Derek Schafer, executive director of West Creek Conservancy. “Progress through partnerships cannot be underestimated and we sincerely appreciate Padua’s willingness to work with West Creek and move this property into perpetual protection — an asset for the community!”