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Cleveland Metroparks to lay off, furlough employees; cancel summer camps and concerts due to COVID-19

650 employees will be laid off, furloughed, or have salary reductions because of the impact of coronavirus.

CLEVELAND — While we are all looking forward to the arrival of summer and warmer weather across Northeast Ohio, some of the area's most beloved events have been canceled due to COVID-19

On Friday, Cleveland Metroparks announced the cancellation of many of its summer staples including the Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series, summer camps and transportation on the eLCee2 Water Taxi due to mandatory safety measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Sadly, the Metroparks also report that approximately 650 employees have been affected by full or partial furloughs, salary reductions and layoffs due to the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19. Impacts include the cancellations of programs and events as well as the continued closure of educational facilities, rental facilities, restaurants including Merwin’s Wharf, Nature Shops and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. 

Furloughed employees will continue to receive health benefits.

“During this difficult time, the Emerald Necklace has been a refuge for our community to safely get outdoors and take in the physical and mental health benefits that nature can provide,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman in a statement. “Unfortunately, while our parks have remained open, many of our operations that serve as revenue sources have been significantly impacted and we have had to temporarily furlough many of our dedicated employees. Our employees are what have made Cleveland Metroparks one of the top park districts in the country but, with the mandatory closures and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer many of our annual summer programs and events to the community.”

Public health guidelines have also required the cancellation of upcoming programs and events for the foreseeable future including Zoo, Golf and Nature Summer Camps. Guidelines have also required the continued closure of Nature Centers, Nature Shops, restaurants including Merwin’s Wharf and e55 on the lake, the Go Ape Treetop Adventure and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

All guests who registered for programs including summer camps will receive full refunds.

Also, Cleveland Metroparks rental facilities will remain closed through September 2020. Due to high volume of rentals, guests with a rental scheduled between now and September 30, 2020 will be contacted directly as soon as possible to reschedule their event or receive a full refund.

In addition, the eLCee2 Water Taxi and Ledge Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season. The Park District will be issuing refunds on Ledge Pool season passes and swimming lessons for the 2020 season.

Cleveland Metroparks park reservations, marinas and golf courses remain open with several safety measures in place to protect guests and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guests can learn more about ways to safely enjoy Cleveland Metroparks during this time as well as an updated list of all program, event and location impacts and closures at clevelandmetroparks.com/COVID-19.

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