Cleveland July 06, 2017
The Incredibly Unique Park That’s Right Here In Cleveland’s Own Backyard
The cityscape of Cleveland hides the natural wonders that make our region so beautiful. Lush greenery and gently rolling knolls are hidden by urbanization, but, as the largest park within city limits demonstrates, nature and the human touch can coexist in a beautifully dramatic way.
Take a drive along the expanse of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
You might notice that the city road is surrounded by scenic landscapes and a buzz of activity.
Rockefeller Park stretches from the lakefront regions of Cleveland through the East Side.
In 1896, it was announced that John D. Rockefeller would be donating a chunk of land that stretched from Lake Erie to Shaker Heights. He also donated a large chunk of change —$300,000 — to beautify the two-mile long chain of parks.
One of its most stunning features is the many cultural gardens hiding within its lush landscape.
The first garden, now called the British Garden, was dedicated in 1916 to William Shakespeare. The tradition continued, and Clevelanders began exploring different cultural traditions as they erected statues and monuments in regional styles.
There are many gardens hidden within its campus, and they continue to grow and improve.
Since its inception, the Cultural Gardens have grown extensively due to overwhelming support from the media, political figures, and local communities. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation explains that there are currently 29 established gardens, with eight in progress.
Every trip to Rockefeller Park is a learning experience.
The park continues to fulfill its original purpose by encouraging people to learn about differing cultures. Many statues are dedicated to famous icons from different parts of the world, and you will come face-to-face with figures such as Ukrainian poet and linguist Taras Shevchenko.
The gardens stretch for a mile and a half.
The beauty of the gardens is unbelievable, and to circle through all of them would provide nearly three miles of urban exploration. It hardly feels like a workout when your mind is so intrigued by immeasurable beauty.
Each year, the gardens host the One World Day celebration.
Since the 1940s, the Cultural Gardens have celebrated "Peace through Mutual Understanding." Cultural performances and a parade of flags are among the many events of this special day, and visitors are treated to authentic foods from cultures all around the world.
This year, the celebration takes place August 27.
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the gardens will be especially lively as they celebrate diversity and understanding. The energy of the festivities is always contagious, especially after the gardens celebrated their 100th anniversary last year.
Even if you cannot make the celebration, you can stop by the greenhouse year-round.
The greenhouse, located at 750 East 88th Street, encompasses an acre under glass, and it is surrounded by nearly four acres of outdoor splendor. Located off of MLK Drive, it is free to the public and open daily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The greenhouse and surrounding grounds have evolved into a botanical wonderland.
Specialty plant collections and theme gardens are among its displays, and it is sure to delight all ages.
Rockefeller Park is simply magical.
There is never a bad time to immerse yourself in the whimsical wonders of Rockefeller Park. It is historic, educational, and stunning, a true gem nestled within the busy streets of a bustling city. For another park worthy of exploration, check out the
most scenic park in Cleveland.