Mike Johnson, Chief of Conservation
Elaine Marsh is currently serving as the park district’s watershed specialist and is a warrior for clean water, air and land. Elaine has worked tirelessly over her career to improve the rivers, streams and wetlands of our region.
Elaine co-founded Friends of the Crooked River, a nonprofit dedicated to good stewardship of our water resources. Prior to joining Summit Metro Parks, she has held leadership roles with Ohio Greenways and Cleveland Waterfront Coalition.
Long before our beloved Cuyahoga was widely appreciated for the asset it is, there was Elaine Marsh. Where many people saw a dead river, as a paddler, Elaine saw a sick friend, barely able to whisper for help. She has advocated for improved water quality, riparian setbacks, free-flowing rivers and water trails and has played key roles in all of the dam removals along the Cuyahoga River. She was active in the formation of Cascade Valley Metro Park and when one thinks of the Cuyahoga River, it is hard not to think of Elaine Marsh.
In her current role at SMP, she helps lead our “Free the Falls” project to remove the Gorge Dam and restore a free-flowing river for fish, wildlife and people. Ultimately, her lifetime commitment to our natural resources will benefit generations to come.