My beat for Broadcast Beat Reporting is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The essence of my beat is covering the programs, challenges, and collaborations that the park faces every day.
To learn more about my beat, I contacted my Key Decision Maker Mary Pat Doorley, who is CVNP’s Public Affairs Officer. We met on Tuesday, January 27th at park headquarters in Brecksville for an interview. During this time, we talked about issues that CVNP is facing as well as what CVNP hopes to accomplish in 2015 and beyond.
One challenge that CVNP is facing internally this year is staffing. On December 31st, 2014, 11 employees took an early buyout, causing CVNP to realign assignments. The effect of the buyout has caused more work to be done by seasonal employees rather than permanent employees. Doorley said that in 2016, the staffing issue should be fixed.
Another issue that we discussed was about the possibility of a government shutdown occurring like in 2013, when the park was forced to shut down. Although Doorley said that shutdowns greatly affect the park, she noted that CVNP is prepared in the event a shutdown occurs,
One potential story for my beat that we talked about is how CVNP is responsible for preservation of land within the park. In early December, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy acquired 30 acres of land on Hines Hill Road in Boston Township, which will be managed by the CVNP.
Doorley noted that every time that CVNP buys land, the property is preserved and the future is protected. As an example, Doorley mentioned that the site of the former Richfield Coliseum was targeted to be space for a mini-mall. Had the CVNP not became the owner of the land; Doorley said that the impact around the area from would have been tremendous.
Another possible story is how CVNP develops programming during the winter season. CVNP’s Winter Sports Center offers rentals of snowshoes and skis as well as instruction if there is enough snow on the ground. Other programs offered include a Winter Camp-in, as well as Full Moon Hikes. I think it would be interesting seeing how programs are made to keep people coming to the park when attendance is down.
One last story that we talked about how the park aims to increase visitors. Numbers from the National Park Service show that there was around a four percent increase in visitors over last year, and Doorley believes that there will be an increase this year. Doorley also said that has been an increase in out of state visitors.
To conclude the interview, I was given various brochures and magazines about CVNP.
Over the course of the interview, Mary Pat gave me a lot of story ideas. I look forward to working with her and being able to tell the stories of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.