Drone use approved for Cleveland Metroparks

Tyler Trill

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Something in Cleveland Metroparks will be amongst the treetops, and it is not the birds.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved the Cleveland Metroparks’ request to use a drone.

The 1.5-pound drone will be used to survey natural life health, said Sue Allen, Cleveland Metroparks director of communication.

Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Center will supply the drone.

Chief of Staff David Gallagher said the drone is called a “senseFly: eBee.” It can reach a maximum speed of 35 mph, and can sustain flight for 45 minutes.

The drone will survey the Hinckley Reservation, a southern portion of the Metroparks.

Allen said the Rising Valley and Bellus Road areas will be specifically looked at.

Kent State Grounds Manager Heather White said the drone makes sense for the park to use.

“Especially with something on the outlying areas, Hinckley is one of them, they don’t have a lot of urban population around it…it is heavily populated all around it,” she said.

As far as Tree Campus USA using drones in the future, White said it wouldn’t.

“I don’t see us trending that way, it is easy enough to use the online air photos to find out about what over story trees or whatever populations and plant materials we have,” White said.

Even though drones won’t be coming to Kent anytime soon, do not rule them out of Portage County.

White said if everything runs smoothly in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a prime candidate for a drone natural life survey.

Contact Tyler Trill at [email protected].