New Western Reserve Public Media Production Tells Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Story

Premiere on Western Reserve PBS to accompany national premiere of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

Through high-definition video and the voices of people from all walks of life, Western Reserve Public Media presents its new one-hour documentary that tells the story of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Generations: Cuyahoga Valley National Park will premiere on Western Reserve PBS on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. It is a companion production to Ken Burns’ six-part documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Additional airdates for Generations are Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 10 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 4, at 9 p.m.

“We knew that chances were good that Ken Burns would focus on the iconic national parks, so we chose to focus on the Cuyahoga Valley story ourselves,” said Duilio Mariola, Western Reserve Public Media production manager. “Over the course of this past year, we shot more than 50 hours of high-definition footage so that we could accurately represent the park during every season.” He added that the concept of “generations” applies to all aspects of CVNP. “Obviously, it is a story of people who have benefited from the park’s resources, but we also acknowledge the evolution of the park’s geology and the generations of animals that have called the valley home.”

Generations is the first full-length broadcast documentary about 34-year-old Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It showcases the park’s 33,000 acres through a variety of methods, including archival video footage, recent interviews, oral histories and memorabilia provided by park visitors.

Integral to the production are the stories provided by more than 40 people who answered the station’s invitation to share their park memories and experiences. Anecdotes about valley farming, weekend hikes and wedding proposals enrich the concept of generations in the production, according to Mariola. Community members and business leaders also talk about the difficulties experienced during the park’s formative years as a new National Park Service entity.

Funding for Generations: Cuyahoga Valley National Park is provided by The Cleveland Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, George and Susan Klein and Family, The Harry K. Fox and Emma R. Fox Charitable Foundation, The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, National Park Service, NEOEA, PPG Industries Foundation and The S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Local underwriting for Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is provided by Appalachian Outfitters, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association and Old Trail School. It will premiere on Western Reserve PBS following Generations at 9 p.m. The series will continue from Monday to Wednesday, Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 1, at 9 p.m.; and Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

Western Reserve Public Media has also produced an interactive Web site for Generations at, where the entire Generations program will be available for free viewing on demand after Oct. 1. The site also features background video on demand, including full-length interviews, oral histories, videography and photography. There are options for people to post their own video and photos, plus downloadable podcasts that will direct people to great places to visit within CVNP.

Educational resources on the Web site include an interdisciplinary teacher guide for middle school classrooms with a theme of “preserve and protect.” It offers lessons in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies and art. Additional features include a board game, a virtual tour of the park and podcasts created for the project. Western Reserve Educational Services will present professional development workshops this fall to help educators integrate the multimedia materials into their lesson plans. For more information, call Ria Mastromatteo at 1-800-554-4549.

Serving on the educational resources team were project leader Ria Mastromatteo, education content producer with Western Reserve Public Media; Cathy Adler, language arts teacher, Brown Middle School, Ravenna; Amy Franks, visual art teacher, Bath Elementary; Darren Saylor, science teacher, North Olmsted Middle School; Melanie Stuthhard, social studies teacher, Revere Middle School; and Arrye Rosser, interpretive and education specialist, Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


About Western Reserve Public Media
Western Reserve Public Media (formerly PBS 45 & 49) is owned and operated by Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc., a private, nonprofit corporation and consortium of Kent State University, The University of Akron and Youngstown State University. A trusted community resource, Western Reserve Public Media uses the power of commercial-free television and related services to enrich the lives of people through high-quality programming and educational services that teach, illuminate and inspire.

Western Reserve PBS, a service of the organization, is the only broadcast television service that reaches all of northeast Ohio. It is available to 1.8 million households and 4.4 million people in the Cleveland and Youngstown designated market areas. In an average week, over 500,000 households tune in. The organization also operates two standard definition channels, Fusion (WNEO.2/WEAO.2), MHz Worldview (WNEO.3/WEAO.3) and V-me (WNEO.4/WEAO.4).

Through funding from eTech Ohio, Western Reserve Public Media provides K-12 educational technology training and instructional television programming to 21,500 educators and 256,700 students in eight Ohio counties. For more information about the organization, visit or call 1-800-554-4549.

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