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Metroparks to use drones to assess health of parks
CLEVELAND -- A company contracted by the Cleveland Metroparks has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to use small drones to monitor the health of the system's numerous parks in northeast Ohio.

The Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Center received authorization to operate 1.5-pound drones for the parks system. A Metroparks official said in a statement that the drones will provide photographs and produce maps that are far more detailed than what's now available from satellite images.

The official said the detailed photographs will allow the park system to document native and invasive plant species and will allow resource managers to make better decisions about managing natural areas.