downtown flora escapes the wrecking ball and finds new life in slavic village

So how deeply has the sustainability movement taken hold in Northeast Ohio? Three organizations that already have a lot on their plates recently collaborated to save some grass.

Mind you, this wasn't just any grass. This was native prairie grass that until recently was part of an art installation on Mall B. But the installation must make way for the Medical Mart, for which ground will be broken later this month. So last spring, Cleveland Public Art contacted Slavic Village Development to see if it could find a new home for the Big-Blue Stem, Side-Oats Grama, Awlsledge and other oddly named varieties of grass that might otherwise now be decaying in a mulch heap.

"I said sure, we'd find a place to replant them," says Marlane Weslian, development officer at Slavic Village. She rented a Toro Dingo and rounded up volunteers to dig 500 holes along the Morgana Run Trail, between Aetna Road and Marble Avenue.

Meanwhile, contractors removed and transported the grass, thanks to a grant from ParkWorks. "It's a lot of work," Weslian says, but the transplant was a success. The grass has already gone dormant, she notes, but should grow strong and green again come spring.

Next week, another contractor -- again paid with grant money obtained through ParkWorks -- will relocate oak trees, already six inches around, from Mall C to a planned "savannah" behind a new Slavic Village housing development adjacent to the trail. Some of these trees are already 25 feet tall, Weslian says, and she's excited to see them make the kind of impact that usually takes decades to achieve.

"And talk about sustainable reuse!" says adds.

Source: Slavic Village Development
Writer: Frank W. Lewis
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