Sustainable Cleveland Neighborhood Projects

We’ve compiled a list of 25 key environmental projects in Cuyahoga County, with the help of Matthew Gray, Cathi Lehn and Kristin Hall of Sustainable Cleveland. Gray, who resigned in November after eight years with the city of Cleveland, most recently as Chief of Sustainability, says these represent a subset of hundreds of important sustainability and climate projects over the last decade.

“The key is that no one entity, including the city itself, can do this alone,” he says. “As the array of projects illustrates, people and organizations from all walks of life can and must lead in sustainability to see the results we need, and to ensure all people can experience the benefits of sustainable living.”

Cuyahoga Community College received LEED Gold Certification on the Metro Campus Center renovation and is pursuing LEED Certification on three other projects. Tri-C received LEED Certifications on four buildings built several years ago.  
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Since 2010, Drink Local, Drink Tap has partnered with residents and organizations to host monthly beach cleanups from April through September. A member of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the group has picked up 6,861 pounds of trash at Edgewater Park Beach.  
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Residents actively participate in clean air initiatives such as community clean-ups, public meetings, and tree plantings supported by the Cleveland Dept. of Public Health, Division of Air Quality; City Council; Ohio City Inc.; and the Trust for Public Land.
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Flotsam and Jetsam are a pair of 26-foot boats owned by the Port of Cleveland and staffed by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Since 2012, these two boats have removed trash, debris and thousands of logs from the water. Cleveland Metroparks disposes of the logs.
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The IceBreaker Wind Energy Project by LEEDCo is six turbines 8 miles out in Lake Erie. It's the first offshore wind facility in the Great Lakes, the first freshwater wind farm in North America, and second such project in the U.S. Scheduled completion: 2021.  
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Garden Valley manages Ohio's single largest food pantry, serving over 15,000 students, low-income residents, veterans, and homebound seniors monthly. With the support of Re-volv, a national nonprofit, it has won approval for solar panel installation.  
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Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Public Power and IGS Solar installed one of the most innovative solar arrays in Ohio. Its 35,520 panels will power about 5% of county buildings' electricity needs, saving up to $3 million on utility bills over the next 25 years.
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A resident of Glenville, Erika Acy has revitalized three vacant lots and acquired two more for the future. These refurbished community resources function as small event spaces, children’s play areas, and meeting spaces for relaxing with friends and family.
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Part of Cleveland’s Complete and Green Streets network, the reconstruction was completed in 2016. Fleet Avenue is now friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders. It also channels storm runoff to landscaped swales that absorb stormwater.
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Established in 2011, the partnership in the Lee Miles area is a model for transforming neighborhoods into vital, job-providing, food-rich centers for learning. It grows and distributes food, raises and sells tilapia, creates soil, and trains residents in urban farming.
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Reforest Slavic Village partners will improve the tree canopy and support efforts to increase the neighborhood’s 18% tree canopy cover. Programs include Arbor Day celebrations, tree plantings, and a Tree BucKIT with materials for residents receiving new trees.
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The new, state-of-the-art kennel opened in March 2019. The 15,500-square-foot facility meets all LEED green standards and accommodates up to 150 animals for daily operations, 200 animals in emergencies, more than 40 employees and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
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The project reconfigured and expanded the parking lots behind the West Side Market to create 128 additional spaces. It incorporated 42,500 square feet of permeable pavement and new bio-filtration that reduces stormwater flowing into the sewer system.
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This is the first health care center in Ohio to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Level certification. It recognizes buildings for environmentally friendly design, construction, and operation.
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Tunnel Vision Hoops designs and manufactures high-tunnel hoop houses, greenhouses and other agricultural infrastructure. They sell DIY kits and design structures to withstand unpredictable Midwest weather. Their anchoring and hoop mounting system is patented.
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CMHA utilized a portion of a 12-acre brownfield site adjacent to its Campus complex to install a one-megawatt solar array. Completed in 2012, the output of this array is interconnected to the city of Cleveland’s municipal power company.
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The nature preserve encompasses 4 acres of abandoned industrial land adjacent to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland on Broadway Avenue. It offers hiking and biking trails and boardwalks, outdoor learning areas for groups and school classes, and observation points.
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Irish Town Bend envisions the creation of a 17-acre site that will connect Ohio City to the Flats, Downtown, and Lake Erie. The USDOT awarded $9 million toward stabilization via the installation of 2,600 feet of sheet steel bulkheads along the river’s edge.  
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This is the largest core urban food-production greenhouse in the U.S. The state-of-the-art facility uses hydroponic farming practices to produce millions of heads of lettuce, specialty greens, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of herbs and micro-greens annually.
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This urban agricultural work-study program for high school teens was started in 1996 by the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The program has employed more than 1,000 youths at farms in the Buckeye-Woodland, Slavic Village, Fairfax and Midtown neighborhoods of Cleveland.
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Stone Soup CLE, a nonprofit organization, rescues food and delivers it to those in need. Since 2015, it has rescued more than 205,000 pounds of excess food destined for landfills and redirected it to dinner tables for the community.  
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Rust Belt Riders is an organic recycling company that provides individuals and organizations across Northeast Ohio with a viable alternative to landfills for their food waste.  Their work supports Cleveland’s local food system through the creation of soil.
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Rivergate Park is a recreational hub that includes Merwin’s Wharf Restaurant, the city of Cleveland Crooked River Skate Park, and the Cleveland Rowing Foundation. The park includes a Riverwalk trail that is envisioned to extend along the West Bank of the Flats.  
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The Ohio City Farm, one of the largest contiguous urban farms in the U.S. at nearly six acres, provides fresh, local, and healthy food to Cleveland’s underserved residents, boosts the local food economy, and educates about the importance of a complete food system.
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The Upcycle Parts Shop is Cleveland’s first creative reuse center.  Since opening in 2014 in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood, the shop has diverted more than 27 tons of waste from the landfill and has transformed it into art.
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