As I read the Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland, a report that includes strategies for the reuse of vacant land in Cleveland, I was struck by one recommendation in particular: turning vacant and abandoned lots into urban food gardens. Urban gardening has numerous benefits including increasing residents’ access to fresh produce, providing exercise opportunities while promoting social interaction, and teaching life skills for residents to become more self sufficient. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, urban gardens can instill a sense of pride in a community by providing residents an opportunity to work towards a common goal that will be beneficial for all. For more information on starting an urban gardening project in your community, please check out The Ohio State University Extension program website in Cuyahoga County.
As I continued to research this idea, I have been impressed by the number of Ohio communities that have started their own projects. Below is information on several community urban gardens in Ohio, and we encourage you to add others. If you have any suggestions on how we at Greater Ohio can promote more of this type of activity at the state level please share that too.