May 16 public panel to explain and encourage community gardening
Community gardens are a tremendous asset to our community. In addition to providing a gardening opportunity to apartment dwellers and to homeowners who desire additional or better garden space, community gardens promote sustainable practices like food-waste recycling and local food production. They also improve community food security by enabling residents to grow their own food or donate what they grow for hunger relief, provide an engaging activity for youth and improve the appeal and property values of neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, many residents are not aware of community gardening, do not understand how community gardens operate or do not know the benefits they provide. Those who might enjoy a community garden may miss out on the opportunity due to lack of information.
For these reasons, the FutureNow committee of FutureHeights and the new Heights Community Garden Network are hosting a public informational panel discussion about community gardening in the Heights, to be held on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at The BottleHouse, 2050 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights.
A panel of gardening experts will discuss the benefits and practicalities of starting or participating in a community garden and answer questions from the audience. Panelists are Nicole Wright, program coordinator, OSU Extension-Cuyahoga County; Lilah Zautner, sustainability manager, Neighborhood Progress; and Cleveland Heights resident Samantha Provencio, former leader of Fairfax Community Garden and founder of a new community garden in Little Italy.
Anyone interested learning more about community gardens or helping them thrive in the Heights is encouraged to attend. For more information, visit www.heightscommunitygardens.net.
Jeff Coryell is a visual artist, writer and community activist. He is a member of the Board of FutureHeights and is the coordinator of the Heights Community Garden Network.