Noble Neighbors are on the move

In January 2014, in response to a random, violent attack on one of our neighbors while she was walking, Noble Neighbors was born. Thanks to Cynthia Griggins, who took the lead, and others, we began meeting in our homes and with local police and city representatives, as a show of support, and because we wanted to do something to reclaim our area as a beautiful, welcoming, inclusive community. We continue to grow in numbers and are partnering with local churches that are providing space for monthly meetings, which have already outgrown our living rooms.

Noble Neighbors is committed to doing our part to make this area an even better place to live, work and raise families. Efforts encompass attracting new homeowners, safety, beautification and community-building events. We realize this can only happen by reaching across our rich cultural boundaries for a common purpose—the revitalization of Cleveland Heights.

Prior to the founding of our organization, several community gardens were started. While the gardens are not part of Noble Neighbors, many of the gardens’ members belong to our group.

A blog on the Noble Neighborhoods website ( describes five neighborhood gardens: Woodview Hope Community Garden; several kitchen gardens at the Noble Road Presbyterian Church, cultivated by the Nepalese refugees that call the Noble neighborhood their home; a children's garden at Noble Neighborhood Library; Oxford Garden; and Montford Garden—the neighborhood’s newest community garden.

Check out each garden for some very clever critter control techniques! Here's a shout-out to the Heights Community Garden Network, which supports all of these efforts. We've got good eating in the neighborhood!

A clean community sends a positive message. On June 7, Noble Neighbors held our first Pick Up for Pride event, where 50 people spent several hours picking up trash and cleaning up Noble Road between Noble Elementary School and Woodview Road. The event was a big success, with Noble Road shop owners helping and expressing their appreciation.

We’ve held meetings and formed committees based on what we identified as our main goals. These include our Beautification Committee, which organized Pick up for Pride, and is currently working on perennial plantings beginning at the Noble Road and Monticello Boulevard intersection. Research has shown that the inviting "look" of a community is directly linked to crime reduction. The Community-Building Committee is responsible for increasing publicity and visibility and has reached out to the Noble Elementary School PTA. A fall event, Make Noise for Noble, was held at the school on Oct. 5. Adults and children gathered to meet and greet each other, participated in a drum circle followed by a drumming parade around the school, and had fun doing what all good neighbors do—spend time together.

Noble Neighbors is aware that several Block Watch groups have recently been started and block parties have been held during the summer. We ask that anyone who has been part of these efforts contact us via the Noble Neighbors website, to let us know what you’re doing.

We are working to partner with the city, real estate and marketing professionals, business owners and anyone else interested in participating in our efforts. Noble Neighbors is on the move, and we need others to help. Please contact us through, and stay tuned!

Mary E Weems and Brenda H. May

Mary E. Weems, a former Cleveland Heights poet laureate, is a poet, playwright and social foundations of education scholar. Brenda H. May, one of the leaders of Noble Neighbors, has lived in the Noble area for 30 years.

Read More on Opinion
Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 10.31.2014