GrowingHeights seeks new coordinator

Gardeners are drawn to the restorative energy of soil, sunshine, sky, water, plants and, ultimately, eating the fruits and vegetables of their labor. However, gardening alone in one’s backyard can be isolating. The alternative: community gardening.

Here in the Heights, gardeners can connect with one another through GrowingHeights (formerly Heights Community Garden Network), where individual and community gardeners come together to share information, resources, food and friendship.

Samantha Provencio has been the coordinator of GrowingHeights for two years. During that time, she has combined her experience as a gardener and garden leader with her love of community-building, developing relationships with, and facilitating connections between, gardeners. Provencio has endeavored to make each community garden a gathering place, with the goal of becoming self-sufficient, with the network helping to achieve that goal.

This summer, Provencio is moving to Virginia with her family, and GrowingHeights is looking for a new coordinator.

The person who replaces Provencio as coordinator of GrowingHeights should have a love of gardens and the people who tend them. He or she should be capable of maintaining the website that Provencio developed. The organization is new and still developing. It could grow in various ways for various purposes, depending on the talents and interests of the new coordinator and the people involved in the network.

GrowingHeights can draw together various community resources to layer support for, and increase the effectiveness of, a project or a garden. For example, Provencio helped the Oxford Community Garden—first established before 1934 as part of the school garden movement—by coordinating aid from Home Repair Resource Center, Green Paradigm Partners, First Unitarian Universalist Church and Heights Community Congress.

Jeff Coryell, through Sustainable Heights Network, initially brought Heights gardeners together during the drab winter of 2012. He used his gift for facilitating gatherings to introduce gardeners to one another and organized them into neighborhood groups so they could identify their hyperlocal gardening needs. The leadership of the network of gardeners passed to Provencio when Coryell ran for, and was elected to, Cleveland Heights City Council.

Coryell said, “Samantha has done a great job. She should be commended for her energy, imagination and hard work. There is a great need for GrowingHeights to share information among gardeners and to help gardeners find and join community gardens, or start new ones. Cleveland Heights is a great gardening town, you just have to drive around the city to know that, so a garden network makes great sense for us.”

For more information about the GrowingHeights coordinator position, contact Samantha Provencio at

Laura Marks

Laura Marks heads ReForest City, planting trees on private property in the 216 area. Her family has lived in Cleveland Heights more than 160 years.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 11:04 AM, 05.29.2015