Noble Neighbors celebrates three years of accomplishments
Thirty-five people gathered at Christopher’s Pub on Jan. 3 to look back at Noble Neighbors’ achievements for 2016, and there were many:
- Carol Roe, a neighborhood resident, began her term on CH City Council in January 2016, bringing representation for the neighborhood to City Hall.
- Noble Neighbors asked RTA to assess the 41 bus route on Noble Road, and it was determined that ridership on the route—the only line to offer 24-hour service in Cleveland Heights—justified an additional bus shelter, which was installed in late spring.
- Vandemar Street residents successfully organized in opposition to the rezoning of two residential properties to accommodate a large convenience store and 16-pump gas station.
- Noble Neighbors distributed flyers in a neighborhood ward urging residents to deny a bar permission to sell alcohol on Sunday, and permission was voted down.
- The organization also participated in the Cleveland Heights master planning process, volunteered at schools and attended every city council meeting.
In support of Noble Neighbors’ big annual May event, FutureHeights awarded Noble Neighbors funds from its Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program to buy flowers and signs for beautification projects at five public perennial gardens and in numerous business district planters. Another grant paid for movable signage for the event, which is known as the Noble Community Home and Yard Sale.
The 2016 event, which took place May 13–15, exceeded attendance at 2015’s inaugural home and yard sale. Noble and Oxford elementary schools joined in, with NobleFest and Oxford Carnival, while merchants festooned their stores with balloons and advertised specials.
The Church of the Master, Disciples Christian Church, Noble Road Presbyterian Church, Bethel Church and Start Right Church participated with an ice cream social, bake sales, craft sales, a line dance class, building material sales, a rummage sale, children’s activities, musical events, a plant sale and a movie.
Home Repair Resource Center sold tools. Noble Neighborhood Library hosted a free book “sale” and children’s activities. The Boy Scouts offered free hot dogs and activities at the Denison Park shelter; the police academy held tours and demonstrations; and the Oxford Community, Woodview Hope, and Montford gardens, along with the Noble Neighborhood Library Children’s Garden, were all open for visitors.
Musicians roamed the neighborhood and played music on porches for yard sale browsers and food vendors. Real estate open houses showcased the affordable, delightful and varied homes in the district. In all, thousands of visitors enjoyed the neighborhood.
Greater Cleveland Congregations partnered with Noble Neighbors to investigate property ownership and home-repair concerns. FutureHeights is partnering with the organization to develop an inventory of business district properties, businesses and vacancies, in support of the city’s economic development planning.
A back-to-school celebration in August targeted the apartment residents along Noble Road. Chalk art, ice cream and the rocket car sent kids smiling into the new school year.
The second election forum hosted by Noble Neighbors, this time regarding the CH-UH school levy, gave residents insight into both pro and con positions. A video recording of the meeting provided access to the information-sharing event for all district voters.
The year ended with a new initiative, Light up Noble! Every resident, institution and business was invited to put lights in Noble-facing windows to welcome the thousands of visitors who annually come to view the Nela Park holiday lights.
At the Jan. 3 meeting, those attending identified reasons for continuing to volunteer in the neighborhood: increasing the visibility of the community and attracting economic development, fostering a positive identity and sense of belonging, making sure neighborhood voices are heard and gaining needed resources. Residents left the celebration at Christopher’s with a feeling that Noble Neighbors’ success to date is palpable and visible, and that theirs is a neighborhood on the move.
(Check out Christopher’s Pub, located in the former Pete’s Tavern space, for great food served with graciousness. More information about the restaurant, at 1318 Warrensville, can be found at www.christopherspub.net.)
Brenda H. May
Brenda H. May is one of the leaders of Noble Neighbors. Learn more about the organization at www.nobleneighbors.com.