CH Mayor Kelley helps dedicate Montford Community Garden

Mayor Ed Kelley helps cut the ribbon to dedicate the garden.

Saturday, May 11, was a good day for community, sharing and—dirt. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Montford Community Garden Association (MCGA) members, including Patrick Byrne, John Ludway, Laurel Freeder, Diane Frederick, Curt and Suzie Coker, Michael Jones, Leslie Bates, and others assembled raised beds and filled them with soil in preparation for planting, which will begin in the next two weeks.

Several young people were on hand to help. Olivia Jones and her friend, Ashlee Woldman, took a break from shoveling and raking to help Mayor Ed Kelley cut a ribbon, tied between two Fiskar’s shovels, to dedicate the garden.

The garden, located at the corner of Montford and Windsor roads in Cleveland Heights, is the first community garden to be created on a vacant property resulting from a foreclosed and demolished home. MCGA has created 22 plots on the site. Community members who wish to work a plot pay a small fee and agree to participate in group work sessions to maintain the overall garden site. According to MCGA president, Patrick Bryne, all but a few of the plots are contracted for, and at least two will be dedicated to food production for local food banks.

Susanna Niermann O’Neil, acting city manager, and Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights, were also on hand to help dedicate the garden. The city purchased the lot from the Cuyahoga Land Bank and restored a water line to the property. FutureHeights is acting as fiscal agent for the project.

MCGA received a $3,500 grant and toolkit from Fiskars Brands Project Orange Thumb® and a $400 start-up grant from the OSU Extension Suburban Community Garden Program. The group hopes to raise additional funds to install a fence around the property.

For more information, visit MGCA’s Facebook page,

Mary Weems

Mary Weems is a member of Montford Community Garden Association.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.13.2013