A community grows on Taylor Road

A new garden is growing near the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads, where University Heights and Cleveland Heights meet. The Taylor Road Learning Garden represents the intersection of these two cities, and is evolving through the efforts of residents in both communities.

Cindy Oser is among the University Heights residents who came together last fall to organize a community garden on a long-vacant plot of land adjacent to the Taylor Academy building. “Mayor Infeld had talked about community gardens during her campaign, formed a volunteer planning committee, and it took off from there,” she recalled.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 1:41 PM, 08.23.2011

Another new historic district for Cleveland Heights

Beginning more than a century ago, Cleveland Heights developed piecemeal as Cleveland burst its bounds. Developers acquired tracts of land, laid out streets, installed sewers and utilities, set standards for homes and sold lots. Reflecting those beginnings, the city is gradually becoming a patchwork of historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Cleveland Heights is poised for the addition of its tenth historic district, to be known as Shaker Farm Historic District.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.19.2011

Online petition aims to put the brakes on development of green space

Citizens For Oakwood, a grassroots effort to promote sustainable use of the former Oakwood Golf Club in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, has created an online petition at Every time someone signs the petition, an e-mail is sent to 27 local policy makers, including the mayors of Cleveland Heights and South Euclid, to "tell elected officials that paving over scarce never-developed land is NOT sustainable. And when other alternatives exist, it is inexcusable."

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 12:20 PM, 06.21.2011

Sustainable Heights Network hosts forum on public leadership

At the May 10 networking forum held by Sustainable Heights Network at Rockefeller’s restaurant on Mayfield Road, the focus was on government. A group of public officials indicated that sustainability practices exist where you may not expect them.

“We believe that the greenest buildings are existing buildings,” said Nancy Levin, director of the CH-UH Public Library. By “recycling” the former YMCA building into a library branch, the library has provided space for additional activities and outside organizations--including Playworks and the Dobama Theater.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 12:44 PM, 06.01.2011

Public leadership in sustainability featured at SHN networking event

Sustainable Heights Network (SHN) will present an evening of community networking on Tuesday, May 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Rockefeller's restaurant. The event will highlight the sustainability efforts and policies of the City of Cleveland Heights with Mayor Ed Kelley, the City of University Heights with Mayor Susan Infeld, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District with Superintendent Douglas Heuer, and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Pubic Library with Director Nancy Levin.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:34 PM, 04.21.2011

Cumberland parking lot improvements to increase safety, water runoff quality

The parking lot at Cumberland Park is being reconfigured and beautified in a project designed to increase the water quality of runoff that drains into Dugway Brook.

The $238,000 project is being funded by a grant from the Ohio EPA, according to Richard Wong, Cleveland Heights Director of Planning & Development.

Key to the project is construction of bioretention basins that, to casual observers, will simply look like plant-filled medians between rows of parking spaces. Wong said they will work as filters, removing the worst pollutants from rainwater as it runs from the parking lot into the drainage system, which empties into the Dugway Brook ravine on the park’s western edge.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 9:50 PM, 01.17.2011

Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition to hold first meeting of the year

The Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition (CHBC) is cycling into its second year with its first quarterly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. at Jimmy O’Neill’s Tavern, 2195 Lee Road.

CHBC wants to give all residents a chance to steer the coalition on a path that will make Cleveland Heights an even better place for bicyclists and for the community as a whole. Those who attend the Jan. 19 meeting can hear about CHBC’s work, provide input and learn about volunteer opportunities to help accelerate progress.

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 10:44 PM, 12.12.2010

Heights students present sustainable ideas for Taylor school property

Cleveland Heights High School seniors Evan Lanese and Tamar Atwell hope to transform the former Taylor School property into a sustainable learning lab. The advanced placement biology students presented their plan to fellow nature studies students in December, hoping to inspire them to form an environmental club to work on the project. Science teacher Steve Warner invited community experts to provide technical and funding advice and ideas about community involvement.

Last year, students in Warner’s class studied the local water cycle and sewer system. “This work led to the idea of making a rain garden and field study at Taylor School,” said Warner. “Later, the idea of community gardening or urban farming was developed.”

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 4:41 PM, 12.16.2010

Consortium saves Cleveland Heights and University Heights on recycling costs

Cleveland Heights and University Heights are among 12 eastern suburbs that have joined together to form a recycling consortium that will allow them to save money, and even turn a small profit, on recycled goods. The idea originated in Lyndhurst, and Cleveland Heights and University Heights got involved through the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. Through the consortium, cities can actually make money on their recycling and, more importantly, they can avoid ever having to pay for recycling.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 12:19 PM, 11.19.2010

Sustainability week a success

More than 40 events took place during Sustainability Week. When the week was initially conceived by the Sustainable Heights Network, no one knew if there would be enough events to fill the week. In the end, there were so many it was difficult to decide which ones to attend. Before the week started, Sustainable Heights had around 70 members on its mailing list; at the end of the week it had 200.

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 6:09 PM, 10.27.2010

Fair Trade Festival at Fairmount Church

Fairmount Presbyterian Church will host its third annual Fair Trade Festival on Friday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children, or $20 for a family. Admission includes a multicultural dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

The festival features traditional handmade clothing, jewelry, toys, holiday ornaments, olive oil and other articles unique to Central and South America, Africa, Asia and India. A Shepherd's Shop will be available for children only, where they can purchase gifts for parents and family members and keep them a surprise. 

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:28 PM, 10.19.2010

Sustainable fun at Open Green Mapping Party on Oct. 9

FutureHeights invites volunteers to help map the sustainable features of the Coventry Village neighborhood at a mapping party and launch of the Sustainable Heights Open Green Map on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Coventry Village Library. A cross between an informal field trip and hands-on workshop, the party is open to anyone who would like to contribute.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 11:14 PM, 09.22.2010

Ruffing Montessori is honored for its commitment to sustainability

Ruffing Montessori School has been named a 2010 Emerald Award winner by Crain’s Cleveland Business for successfully implementing sustainable practices that trim costs, increase cash flow and reduce the school’s environmental footprint. Ruffing recently completed a campus renovation using sustainable building techniques and materials, and achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification this year, making it the first LEED-certified building in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 10:58 AM, 09.27.2010

Adults can also play at Oct. 9 event

Bring your children, your grandchildren, or just your inner child for an afternoon of games in the Heights.  Sustainable Heights and Funny Times are sponsoring "A Play Date in the Heights" from 4-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 The event is part of Sustainability Week, and is an opportunity to connect with nature, play and enjoy the fall weather. The central meeting spot for the event is the Coventry P.E.A.C.E Park. Play stations will be set up all around the park, playground and library. Participants will be able to listen to stories, play nature games and explore! Once you have had your fill of fun and games, enjoy some refreshments and relax.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 2:12 PM, 09.29.2010

Green events wanted

The Sustainable Heights Network is currently inviting events that highlight sustainable activities, practices, workshops, speakers, services or products in Cleveland Heights or University Heights to participate in Sustainability Week, scheduled from October 2-10. 

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 1:26 PM, 08.12.2010

Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition petitions CH City Council to improve bicycle infrastructure

Cities across the United States are learning the benefits of becoming more bicycle friendly.

Portland, Oregon, with nearly 100 miles of new bicycle lanes installed in the last decade, is now one of the top eight U.S. cities to attract recent college graduates.

In San Francisco, 66 percent of merchants said that bicycle lanes had a positive overall impact on their business, according to a survey conducted four and a half years after the lanes were painted.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 12:16 PM, 08.24.2010

Sustainability Week

Sponsored by the Sustainable Heights Network

October 2–10

The Sustainable Heights Network invites Heights residents to participate in Sustainability Week 2010, a week-long series of community events designed to help us build a more sustainable community.

The Sustainable Heights Network is an active and open group of over 50 organizations and individuals who came together in April to celebrate the work undertaken by the people, the community, and the organizations of Cleveland Heights and University Heights to improve their quality of life and to inspire others to become involved. The network is an outgrowth of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, a process that seeks to mobilize Greater Cleveland to create a green and sustainable economy by the year 2019.

Tour a solar-powered house, ride your bike to the farmer’s market, hike Doan Brook or participate in a Green Assets Mapping Party in historic Coventry Village. Most events are free and many are family friendly. See a partial list of events below and visit for a full list of events. For more information, e-mail the network at or call 216-320-1423.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 1:05 PM, 08.24.2010

Great Lakes keeps Cleveland competitive and green

John Carroll University, in conjunction with the Standard Products Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management, will host a daylong Second Annual Conference on The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Marine Highway, "Fitting the Pieces Together" on Aug. 30 at the Dolan Science Center on campus. The conference purpose is to discover how the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway give Northeast Ohio manufacturers and shippers a competitive advantage in the global economy.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 8:05 AM, 07.24.2010

Spring clean your electronics

Whole Foods Market will hold a free Community E-Cycling & Earth Month Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat. April 17 at its University Heights store, Cedar Center.

Anyone may drop off used, broken and unwanted electronics. Then stop in the store for food samples, entertainment and activities.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.10.2010

Urban planning expert, James Howard Kunstler, to appear in Cleveland

The Writers and Readers Series at the Cleveland Public Library is bringing author, journalist and urban planning expert, James Howard Kunstler, to the Stokes Auditorium of Cleveland Public Library’s Main Branch on Sunday, March 14, at 2 p.m., (325 Superior Avenue, Downtown).

Kunsler is known as one of the foremost social critics of the modern era. His books The Geography of Nowhere (1993) and Home from Nowhere (1996) established him as a fierce critic of suburban sprawl and the high cost of a car dependent culture. Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, "Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work."

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 5:22 PM, 03.08.2010

Cleveland Carbon Fund to support local carbon reduction projects

With Americans annually emitting more than 7.5 billion tons of carbon  that contributes to a global increase in temperature, rise in sea level and dramatic changes in climate and weather patterns, the need for reduction in carbon output is drastically important.

Recently, a group of innovative founding partners organized a fund for the public to play a role in eliminating carbon emissions. The Cleveland Carbon Fund is the first community-based, open-access carbon reduction fund in the United States with a mission to sponsor the formation and implementation of local carbon reduction projects that help foster economic development, social well-being and environmental stewardship in Cleveland. 

The City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the George Gund Foundation make up the collaborative group of the Cleveland Carbon Fund’s Founding Partners.
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Volume 2, Issue 3, Posted 9:37 AM, 02.17.2009

Obama's Victory Garden

In his Inaugural Address, President Obama stated: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.”

This is a call for sustainability in our community, nation and world. Since 9/11, though we went to war, we were not asked to sacrifice, or do anything but go shopping by our then-President George W. Bush.

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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 PM, 01.20.2009

Recycling Part I : at the curb

So, I’m a fanatic. I admit it. It’s the recycling mindset: before anything gets dropped into a trash bin, ask whether it can be recycled or reused. At work, home, school, or in a store. Can the backside of that fax confirmation be used in my printer at home? If there isn’t a bin, ask "why not?" to raise awareness.
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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 10:41 AM, 12.20.2008

REGREEN your home in the Heights

Does the mortgage and economic crisis have you in a dilemma over how to deal with the house you are living in with an expanding family? Are you looking for an environmentally friendly action plan for your remodeling project? Are your energy bills higher than your mortgage?
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 9:32 AM, 12.19.2008

One size smaller going green in winter

Reduce your carbon footprint for one day only. I took the challenge and 24 hours later, ouch! The squeeze into the smaller size was painful. You could turn as nasty as Cinderella’s sisters.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 12.08.2008

Calculate your appliance energy usage

Do you want a car that gets 10 miles per gallon of gasoline or one that gets 49 miles per gallon? Easy enough. But how do you figure out how much it costs you in electricity to run your computer? Your dishwasher? Your clothes dryer?
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 10:55 AM, 12.15.2008

Save energy right now

Like many of you, I live in a drafty old Cleveland Heights house. But, I dream of shiny, true divided-lite, Argon filled, insulated windows eight-inch thick, super-insulated walls bursting with R-30 recycled cotton and sealed tight with a spray-applied air/water barrier.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 11:33 PM, 11.18.2008


Every September, Mantua, Ohio, has a potato festival. The town of about 1,000 residents used to be the capital of a thriving mini-region of potato-growing, but now only a few active farms remain. And a short drive away in Cleveland, people walk into grocery stores and buy bags of potatoes that come from 2,000 miles away.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 12:05 AM, 12.18.2008

And the Big (Bad) Footprint Award goes to…

What is a carbon footprint? Let’s put aside the complex scientific definition. Let’s go with the simple one, because that is the one we can do something about today. My carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) I generate because of my energy use over a period of one year.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 10:57 AM, 12.08.2008

Cyclists learn to share the road

I have been riding my bike for over 30 years –commuting, touring and even a brief stint as a racer. In July, I joined six other people for an eight-hour cycling class. The class was taught by League of American Bicyclist certified instructors Ann Whalen and Mike Sherman. The course included classroom instruction, bike skills in a closed parking lot and road riding.
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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 9:39 PM, 08.25.2008

Cycling class helps adults ride safely and confidently in traffic

The League of American Bicyclists and FutureHeights are teaming up to offer a cycling class that teaches the skills needed to ride safely and confidently in traffic.

Cycling for transportation is becoming more attractive as gas prices rise and having the right cycling instruction can ease the transition to a less car dependent lifestyle.
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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 4:02 PM, 06.10.2008

Chemical-free gardening? Not if the city opposes it

Ah, the warm breezes, fragrant lilacs, blooming crabapples. At this season, we eye our garden plots and vegetable beds and plan for a crop. While I gaze admiringly at some of my neighbors’ gardens, I heave a sigh of despair over my front yard. We have trimmed and tamed the bushes, yet the ground is rather weed-ridden. A lawn it is not, and though I enjoy its feathered and furry visitors, I cringe with embarrassment at the bare spots and weeds.
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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 5:44 PM, 05.21.2008

Save the humans

Every generation in human history has faced seemingly greater and more difficult challenges than any previous. We have all heard of the difficult times during the Great Depression. We know about the ‘Greatest Generation’ that responded to the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Within months, Detroit’s auto industry was transformed into a war-fighting industry producing military vehicles and equipment to face the Axis Powers.
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Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 8:58 PM, 04.27.2008

Celebrate Earth Day: Participate in “Styro-Fast” 2008

Earth day is April 22 and Phoenix Coffee has unveiled a new sustainability initiative. The popular locally owned coffee shop with five locations, two of them in Cleveland Heights, is encouraging its customers to use reusable beverage containers. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one of our mugs or a mug of your own,” said Marcie Phillips, manager at the Coventry location, “the idea is to try and create a sustainable coffee community in Cleveland and reduce our dependence on disposable cups.”

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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 4:16 PM, 04.15.2008