Awesome Neighborhood Climate Action

The Cleveland Climate Action Fund is awarding over $26,000 to eight projects that will reduce carbon emissions and help build thriving and healthy neighborhoods. 


This marks the Cleveland Climate Action Fund’s second round of 2015 grant recipients. The Fund provides free educational climate action workshops and competitive grant opportunities for projects that advance neighborhood priorities while also furthering Cleveland’s climate action goals.



The fund is a key strategy in advancing the City of Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan, which emphasizes that a citizen-centered approach is needed to align climate action with the assets, capacities and priorities of Cleveland residents. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability received grants from the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and Partners For Places to revitalize, re-brand and align the CCAF with the city’s Climate Action Plan.


The Fund has provides an equitable model for developing and funding neighborhood projects that align climate action with the assets, concerns, and priorities of Cleveland residents. Over the last six months, the Fund’s Advisory Committee reviewed 33 grant applications during two rounds of funding. A total of thirteen grantees, each of which have been awarded small grants of up to $5,000, will be recognized at the Annual Sustainability Summit on September 16-17 in Public Auditorium.


Examples of neighborhood projects include a neighborhood composting program on bicycles, transitioning a youth landscaping employment program to gasoline-free equipment, and a solar array on a K-8 community school that integrates with STEM curriculum, a bicycle parking and repair station near a transit stop, and reforestation on vacant land. The goal of the Cleveland Climate Action Fund is to hold workshops and fund projects in all Cleveland neighborhoods by 2017. To date, the Fund has held climate action workshops in six neighborhoods, reaching over 100 residents in-person and many more on-line.
This round of grants totaling $26,000 will be awarded to fund the following eight projects:



2014 Potluck in the Park


  • Potluck in the Park, Hough: A community wellness event at Historic League Park to engage attendees from the neighborhood with Sustainable Cleveland working groups and provide walking tours of the Hough Vineyard. Individuals bring dishes to the potluck, but the event is supplemented by restaurants/caterers that use local food and healthful options. This year’s partner is the Fatima Center.
  • Airport Composting Local Farm, Clark Fulton: Cleveland Hopkins Airport will provide used Starbucks coffee grounds to Maggie’s Farm in the Clark Fulton neighborhood to be composted. Approximately 80 pounds of coffee grounds will be diverted from the landfill every day. Landfills generate greenhouse gases as organic material breaks down.



Rosemary Mudry, Old Brooklyn Pollinator and Habitat


  • Pollinator and Habitat, Old Brooklyn: Old Brooklyn will install five pollinator gardens and two demonstration beehives. Residents participating in educational workshops will receive seeds, garden designs and planting information. Residents that host a beehive will also have an opportunity to earn supplemental income.
  • Nursery Rhymes Doin’ Dirt, Detroit Shoreway: Development of a community garden that engages residents from all age groups. Residents will plant trees, remediate soil, create walking paths and develop a rain barrel system.
  • Possibilitarian Urban Homestead, Buckeye: Reforestation of an urban lot with trees, berry bushes, herbs and medicinal plants. Demonstration rain gardens will be created to retain and remediate water on site. The project will alleviate blight, produce food, and strengthen community cohesion.
  • Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project, Collinwood: Rain barrel workshops to raise awareness of water quality through creative repurposing of old hardware. This project engages people from all ages and offers them a functional way to reuse water while beautifying their homes and gardens.
  • Greentopia, Hough: This is a three part project: (1) community planting day to create a fall garden, (2) a community zero waste event called Greentopia that focuses on sustainability/climate action, and (3) creating a youth workforce to landscape and learn horticulture skills.
  • EcoVillage Gateway, Detroit Shoreway: Purchase and install four bike racks and create a public bike repair station. Encouraging biking reduces emissions and fuel usage, improves community wellness, and generates connectivity to nearby recreational centers and the future RedLine GreenWay.


Grants totaling over $20,000 were awarded in Round 1 to fund the following five projects:


  • Cleveland Youth Landscaping, Glenville: Cleveland youth will be hired and trained to provide landscaping and snow removal services to the Glenville neighborhood. Funds will be used to purchase landscaping equipment that does not produce emissions, such as non-gasoline mowers, to reduce air pollution and use of fossil fuels.
  • Community Composting, Detroit Shoreway: Pilot project for a comprehensive, community-wide composting initiative with the Gordon Square Farmers Market and Rust Belt Riders. This project will engage business owners and residents to better understand the impact of food waste and provide participation vouchers. Compost will be collected and dropped off via bicycles and will be used in community gardens. Funds will be used for vouchers for businesses and residents as well as additional equipment thereby reducing landfill waste and increasing fertile soil.



The Grocery


  • The Grocery, Ohio City: This project will support monthly educational community workshops, materials for community gardens, purchase of seeds and chickens, and materials for a chicken coop and a hoop-house to enable food to be produced year round to encourage eating local, healthy foods free of packaging and preservatives. Local food reduces the emissions from food transportation and logistics.



Mansfield Frazier at the Hough BioCellar


  • Hough Biocellar, Hough: This project will fund the installation of a solar panel array to power the Biocellar and vineyard at Chateau Hough. The Biocellar is a learning environment for people interested in crop propagation, local food production and healthy eating in the Hough neighborhood.



Urban Community School students learn about Solar in their STEM curriculum.


  • Urban Community School: Funding for this project will be used to install a set of 10 solar panels that will provide approximately 3,120 kWh/year of energy at the school’s satellite location providing 96% of annual energy costs. UCS will also build a hoop-house to be used as part of its new Learning Garden and Production Farm that is being created in partnership with the Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Refugee Response.

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