By Cameron Aloway, Cleveland Foundation Marketing & Communications Intern
In Greater Cleveland, we take pride in the natural beauty of our region. From the subtle wonders of the Cleveland Metroparks to the picturesque scenery of Lake Erie, it is undeniable that our region is truly one of a kind. However, it is becoming more imperative that our community take action to maintain sustainability in our neighborhoods.
Currently, there are a multitude of organizations pushing for healthy lifestyles and initiatives for community members, including a number of Black-led and Black-serving organizations. With the development of the Cleveland Black Futures Fund (CBFF), the Cleveland Foundation was able to give $1.9 million to 49 Black-led organizations during the fund’s first round of grantmaking.
This week, we recognize the grantee partners who ensure a healthy and sustainable community in the Greater Cleveland area.
Environmental Health Watch, Inc.
Founded with the mission to advance environmental solutions, Environmental Health Watch provides education, advocacy and direct services to families in Greater Cleveland neighborhoods. For over 40 years, Environmental Health Watch has worked with landlords, public officials and healthcare providers to create healthy homes through education and to identify potential home hazards.
Formed by a group of concerned community members and health professionals, Environmental Health Watch offers multiple services to help residents of Greater Cleveland neighborhoods, including audits to inspect homes. Their comprehensive audit identifies and prioritizes hazards and repairs and helps clients find suitable resources to take action to make their homes healthier. In addition to audits and other services, the nonprofit offers educational presentations and workshops for schools and organizations.
Gardening in the District
The primary focus of Gardening in the District is to create a greater appreciation for gardening and healthy living in inner-city communities. As a community garden, the nonprofit builds sustainable health and wellness opportunities by working with community members and, most importantly, youth. Gardening in the District offers multiple hands-on experiences aimed at beautifying our neighborhoods.
Gardening in the District provides multiple community-based programs including its Summer Youth Program, Annual Book Bag School Supply Giveaway and the Haunted Graveyard. Educational internships are also available.
Food Depot to Health
Providing professional programming for health and wellness, Food Depot to Health aims to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles across Greater Cleveland. Food Depot to Health offers engaging and interactive classes and training modules aimed at educating individuals in the pursuit of personal wellness.
The Rid-All Green Partnership
An urban farm based in Cleveland, the Rid-All Green Partnership is committed to growing food, jobs and an overall green neighborhood through urban agriculture. The partnership has turned empty and forgotten land in the Kinsman neighborhood into farms to grow and produce healthy local food distributions. Rid-All has previously built two greenhouses to help create its super nutritious soil, “black gold.”
With the mission to support the community through culturally relevant programming, Syatt, which stands for “see you at the top,” aims to build a world where youth and adults know they belong and feel empowered. Syatt encourages and exposes youth to challenging sports, and they offer a multitude of activities during the winter. Utilizing the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, community members can participate in guided skiing and snowboarding, school and community field trips, and day or weekend trips.
The organization also offers its U Matter Institute, a program designed for high school students with a “collegiate feel,” as the students drive lessons and activities. The institute takes civically and culturally relevant deep dives into the history, culture and future success of youth of color through a global perspective. Check out our interview with Syatt’s founders here, and stay updated with the organization by visiting its website or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Cleveland Foundation makes a commitment to learn, listen and become engaged with members of the community in order to evolve and move forward. We welcome you to join us by making a gift to the Cleveland Black Futures Fund or by signing up to the newsletter for updates regarding the fund.