The Cleveland Foundation works with partners to preserve, protect and restore our region’s environment to ensure residents can lead healthy lives today and in the future.

We boast a rich history of advocating for the environment—from helping establish treasured green spaces like the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area to lobbying for more green energy. As the second largest environmental grantmaker based in Ohio, we’re committed to funding environmental organizations and projects of all sizes, while focusing our leadership on improving water qualityaddressing environmental injustices and advancing clean energy because healthy places equal healthy people.  

Protecting Cleveland’s Freshwater 

Cleveland sits on the shores of Lake Erie, the source of drinking water for more than 11 million people and our gateway to the Great Lakes. Protecting and restoring our lake is critical to our future. We seek to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe and affordable water. Our freshwater goals include: 

  • Reconnecting residents, including those in vulnerable or disadvantaged communities, to our lake, rivers and creeks
  • Accelerating Cleveland and the region into a center for freshwater innovation and research
  • Advancing local, regional, and statewide policies that improve water quality
  • Scaling green stormwater management practices to keep wastewater out of Lake Erie

Creating a More Equitable Environment 

Health hazards from proximity to industry and highways disproportionately impact our lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. We seek to ensure everyone has access to clean air to breathe and green space to enjoy. Our environmental equity goals include: 

  • Expanding access to parks and recreation spaces, particularly for those in vulnerable communities
  • Advocating for residents who are at risk for health hazards from neighboring industrial pollution
  • Supporting the implementation of electric transportation initiatives in underserved neighborhoods

Building a Clean Energy Economy

We seek to build a region that can meet present energy demands while also ensuring a clean and secure energy future that will improve quality of life, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy. Our clean energy goals include:

  • Supporting projects to advance a clean energy future for Cleveland and the region

  • Positioning Cleveland as the epicenter of offshore wind energy production in the Great Lakes

  • Advancing local, regional and statewide policies that support the transition to a clean energy economy