Neighborhood Mini-Grants projects are underway in Cleveland Heights

Oxford Community Garden members work together to plant on a sunny summer day. Photo courtesy Tom Gibson.

FutureHeights launched its Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program last fall and has approved almost $7,000 in grants to support eight neighborhood-based projects in Cleveland Heights. Through the program, FutureHeights seeks to help Cleveland Heights neighborhoods leverage their many assets and provide tools to enable neighborhood leaders to work together on creative solutions to the challenges that face the community.

This fall, keep your eyes open for some projects that you’ll see around town:

Public art

RAFT Coexist was built and launched in August. The project's 12' x 8' wooden platform was created to provide a space for people to build community and be present in the moment, to coexist in nature in a harmonious and comfortable way. RAFT is installed at the corner of Bellfield Avenue, West St. James Parkway and North Park Boulevard, and will be at this location on a semi-permanent basis for at least one year.

Cedar Taylor Development Association (CTDA) and neighborhood residents sought funding for its public art project, which aims to bring vibrancy and interconnectedness to the Cedar Taylor Business District through a public art installation. CTDA has selected an artist, and is aiming to have the art piece installed early this fall.

Coventry Village Special Improvement District and neighborhood residents received support for a "silly crosswalk" to be installed in the business district in 2017. The interactive crosswalk will bring even more color, fun and interaction to the neighborhood. 

Community gardens

Residents of the Noble neighborhood completed a beautification project. The group of residents planted annuals in perennial beds this summer. Custom garden markers identify the gardeners and planters as "Noble Neighbors."

Oxford Community Garden (OCG) received a mini-grant for its Garden Tasting and Pollinator Garden Project. OCG is building a 6,000 sq. ft. permaculture edible food forest around the perimeter of the garden. Permaculture combines aesthetics, edibility and low maintenance. The design is intended to make OCG a welcoming neighborhood gathering spot. The neighborhood mini-grant supports a small orchard and the area surrounding the children's garden. The project is nearly complete and residents are invited to check it out.

Montford Community Garden Association was awarded a grant for its Garden Shed and Pocket Park Lawn Project. Funds will be used to create a pocket park open to the community and install a shed to house garden tools, equipment and supplies to make garden visits easier and encourage people to walk through the neighborhood to the garden. The pocket park and tool shed will be completed in 2017.

Civic engagement

Noble Neighbors received funding to create signs for the organization and advertise its communitywide event. The three-day event, held in spring 2016, was a huge success and brought the entire community together to celebrate the neighborhood. The signs helped to promote the event. Keep an eye out for other Noble Neighbors events and programs at

Residents of Forest Hills and the Boulevard neighborhood joined forces with Boulevard Elementary School for the Boulevard Elementary Outdoor Classroom Enhancements Project. The project’s goal is to improve the school’s outdoor classroom and make the space more attractive to diverse local wildlife, as well as community members who are interested in exploring wildlife. Last year, the school installed an outdoor learning space that includes a rain garden, several butterfly gardens, bird feeders and classrooms. The project will enable the community and school to work together to create a space that is beneficial to the education of the students, the beautification of the neighborhood and the well-being of local wildlife. The community is encouraged to get involved; call 216-320-1423 or e-mail to learn more.

Apply for a mini-grant today

Do you have a great idea to improve your neighborhood? FutureHeights invites you to apply for a grant. The application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m.

The Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program is a component of the FutureHeights Community Capacity-Building Program that awards small grants of up to $1,000 to fund citizen-led neighborhood projects, events and activities that benefit Cleveland Heights.

Through grants, FutureHeights seeks to build community with increased resilience through grassroots resident participation in civic life. In so doing, Cleveland Heights becomes better equipped to address challenges in the physical and social environment, drawing and activating the assets of residents, nonprofit organizations and public resources and departments.

The FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program is guided by a grant-making committee comprising seven Cleveland Heights residents with a history of community involvement. The committee reviews and approves all grants. For more information and to apply, visit

Sruti Basu

Sruti Basu is director of community-building programs at FutureHeights.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 11:46 AM, 09.01.2016