Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Re-Imagining Cleveland
35 total

Clifford Johnson Interview, 14 April 2010

Clifford Johnson, Jr. manages an apartment building on East 139th Street where he and his partner (Mr. Kidd) hopes to install a garden. Clifford has lived in the neighborhood foe seven years. The neighborhood is occupied by drug dealers and the community has a “turn your head the other way” mentality. He is hoping the installation of a garden will have a snowball effect in the community and will make other people follow suit.

Lilah Zautner interview, 15 August 2010

Interviewee Lilah Zautner talks about her ties to Cleveland and education in the first part of the interview. In July 2009, she was hired to manage the grant side of ReImagining Cleveland, a shared staff position. She talks about the study ReImagining Cleveland and more Sustainable Cleveland. Another point of discussion is how Neighborhood Progress Inc. approached the City of Cleveland to allocate funds. In much of the interview, she details out the application and funding process, problems…

Mansfield Frazier Interview, 21 April 2010

Mansfield Frazier discusses starting a vineyard in the Hough neighborhood with the hopes of one day opening a winery. He talks about the difficulties in dealing with antiquated city ordinances and laws that prevent certain aspects of the gardens to move forward. Mansfield also discusses his hopes that urban farming will expand in the city and the nation. He also talks briefly about the task of acquiring enough grapes for his anticipated winery.

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Jim Edwards Interview, 14 April 2010

Jim Edwards of Hope Community Garden describes his involvement in community outreach programs and his whirlwind involvement with the Hope Community and Market Garden. He shares his experience and his own hopes for the future of the site and surrounding community.

Herb Arron Interview, 05 May 2010

Herb Arron works with the Africa Community Village Garden. He discusses the importance of having a garden and green space in communities to provide a local access to nature. The garden is a vegetable garden and the produce is distributed to the community and he hopes that any excess could be sold at farmer’s markets around town. Herb also discusses the hopes of partnering with one of the local schools to allow the students to have a hands on experience with gardening. He also mentions that the…

William Merriman Interview, 21 April 2010

William Merriman is the Deacon at St. Patrick’s Church on Bridge Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. He talks about his upbringing and what brought him to Cleveland. He also discusses his involvement in neighborhood development.

Charles Blubaugh Interview, 19 April 2010

Charles Blubaugh of League Park Foods describes his life, including where he was born and how he came to the Superior & St. Clair community where he now resides. His wife, who is also present during the interview, gives her biographical information as well. Charles Blubaugh then describes his reasons for getting the grant to construct the vineyards. He also describes why he choose this plot of land in the Hough neighborhood. He then goes on to describe his hopes and goals for the vineyards.

Robert Hill Interview, 02 June 2010

Robert Hill is the president of the West Park Community Coalition. The project, Bellaire Garden Landscaping Project, was given a grant by Re-Imagining Cleveland but due to personal issues that arose and the lack of volunteers to take up the project, Robert returned the grant. Robert hopes to apply for another Re-Imagining grant in the future but intends to do enough work before hand so the same problem does not arise. The project was originally designed to beautify the street of Bellaire and…

Fay Harris Interview, 26 April 2010

Fay Harris moved to Cleveland from Pennsylvania to work as a Chemist. Fay sits on the board of the Near West Side Development Corporation. She is working on planting a community garden in her neighborhood as a way of engaging the community and bringing them together.

Todd Alexander Interview, 03 May 2010

Todd Alexander recently moved to Cleveland in the Ohio City neighborhood. He is working on establishing a market garden called Central Roots in Ohio City with the hopes of providing fresh produce for the local neighborhood. Todd Alexander majored in sustainability at Baldwin Wallace and has been active in other sustainability programs with the city of Cleveland. Todd discusses the phenomenon of “food deserts” and the hope that Central Roots will become an asset to the neighborhood.

Rev. Charles Cotton and Jacquelin Jacobs Interview, 06 July 2010

Rev. Charles Cotton and Jacquelin Jacobs work with the Community Education Enhancement Center. The group was funded for to garden and lots with a third tied up in probate. Jacquelin, the designer of the gardens, is the primary speaker in the interview and discusses her vision for the lots. The lots were chosen specifically for their attributes and proximity to the Canaan Missionary Church. The lots are a tool to educate the next generation and to beautify the neighborhood. Both Rev. Cotton and…

Darren & Johanna Hamm Interview, 26 May 2010

Johanna and Darren Hamm both grew up in the suburbs and moved to Brooklyn Center after they were married. They are very involved in their neighborhood and wrote the grant for Re-Imagining Cleveland to install an orchard on a vacant lot owned by the railroad. The orchard is intended to provide fresh fruit to the community at no charge.

Sarah Sampsell Interview, 03 May 2010

Sarah Sampsell is working with two other Baldwin Wallace graduates on the Central Roots Garden in Ohio City. The garden is intended to provide a source of fresh produce for the surrounding community. The people living in the neighborhood have been very supportive and have volunteered to work in the garden, often on the spot. Sarah hopes the efforts with the garden and the other projects will be a source of pride for Clevelanders and convince them to stay in the city.

Joe Lesko Interview, 21 April 2010

Joe Lesko grew up in Cleveland. He lived in the Collinwood area most of his life. He taught at Collinwood High School and recounts the changes in the school and neighborhood during his tenure there. He retired in 1979 and moved out of the community. Joe talks about the racial tensions felt at Collinwood High School and how the National Guard was called in to deal with it in 1968. He fondly remembers some of the students he taught and his own high school basketball coach who mentored him and…

Jay Gardner Interview, 17 June 2010

Mr. Gardner discusses his lengthy involvement with non profit organizations and community projects. His current involvement with the Quebec Serenity Gardens and a connector pathway within the Fairfax neighborhood are discusses against the backdrop of the Reimagining Cleveland Grant. The steps involved in applying for the grants, designing a worthy project as well as some of the problems involved are discussed.

Melissa Miller Interview, 21 April 2010

Melissa Miller of the Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation discusses the commitment to solving problems of storm water overflow from the Big Creek Tributary, beginning with a storm water management project on Milligan Avenue in the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood. This interview gives background information on the Neighborhood, the Big Creek, and the Re-Imagining Cleveland project.

Christina Keegan Interview, 28 April 2010

Christina Keegan grew up in Illinois but moved to Cleveland to attend Cleveland State University’s Urban Studies program. She is working to establish a phytoremediation garden in the Tremont neighborhood with the hopes that the garden will encourage a sense of community among neighbors while removing lead contamination from the soil. She discusses the Cleveland Towpath Trail and it’s possible impact on the garden and the city.

Mansfield Frazier Interview, 07 April 2010

Mansfield Frazier talks about his project in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland, OH. He is a native of Cleveland, and currently resides in the Hough neighborhood. He talks about his past, and what led him to start this project. He also talks about his thoughts about Cleveland as it is now, issues regarding race, and trying to change common misperceptions about the Hough neighborhood. The main goal of the project is to try to create jobs for people in the area, do something that will help the…

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Richard Schaffer Interview, 27 April 2010

Richard Schaffer works with the Glenville Development Corporation and is working on creating a garden pathway in the Glenville neighborhood as a way to green and beautify the area. The community has been receptive and involved due to the open forum approach to creating the garden. Richard Schaffer also discusses the Hough and Glenville riots along with the renovation of Notre Dame Catholic School on Ansel Rd. in Glenville.

Justin Husher Interview, 02 June 2010

Fed up with the business world, Justin Husher discusses his departure from his career path and into a career of farming. His involvement with the process from beginning to end is discussed ans well as his utilization of technology to market himself like twitter, facebook, and web blogs. Husher also discusses his use of refuse in his farming. His major complaint throughout this project involves Reimagining Cleveland’s red tape.

Janet Cummings Interview, 03 May 2010

Janet Cummings of the Helping Stone Garden discusses her involvement in that project. Janet Came to Cleveland in the 1970′s and has been here ever since. Cummings shares her insight on how the Garden works, and well as the future plans for the Garden and the community. Janet also speaks about the children of the neighborhood and their importance to the success of the project.

Curtis Banks Interview, 12 April 2010

Mr. Curtis Banks discusses his past and future for Kosciuszko Avenue in Cleveland Ohio. He explains what his plans are for his site and how he came to Cleveland. He discusses how and why his father came to Cleveland in the first place and what the living conditions were when he arrived. He also explains how the history and culture of the area has changed through the years and what he intends to do to make it a better place to live in the future.

Michelle deBock Interview, 25 May 2010

Michelle deBock is a Special Education teacher at Waterlake Elementary School in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. She grew up in Independence but currently lives in the Detroit Shoreway area. Michelle discusses her hopes for utilizing the garden as part of her, and other teacher’s, curriculum for the students of Waterlake. She describes how the Detroit Shoreway area has recently been revitalized by the community.

Brenda Taylor Rosario Interview, 14 April 2010

Reverend Brenda Taylor Rosario talks about her childhood growing up in the Central Neighborhood, and her family connections with the community. Rosario has worked with the city of Cleveland in cleaning up the neighborhood since the 1970s, and now is heading the community orchard being built on East61st and Quincy Avenue.

Robin Kanscack Interview, 09 April 2010

Robin Kanscak of the ASIA community garden project discusses the community garden as a model to revitalize the neighborhood. This interview discusses the plans of both the garden group and of Asiatown.