Giant church lot serves as home for Community Greenhouse Partners; Lake Erie wind farm coming together; celebrate the harvest at Cle's largest urban f
Marc Lefkowitz | 10/07/10 @ 3:08pm
- Tim Smith is one of a legion inspired by Will Allen the NBA star-turned-urban farmer in Milwaukee. The difference? Smith was inspired enough to dedicate his life to doing something similar in Cleveland. For the last year, Smith has been trying to pull all of the pieces together for the Community Greenhouse Partners. The mission is to build a large greenhouse in an economically distressed neighborhood in order to sell organic vegetables at low cost to low-income families, create jobs and educate young people.
Today, Smith puts a big piece in place. "We signed the papers that enable us to take possession of the site at St. George parish at East 67th Street and Superior Avenue," he blogs. (editor's note: Smith wrote us on 10/7 to clarify: "We do have an agreement, and we hope to close the sale and do the title transfer in the next week or so.")
Smith estimates the total cost of the project will be $3.4 million, with $2.5 million in annual sales. His model is similar to Allen's Growing Power which maximizes space employing a "vertical farming" method that he picked up in The Netherlands. The hard-shell framed polycarbonate plated greenhouse will extend the growing season year round.
The project reuses a huge concrete lot (pictured), and Smith estimates he'll employ 3-5 at the outset and eventually 26 people. In the larger sense, this is a model-like St. Josaphat as an art/performance/living space-for a higher and better calling for church property in the city.
- After years of tilting at wind mills dotting the surface of Lake Erie, the entire Northcoast region finally got together to form a joint effort, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo). This collaborative between Lorain, Cuyahoga and Ashtabula counties, the City of Cleveland, NorTech, and the Cleveland Foundation-is working to put all of the pieces together. This year, it selected a manufacturer for the turbines (GE) and a developer, Great Lakes Ohio Wind (GLOW).
To cap next week's Wind Powering Ohio program, Lorry Wagner, President of LEEDco and Chris Wissemann, Project Development Manager of GLOW will talk about plans to install wind turbines in the lake on Oct. 13. Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo will discuss the benefits of offshore wind for Lorain County.
LEEDCo selected GLOW in a competitive bid process to be responsible for permitting, engineering, procurement, and construction of the 20 megawatt offshore wind turbine project, which will be the first offshore wind turbine installation in North America.
- Imagine boarding a train at a gleaming new Northcoast transit station (which will bridge the land gap between Cleveland City Hall and the lakefront) bound for Pittsburgh where you catch a show at the Warhol Museum or spend the day in the Northside and return home in time for a late dinner. That's the vision and plan of All Aboard Ohio and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. Cleveland, Youngstown, Warren, even Hudson are all connected by existing freight rail lines. The groups are studying the lines?looking for a route that can reach 90-110 miles per hour. With an anticipated 600,000+ annual rail riders and millions in development spin off, the groups are looking for public input to recommend it to ODOT as one of five corridors for development. Their meeting on Oct. 14 in Youngstown is open to the public.
- Top off your Local Foods Week celebration with a tour and tasty harvest fest this Saturday at the city's largest urban farm, Ohio City Farm, located right next door to the West Side Market (behind Riverview Tower public housing). Meet the farmers and taste the fruits of their labor.
- If you're a resident of downtown or the Near West Side of Cleveland, and have a thought about how the quality of schools affects your decision to live in your neighborhood, this online survey being conducted by a CSU Levin College of Urban Affairs graduate student will "inform urban redevelopment efforts and school improvement initiatives in Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Tremont and downtown Cleveland."