The City is leveraging its purchasing power to encourage companies to be more sustainable while boosting the local economy. As part of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, the City celebrated 2012 as the Year of Local Foods, engaging businesses, residents, schools, and social service and community development organizations to support this growing movement.
In 2011, Travel and Leisure Magazine dubbed Cleveland one of the “World’s Most Visionary Cities” for its urban farming and in 2008, Sustain Lane ranked Cleveland 2nd nationally in Local Foods. Below are some reasons why:
Summer Sprout Program The City partners with the Ohio State University Extension – Cuyahoga (9127 Miles Ave., Cleveland, OH 44105), to offer City of Cleveland residents the opportunity to participate in the Summer Sprout Community Gardening Program. This program provides gardening resources, fertilizer, seeds, soil preparation, and education to all participants.
Gardening for Greenbacks Grants of up to $3000 are available for equipment related to growing and selling produce. Members of farmer cooperatives and other community-supported agriculture programs that sell food and share proceeds are eligible to participate. The Gardening for Greenbacks program helps establish Cleveland as a model for local food system development by working to ensure that residents have access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. As of 2011, eighteen urban growers have received funding through Gardening for Greenbacks
The Office of Sustainability leverages Cleveland's wealth of assets by collaborating with the community to improve the economic, environmental, and social well-being of its citizens. To lead by example, the Office develops and implements policies and practices with City departments to embrace a culture of sustainability.