Tuesday, February 17, 2009

OB Photos: Treadway Connector & Benjamin Franklin Community Garden

Last year, I decided to bicycle through and photograph two of Old Brooklyn's greatest assets, the Treadway Connector and Benjamin Franklin Community Garden.

The Treadway Connector is Cleveland first connection between a neighborhood and the Towpath Trail. This 2/3-mile trail meanders along the old Treadway Creek from Harmody Park at Broadale Road and Mayview Avenue to Jennings Road at Crestline Avenue. What's most amazing is the topography and the natural scenery along the way. To see a map of the Treadway Connector, please click here.

Last May, Councilman Brian Cummins was on Feagler & Friends on WVIZ to discuss the Treadway Connector. There, he mentioned that the cost of the Treadway Connector was slightly more than $1 million, with $750,000 coming from the State of Ohio's Clean Ohio Fund. Councilman Cummins contributed a portion of his Parks & Recreation allocation to the project as well. The project was a vision of former Ward 15 Councilwoman Merle Gordon, who was interested in exploring alternative uses of the neighborhood's underutilized valleys and ravines. He also stated that a Friends of Treadway Creek group, which consists of residents and other stakeholders, will be responsible for routine maintenance of the connector.

Located on Spring and Broadale Roads behind Benjamin Franklin School, Benjamin Franklin Community Garden allows Old Brooklyn families to adopt one of over two hundred plots of land to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Thousands of pounds of produce from this 5 1/2-acre garden are donated to local food banks to held feed the hungry. The garden has been a focal point in the Cleveland Public Schools system's horticultural programs since 1924, and began serving as a community garden in the 1980s.

For more historical information about the Benjamin Franklin Community Garden, please visit the Cleveland Public Schools Horticulture page on the Cleveland Memory Project's website. For information about reserving a plot of land in the garden, please contact Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation at (216) 459-1000 or visit its website.

To view a photo slideshow of the Treadway Connector and Benjamin Franklin Community Garden, please click here.

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