Cleveland Gets A New Cultural Garden With Land Bank’s Help

One of Cleveland’s best-kept secrets, the Polish-American Cultural Center on East 65th Street, is about to add a new gem to the neighborhood – a Cultural Garden adjacent to the museum.
“Visitors will be able to meander through the garden and see Poland’s more than 1,000 year history evolving right before their eyes, century by century” says an excited Gene Bak, Executive Director of the Cultural Center. “We will stage summer concerts there for the community and it will just be a pretty meeting place where people can get together for a cup of coffee,” he says. “They’ll get a feel for Poland’s history and experience a bit of its future. This garden will represent what Poland is all about!”flags_polish
The Cuyahoga Land Bank and the efforts of Cleveland Councilman and Land Bank Board Chair Tony Brancatelli led the way in acquiring parcels at the site, which Bak describes as “kind of a sore spot that we’re turning into a bright spot.” Third Federal Foundation provided seed money to get the work started and the community will be involved as well-buying sponsorships for benches and parts of the walkways, even individual bricks. “We’ll make it possible for a person to be a lasting part of this without spending a lot of money,” Bak says.
A committee is currently busy reviewing proposals and ideas for landscaping and layout. “We don’t know the specific plantings or statuary yet, but we have a good start-enough to show people what we’re contemplating,” Bak says. He wants people to understand that this garden represents more than a pretty spot in the neighborhood: “This will show the community that the Polish people have not abandoned Slavic Village,” he says. “We still have a presence here, and it’s pretty exciting.”
Work will begin in early fall and be completed two years later.

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