On a beautiful spring day, it seemed like the heavens were smiling down on a group of students and community stakeholders that gathered at Metro Catholic School on W. 57th Street in Cleveland. Everyone came together to celebrate the completion and dedication of the Sister Ann Michael Garden.
For the ceremony, the students decorated the Sister Ann Michael Garden with paper lanterns, butterflies and colorful paintings, adding vibrancy to eight garden flats and a row of rain barrels.
Metro Catholic School Director Sister Anne Maline told the crowd about former Principal Sister Ann Michael’s dedication to the school and its students as well as to nature, and rejoiced in the completion of the garden after four years of planning and development.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was a special one for the Cuyahoga Land Bank too. In 2010, the demolition of the vacant and abandoned property that was cleared away to make room for the garden was one of the first ever undertaken by the Cuyahoga Land Bank when it first opened its doors.
“This is my favorite kind of project,” said Land Bank President Gus Frangos. “The kind of project that goes beyond bricks and mortar and becomes about the community and the kids that end up benefiting from it.”
Metro Catholic School resides within the borders of the nation’s first EcoVillage. Created in 1998 through a year long community planning process, the Cleveland EcoVillage seeks to strengthen the existing diverse neighborhood through the integration of greenspace, sustainable transportation and green housing projects.
Through the Sister Ann Michael Garden, “Metro Catholic is creating an environment where green space can be celebrated,” said local Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone. “As we reshape the city to better use our space with less population, this is a perfect example of what can be done.”
Watch parts of the ribbon cutting ceremony on YouTube