Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries Celebrates New Urban Garden

On a bright, beautiful Saturday summer morning, staff and residents of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (“LMM”) came together with the Cuyahoga Land Bank, Campus District, Inc. and the Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative to put into reality the vision that was set in motion two years earlier between the Cuyahoga Land Bank and LMM.
LMM provides quality transitional housing for men including armed forces veterans at 2100 Lakeside Avenue.  Over two years ago, LMM and the Cuyahoga Land Bank began discussing ways in which the vacant abandoned building next to LMM’s facility could be acquired and used for an urban garden for the residents.  After dealing with a number of lengthy and complicated title issues, the property was finally donated to the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank demolished the blighted building to create garden opportunities for LMM’s residents.
LMM enlisted the services of the Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, headed by Terry Schwarz, who managed a number of students and put together an incredible design for the gardens. 
Group_PhotoSchwarz said that this project provided the Kent State students with an experience in a real time setting, and that the mission of LMM made the effort that much more rewarding.
LMM’s Vice President of Housing & Shelter Mike Sering greeted the Saturday morning crowd and thanked them for volunteering their time and efforts to make the beautiful garden a reality for the LMM residents.  LMM residents prepared and worked the site weeks in advance of the ground breaking.  Sering also thanked the Cuyahoga Land Bank for acquiring the property and demolishing it for LMM.  “We could not have done it without the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s expertise and sticking with us on this project.”
LMM is located within the Campus District, whose Executive Director is Bobbi Reichtell – also a Board member of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  Reichtell worked alongside the residents of LMM throughout the day and said, “I am proud to be a member of the Land Bank Board because of projects just like this, which help people.”
Cuyahoga Land Bank President and General Counsel Gus Frangos also attended with his daughter Joy and made remarks to the crowd congratulating them for their success and their passion for helping transition residents into independent living.  “This was one of our first collaborations with a social service agency.  It is very gratifying to see our first collaboration become a reality.”

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