East Cleveland Awarded $25,000 grant to become Garden of Hopes and Dreams and Playful City, USA !

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 20:49.

I just received fantastic news from Annie Stahlheber with the Cardiovascular Task Force and Cuyahoga County Board of Health.  East Cleveland won one of only three $25,000 grants awarded nationally by Kaboom! as Playful City, USA.  This awards video reviews all the winners, from honorable mentions to grand prize grants.  East Cleveland's award is presented at the conclusion of the video and includes a nice bit featuring Mayor Eric Brewer and a select group of East Cleveland's young players. 

As I mentioned on the blog supporting the nomination video, this is a tremendous opportunity to incorporate a green playspace complete with garden and pedestrian and bike pathways to allow maximum utility of the investment by East Cleveland's most precious commodity - its young people.  Countless studies have demonstrated that a multitude of benefits arise from the physical, emotional, and spiritual fitness factors that creative green playspaces provide. 

This is a true opportunity to take a holistic approach to youth fitness that reaches far beyond traditional, less-safe (avoiding injury) asphalt playgrounds to more natural, environmentally-friendly (avoiding water runoff) environs that stimulate more creative and healthy forms of play.  Children will now have the opportunity to connect more organically via gardens and pathways and better tap into  mind-body-spirit integration potentials.  This is particularly important for a young populace which has been historically blighted by problems with nutrition, disease, and most prolifically - lead poisioning.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this vision for East Cleveland's Garden of Hopes and Dreams an imminent reality!  It is with much anticipation that I await its manifestation and associated benefits.  I'd be more than happy to volunteer some of my time toward this end.



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