#CommonGroundCLE

Cleveland Foundation's Common Ground brought Cuyahoga County residents together to "meet, share a meal, connect and discuss what we can do together to create a more equitable and resilient Greater Cleveland" at over 25 sites yesterday.  The day mirrored the Chicago Community Trust's "On the Table" a citywide attempt at getting people of all types to address the challenges their communities face.

We started our day at a Nautica Entertainment Complex patio where Sustainable Cleveland hosted conversations focusing on the reduction of single use disposable plastic, specifically plastic bags, plastic water bottles and plastic straws. We sat in on the plastic straw roundtable where one participant came prepared with her own personal metal straw and "no straw please" cards (to help restaurant servers better understand her request). More information can be found at The Last Plastic Straw website. We're hopeful you'll be seeing a local single-use plastic reduction initiative being rolled out in the near future. As we wrapped the session, Greater Cleveland Aquarium invited us to check out the Recycled Runway Fashion show display of exquisite dresses created from discarded materials.

We then moved to a nearby Common Ground conversation hosted by Ohio City Incorporated and The Global Table at The Ohio City Farm where people discussed how a welcoming neighborhood can be created for all residents, businesses and visitors. We wrapped our day with a trip to Cleveland Public Square where long rows of tables provided Common Ground participants an opportunity to enjoy a box lunch and engage with people they didn't know on the topic of the day - what can we do to create an equitable and more sustainable community. It was great, engaging fun on a brilliant day. 

We’re all in the same boat, and in order for Greater Cleveland to make sustainable, forward progress, we all need to paddle together. 

As we drove across the Cuyahoga River on the way home, we couldn't help but think The Cleveland Dragons, a Cleveland Dragonboat Association team preparing for the Cleveland Dragonboat Festival on August 12 at Wendy Park, served as a potent metaphor for Common Ground: We're all in the same boat, and in order for Greater Cleveland to make sustainable, forward progress, we all need to paddle together. 

22 Photographs of Common Ground

Critical YAK on the Cuyahoga River

Last Friday we caught up with the inaugural Critical YAK, an informal aquatic gathering hosted by Matt Yauch, Reed Martin and Stephanie Simonson. After sharing the Cuyahoga River Safety Task Force's safety card and checking Marine Traffic, the kayakers put in at Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf dock, paddled 1.7 miles down the Cuyahoga River out to Lake Erie, hung a left and beached at Wendy Park for some fun at Whiskey Island Still and Eatery before returning to Merwin's Wharf.

We chatted with one of the organizers, Matt Jauch, on how the idea for Critical YAK got rolling (think Critical Mass). We imagine we'll be seeing Critical YAK's posse on the Cuyahyoga River some Friday in August!

All Hands on Deck's Embrace of the Great Lakes

All Hands on Deck's Embrace of the Great Lakes

The day before the 4th of July we were treated to the sight of 45 engaged citizens at Cleveland Metroparks Wendy Park participating in All Hands on Deck, a first-time, pop-up event where over 2,000 people from 70 communities in 6 states and Ontario linked hands and boats along the Great Lakes shores to raise awareness of the need to protect the Lakes

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Burning River Ramble Wrap and Thank You

Burning River Ramble Wrap and Thank You

One week ago today something magical happened along the banks of the Cuyahoga River and we feel compelled to provide a wrap that's one part thank you and one part Greater Cleveland pep-talk

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Today is River Day!

Today is River Day!

Today is Cuyahoga River Restoration's River Day, where 29 different events and activities give you an opportunity to spend some time along the Cuyahoga River and its system of wetlands, tributaries and, of course, Lake Erie, where the river flows into

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