Folwell partnered with the Cleveland Neighborhood Association to throw a Harvest Party for the neighborhood. The Penn ave Garden was the site chosen this year in large part due to the commitment from both neighborhoods to focus more energy on the struggles on Penn.
Community response, relationship building, and a deeper investment in the area is the path the neighborhood is taking to address high crime and violence on the block. The garden has been a refuge for many this summer, providing food and opportunities to connect.
More than 75 folks showed up to celebrate the season and break bread together. Community gathered a bonfire and listened to elders share stories. Children made scare crows and painted bird houses for the gardens. 50 pumpkins were given away for free and folks took family photos at the photo booth. Students played soccer and tag in the field, having room to run and play. We roasted marshmallows, listened to music, ate amazing food, and learned about one another.
Neighbors shared ideas and strategies they want to see in the neighborhood to address their struggles. Plans were made for future events and building projects. Residents were listened to and bridges were built.
The FNA and CNA are grateful for the funding available through the Penn Ave Safety Grant to provide opportunities for community members to build authentic connection and create grassroots strategies for addressing violence in the community.
Thank you to all the volunteers and staff that made this beautiful fall festival happen!