E. 39th Community Garden

         E. 39th Community Garden   is located on a quarter acre on the corner of E. 39th St. and Community College Ave. in the Central Area of Cleveland Ohio. The property was donated by Andrea Johnson, whose family has owned the property since 1921. The garden is run by a team of interns from East Technical High School, John Hay High School,  Cuyahoga Community College  ("Tri-C), residents  and community volunteers, with support from Petitti's Garden Store, Sisters of Charity Foundation, Ohio State University's Summer Sprout Program, and Clean and Green Truck. 

        The garden grows a variety of produce: vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplant, variety of hot and sweet peppers, green beans, butternut squash, and collard greens;   herbs, such as lavender, rosemary, thyme,  eucalyptus; and fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, and apples.  All harvested produce  is  distributed free to seniors, neighborhood churches and community residents.  Research has been conducted on the chemistry of plants and their medicinal qualities, fibromyalgia, depression, arthritis, Diabetes, and High blood pressure. Summer interns are paid a stipend and are expected to conduct research on medicinal uses of plants and herbs, which are presented and distributed to seniors along with the produce. This project is funded through grants and private donations. 

To learn more about the history of the garden and the activities that have been conducted at the garden, go to About the Garden

E. 39th Community Garden

          The garden was created in 2017 on donated land to focus on  growing plants that are helpful to seniors manage chronic illnesses and pain. In the midst of technology research on biotechnical solutions for seniors,  it became apparent that the infrastructure needed to promote wellness was not in place in Central.  Since then, the crew has successfully grown   a variety of over 20 vegetables, herbs and fruit for free distribution  at E 39th and Community College Avenue  in the Central Area of Cleveland, Ohio.    

             In 2018  interns cconstructed 7 raised  beds and grew a successful crop of vegetables, distributing to over 60 seniors and  neighbors at the site and to Eliza Bryant Village. Their research activity focused on understanding the chemistry behind plants. Handouts on the medicinal use of the plant were distributed with the produce. 

In 2019, the focus was on  beautification and community engagement to create a safe place that would attract participation. The team added a brick walkway for better access to the site for seniors, and  open space areas for community gatherings.  The goal  is to create an open space  for public art, around  the  themes of  Empowerment and Wellness.                                                                          

In 2020, a permanent art display was installed at the site to allow residents to express themselves creatively in a safe space, attract residents to the garden to learn about gardening,  and enhance the visual aesthetic  of the block.  Four art panels were designed by Johnson and her students  on Self-Esteem, Friendship, and  Black Lives Matter; and an interactive panel that allows persons to take pictures and become apart of the piece.  

In 2021, art therapy and gardening were used to address mental health issues affecting Central stakeholders during the pandemic. Two public art exhibits were installed entitled, Hands Across Central and Becoming Unmaksed.  Johnson and her  crew engaged an intergenerational group of over 50 residents, professionals, and donors around a retrospective  around mental health issues post- COVID and their vision for Central.  Group members designed  8" x 10" hand word art panels, which the crew embellished, assembled  and mounted  on  two -  3'x5'  hardee board  through a special process perfected to winterize the panels. In addition,  24  2-sided masks were designed and embellished around  contrasting themes of love, hope and perseverance against the backdrop of violence and despair in the Central community in Cleveland, Ohio. The masks,  panels, along with a collage including the  artists who created them are  on display at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in downtown Cleveland.

Learn more about the Garden's Activities, see Final Report for 2021 below. 

 Check out the Newsletters below for details. 

In their own words......

Resident at Eliza Bryant

The Goal

Be not discouraged whatever befalls;

Of Things you cannot understand;

Or unable to unmask.


Let not your fears default you.

Let no one your mind confuse;

Keep on pursuing upward until you reach your goal.

Confidence in yourself and

Determination your destination you can claim.


It takes time, thought and planning

To meet the challenges you have in life;

Through striving never ceasing;

Your height in life you will acclaim.

By Achsah Boyd  (Senior @ Eliza Bryant Village-Presented as a gift to the students



Andrea L. Johnson,
Feb 24, 2020, 10:18 PM
Andrea L. Johnson,
Nov 14, 2021, 4:47 PM
Andrea L. Johnson,
Feb 24, 2020, 9:09 PM
Andrea L. Johnson,
Feb 24, 2020, 9:09 PM
Andrea L. Johnson,
Feb 24, 2020, 9:10 PM