NeighborWorks America Profiles Ashbury Sprouts’ Sandra Robertson

What an amazing article!

NeighborWorks America is a fast-growing network of over 240 grassroots local community organizations using strength in numbers to get things done. Read their profile of Ashbury Sprouts’ founder Sandra Robertson on their website. See below for some of the highlights:

“When Robertson moved into the Glenville neighborhood of the city in 1983, it was a food desert and vacant lots marked the area—a consequence of the blight and demolitions triggered by the housing crisis. What better way to use some of the land, Robertson thought, than for a garden the whole neighborhood could contribute to and enjoy?”

“Meanwhile, Robertson’s dedication and enthusiasm for gardening and community outreach has proven infectious. Glenville and other predominately African-American communities have suffered from black professional flight, with graduates either moving to the suburbs or out of the city completely.Her son, Alex, however has become a strong leader in the community and has established several youth programs of his own. Cleveland Recess, for example, uses vacant lots for pop-up sports events.”

And check out the cool video they made of Sandra and Ashbury Sprouts!


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Freshwater Cleveland Profiles Recess Cleveland For Grassroots Story Series

News website Freshwater Cleveland has written an AMAZING profile of Recess Cleveland! It covers what we’ve done from our beginnings, how we’ve grown and looking ahead to our goals for the community.

Here’s some of the highlights:

“RecessCLE began by throwing last minute events with no more than a 48-hour notice, although Robertson is trying to give people more time now. The events are a free-for-all for the first hour as people show up, then they decide which sports or games to play. It may include dodge ball, kickball, and soccer with tug-o-war, hula-hooping, and jumping rope contests between. The whole event lasts more than four hours.”

Neighborhood Connections awarded Robertson a $3,000 grant in February, which he used to replace old equipment and items that were stolen. He also purchased 12 body zorb balls, which he says are the most popular item with children.”

Check out this great write-up in full here.

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Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation Gives Shout-Out To Cleveland Youth Landscaping

The Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation wrote an in-depth blog post spotlighting Cleveland Youth Landscaping and our work on the West Side. Here’s an excerpt from their article:

The three students from John Marshall have teamed up to work alongside the 31 students in the Glenville neighborhood and are paid $9 an hour for about 8 hours per week, and they also get teambuilding training and help with communication skills, as well as hear from guest speakers about entrepreneurship and potential career paths. They work in teams of about seven. The service is provided free to Glenville senior citizens and next year will be available to West Park seniors.

The John Marshall pilot program is supported by the Cleveland Foundation and will provide lawnmowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, rakes and gloves for the program.
Monisa Mason, the community and business coordinator at JMH School of Civic and Business Leadership, is overseeing the pilot program and says she is excited to see John Marshall Civic and Business students eventually spearhead the Cleveland Youth Landscaping program here on the west side.

“This will be a great opportunity for them to get hands on work experience, while learning many skills such as leadership development, how to work effectively and efficiently as a team and what it means to have a great work ethic,” Mason said. “This also will afford them the opportunity to better connect with the local community, which is very important as we aim to teach our students about the importance of community awareness and engagement.”


The full article can be found here.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Recognize Cleveland Youth Landscaping In DIFF Maker Program

The Cleveland Cavaliers saluted our Cleveland Youth Landscaping as part of a formal recognition program called DIFF Makers. Founder Alex Robertson accepted the award during a Cavaliers playoff game, including a charitable donation made to Cleveland Youth Landscaping on behalf of the Cavaliers organization.

Here’s the official announcement:

DIFF Maker: Alex Robertson
Alex Robertson is the co-founder of Cleveland Youth Landscape, an organization helping teens in the Glenville area job train and understand the importance of volunteering in their community by providing free landscaping services for their neighbors in need. CYL also promotes entrepreneurship and financial literacy amongst local youth.

More than 50 teenagers have developed critical life skills by participating in the program, through working to assist others and helping keep Glenville and nearby neighborhoods clean and safe. The teens also take part in a speaker series as well, to hear from successful professionals in the area.

For his dedication to the youth of Cleveland and our community, we are proud to recognize Alex Robertson as a Cavaliers DIFF Maker!


Congratulations to Alex and everyone who’s hard work has paid off at Cleveland Youth Landscaping!

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SVP Cincinnati Awards Lawn Life’s Tim Arnold For This Fiery Pitch

The Social Venture Partners group in Cincinnati hosted a “Fast Pitch” competition for local non-profits that was won by our charismatic leader, Tim Arnold! Here’s the pitch, and what a positive way to show off the mission of Lawn Life! Check out Lawn Life’s profile on SVP Cincinnati’s website.



For more about Lawn Life and Tim’s story, here’s the previous year’s pitch entry:

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How to survive the tough path of life

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Donate your woolens this winter

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A single person can change million lives

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The Cleveland Foundation Gives A Nod To Recess Cleveland Celebrating Greater University Circle Initiative

The Greater University Circle Initiative creates connections between the medical and academic communities and residents of the University Circle area by investing in local non-profits and creating jobs for the community.

The Cleveland Foundation and several partners marked the tenth anniversary of the Greater University Circle Initiative and featured Recess Cleveland as an example of the progress the Initiative has helped create. The video was presented at the celebration event at the Cleveland Institute of Art on December 14:



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