CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Throughout many neighborhoods in urban settings, calls to “clean up” and beautify the community occasionally takes center stage once spring arrives.
Our Troubleshooter Unit, lead by Ronnie Duncan, encountered a rare conflict in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood where both sides are fighting for the same thing.
Ruth Hall lives near a three-acre plot owned by Community Greenhouse Partners, a nonprofit school that teaches urban gardening.
She is not a fan of what she sees outside her home.
“They never keep it up,” said Hall of the plot. “We got all kinds of critters. It’s damaging my yard.”
Tamiko Harris, another neighbor, says he’s worried that the state of the plot is dangerous.
“We don’t know what’s in that field,” Harris said. “It could be dirty needled drug users. We see it all the time.”
Harris and Hall say the plot is not properly maintained and is full of weeds, trash, and rodents.
Hall said she’s been dealing with the site for more than eight years.
“If it’s no more than to make it right to make them clean it up to fix it up — put me up a new fence,” she said.
Timothy Smith is the executive director of the organization, and he agrees visually he would like matters to be better, but the pandemic and lack of funding mean he’s without the money and manpower needed to improve the site.
“We are doing the best we can, but it’s tough,” said Smith. “In a normal year, we would have 50 to 100 people down here in a weekend down here doing the work.”
And he said that people have been illegally dumping trash on his site — which only adds to both his and his neighbors’ frustration.
The boss of the nonprofit told 19 News that he plans to have elements of the trash removed this week.