NFL builds community garden at William Rainey Harper Elementary School in Cleveland

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As Cleveland gets ready to be thrust into the international spotlight because of the NFL Draft, the NFL hopes the huge event will leave a lasting impact on the city.

“Having the NFL support and working with that organization NFL Green and just partnering with William Rainey Harper has been tremendous,” said Ajayi Monell, principal at William Rainey Harper Elementary School

The league built a community garden at William Rainey Harper Elementary on Wednesday.

Monell’s students helped build the garden and they will be taught how to grow food in it.

He says those skills will help students succeed in life and it will also help fight food insecurity in the community.

“The past year... we’ve seen so many more families struggling so to be a part of a solution for a problem that’s so rampant around the world... it’s vital and important,” said Monell.

Layla Landrum and Eryn Howery were among the students getting their hands dirty.

“It’s really amazing because since the pandemic started, we can’t really go outside much and it’s really great to be out in nature,” said Landrum.

The NFL invested more than $9,000 into the school’s community garden.

Money well spent to help the community long after the Draft is over with.

“When we first talked to the school... they did have a small plan, just to start putting in garden beds and we were able to bring a lot more resources because this was a project around the NFL Draft,” said Susan Groh, associate director, NFL Green.

Groh says the league’s lasting impression on a city is more important than the event it brings to town.

In this case, it’s a green thumbprint.

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