Complementing the natural and economic resources of the Cuyahoga Valley are numerous and diverse community-based groups and civic organizations which provide opportunities for people to combine their talents to improve their neighborhoods, create a shared vision for our region’s future, or even just to engage with one another. Northeast Ohio continues to be a leader in citizens organizing themselves through settlement houses
, community foundations
, support groups, social networks
and many other forms of place-based volunteerism.
However, building Community Capacity is about more than joining clubs or volunteer groups. In the context of the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative, Community Capacity describes a framework for the continued economic and environmental transformation of this place through collaborations that cross cultural, geographic, social divisions in such a way that draws on all of the assets of the Cuyahoga Valley, particularly the social capital of its citizens. These cross-collaborations make communities more resilient, introduce new ideas and more energy into existing organizations and projects, and create a shared and dynamic vision for our region that uses the assets that we all possess.
We invite you to read on as we describe how the Cuyahoga Valley is well-suited for modeling how strong communities are formed, illustrate some of the many examples of Community Capacity at work in the Cuyahoga Valley, show how cross-sector partnerships can build a strong region, and share the CVI Protocol: our framework for how we all can make the Cuyahoga River Valley an economic force, environmental treasure, and unifying element for the region.