Cross Sector Partnerships
Creating regenerative change in the Valley will require a new way of working together. When non-traditional partnerships are formed and the private, public, nonprofit and academic boundaries are crossed, co-creation can occur and growth will result. A few of these groundbreaking partnerships are highlighted here:
ArcelorMittal Steel and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
In 2006, a partnership between two Cleveland area giants - industrial powerhouse ArcelorMittal and the venerable Cleveland Museum of Natural History - yielded a unique landscape reclamation and beautification project. Along the eastern edge of ArcelorMittal’s Flats location, several native plant species were re-introduced on vacant ground. The Museum of Natural History’s curator of botany, Dr. Jim Bissell, offered his expertise to Arcelor Mittal in selecting plants that would be appropriate for helping to mitigate noise, erosion, dust, dirt and storm water runoff in the fields, while also providing a habitat for wildlife such as migrating birds and rarely seen butterflies. Plants native to Northeast Ohio, such as pawpaw, hackberry and wafer ash were installed in late 2006. Sitting on 1,000 acres in the industrial Cuyahoga Valley, this is a major step in allowing the land to regenerate and allow nature succession to occur. It is also a bright example of the kind of community collaboration across sectors that demonstrates the work of the Valley.
Mill Creek Watershed Partnership
The Mill Creek Watershed Partnership, led by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission encompasses the communities of Beachwood, Shaker Heights, Warrensville Heights, North Randall, Highland Hills, Cleveland, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Cuyahoga Heights and Wards 1, 2, and 12 in the City of Cleveland. This Partnership divided into three taskforce groups: Economic Development; Health, Wellness & Education; and Stormwater Infrastructure. Each taskforce developed watershed-wide projects, programs and actions in their topic area to yield a comprehensive watershed strategy. Recognizing the connections between water quality and quality of life is the basis of this unique watershed approach.
The initiative must benefit, and therefore be lead by the nine municipalities, private-player stakeholders and community development corps. Parties engaged to-date include: Cleveland Clinic, economic development leaders, CDCs of Union-Miles, Slavic Village and Lee-Harvard, Cuyahoga Community College and OSU Extension Urban Gardening. Agency support includes the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga County Public Libraries, Cleveland City Planning, NEORSD, and Cleveland Metroparks.