Ben Franklin Community Garden

3344 Broadview Road
OH 44109

Ben Franklin Community Garden

Community GardenGardenOrganic/Local FoodSchoolFood Gathering Site


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For three decades the CDC has been involved in helping to develop and maintain this remarkable five acre site, the largest community garden in all of Cuyahoga County. This jewel in the crown of the South Hills neighborhood was established through an agreement between OBCDC and the Cleveland Board of Education. It is one of the City’s earliest examples of the development and use of eco-friendly urban space.

With 204 plots and on average 180 gardeners per year, Ben Franklin is an incredible peaceful oasis. It is just a few miles south of downtown and just south east of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The Garden is in the back portion of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, one of the City’s best elementary schools. The garden area includes a good size children’s garden as part of the entire gardening complex. The Ohio State University Extension program assists both the youth and neighborhood gardeners with their crops each year. They provide seeds, plants and assistance. The City of Cleveland’s Summer Sprout Program also provides seeds and plants for gardeners.

Each year a breathtaking variety of vegetables, flowers and fruits are grown many of which win major prizes each year at the Cuyahoga County Fair. Plus, in 2008 and 2009 the garden won Best Community Garden at the Fair. The dedication of all of the gardeners and the Garden Operating Committee is amazing; there is an overall sense of community pride and spirit at the garden each year.

Besides winning ribbons at the County Fair, the gardeners are very generous each year by providing thousands of pounds of vegetables to local food banks and pantries. The gardeners do not sell their crops. At some time in the future, gardeners may get involved in developing a separate farmers market for the area.

Benjamin Franklin Garden has a part-time garden coordinator, Tom Sargent who reports to the CDC. He has overseen the operations of the garden for many years. He works in coordination with the Operating Committee, a dedicated group of gardeners. This group started in 2008 with the guidance and perseverance of a very experienced gardener John Jenkins.

John and Tom have been instrumental in obtaining grants from the Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Connections grant program. Over the past few years they have used those funds to purchase quality gardening tools, lawn mowers, proper signage for the garden and a large shed to store supplies.

The garden also raises some funds each year through an Ice Cream Social and Harvest Picnic. The Committee has provided gardening classes, and tours of the garden are available upon request. They have hosted many CDC events at the garden in order to show off what a splendid and special place the garden is within the community.

In 2005 the Garden was designated a Cleveland Landmark by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission.


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