About the
Cleveland EcoVillage
Green Building & Housing
Transportation & Infrastructure

 Greenspace & Local Food
 Community & Society
 Get Involved

General News, Information & Links   Supporters

“I moved to EcoVillage in February 2004, when I accepted a position in the library at Cleveland State University. I actually found my home and EcoVillage on the Internet. I was assessing Cleveland neighborhoods on the Neighborhood Link website. I was interested in a mixed neighborhood with easy access to public transportation. When I found the sustainability/ecology focus and the housing opportunities, I was sold. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

What do I like about living in EcoVillage and Detroit Shoreway? Good  people, opportunities to get involved, strong neighborhood identity, gardening opportunities, good restaurants, and best of all – my backyard and home” – Barbara Strauss – EcoVillage Resident and founder member of EcoVillage Produce LLC.

What is an EcoVillage
An EcoVillage is a community of people creating a way of living that sustains healthy ecological relationships. Current living patterns that consume vast quantities of resources and disregard the creation of waste have tremendous ecological, social, and economic cost.  The worldwide EcoVillage movement offers an alternative model that strives to replace consumption and waste with preservation and regeneration.  To undertake an urban EcoVillage, there must be a faith in the idea that cities can be good for humans and good for the earth.

About the Cleveland EcoVillage

The Cleveland EcoVillage was founded through an innovative partnership involving nonprofit organizations, the city, the regional transit authority, private developers, and neighborhood residents. It is a nationally recognized and celebrated demonstration project that showcases best practices in green building, transit-oriented design, urban agriculture and societal inter-dependence. Over the last ten years the Cleveland EcoVillage has proven that sustainability can be used as a organizing principle for urban redevelopment and community organizing.

The Cleveland EcoVillage is a great place to live.  It is a diverse neighborhood that is pedestrian-friendly and community-oriented.  Residents are within walking distance of the Rapid Transit Station and the Zone Recreation Center.  The area has older and newer homes, including some of the city's finest examples of green building.  The area also includes numerous schools, historic churches, parks and community gardens.  Residents can participate in block clubs, recreation groups, annual workshops, and celebrations. There are countless opportunities in the Cleveland EcoVillage.

Green Building & Housing

Our homes and buildings are our largest investments, our greatest resource and our greatest point of pride. The EcoVillage project strives to create healthy, environmentally friendly, and beautiful new and renovated homes for all markets. To date, 24 energy efficient market rate and affordable homes have been built or renovated by DSCDO and its partners.


Built in 2003 with cutting-edge green building best practices the EcoVillage Townhomes offer fine, environmentally conscious living just minutes from downtown. The 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes offer bright and spacious floor plans ranging from 1618 sq. ft to 2472 sq. ft, hardwood floors, master suites with private baths, and modern kitchens and dining areas fit for entertaining. Back decks overlook beautifully landscaped communal or private courtyards. All units heat and cool for less than $700 a year, include detached garages and are tax abated.

Bridge Square Townhomes

These townhomes offer many green features, including high efficiency insulation, beautiful bamboo floors in the living area, sustainable finishes such as ceramic tile flooring and granite counter-tops, lots of natural light, and high energy efficiency furnace and windows. Design features include an open floor plan, a bonus room on the ground level, and high ceilings.

The Green Cottages

These 2 and 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath single family colonials feature between 1,200 and 1,400 square feet of affordable, accessible, environmentally sustainable living space.  Amenities include: Energy Star appliances, windows, doors, and lighting fixtures; hardwood floors; low VOC carpet and paint; a full basement; and a 1.5 car detached garage.

An energy efficient furnace, air conditioner and water heater, combined with a programmable thermostat and quality insulation, result in extremely low utility costs and a reduced carbon footprint for qualified moderate income homebuyers.

Four units are still available. Call the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust at (216) 334-1620 for details.

Greenbuilt Homes

Designed by Building Science Corporation's Betsy Pettit, AIA, through the Building America Program these two homes located on W.54th carry the Energy Star logo and  meet the requirements of The American Lung Association for a "Healthy House" designation. The homes have three bedrooms and 2-1/2 bathrooms, a full semi-finished basement, and a detached two-car garage. They incorporate universal design features with master bedroom and laundry room on the first floor. Of special note is the low energy use for heating and cooling. The insulated R25 walls and R38 ceiling provide an average billing of $600 per year with current energy rates.

EcoVation Homes

In partnership with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, the Cleveland Housing Network, the Green Building Coalition, and Cleveland Magazine, a home built in the EcoVillage in 1916 was renovated using the latest green building techniques. The purpose of the project was to show homeowners and contractors ways to renovate homes in environmentally friendly ways. A number of companies donated environmentally friendly products to the project.  Cleveland Magazine profiled the project in an article, and held open houses for the public and local contractors. Green features include Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent lighting, ductwork on interior walls, improved insulation, light tubes for natural light, low VOC paints and low maintenance landscaping.

Transportation & Infrastructure

As a dense urban neighborhood surrounding the W.65th Street GCRTA rapid transit station, the Cleveland EcoVillage is a prime example of transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD seeks to locate housing, amenities, and greenspaces such as parks and gardens within walking distance to new or existing public transit stations and routes. It also seeks to create safe and accessible pedestrian routes for walkers and bicyclist. By offering multiple modes of transportation, reliance on carbon emitting automobiles is decreased thus leading to cleaner air, stronger ecosystems and healthier people.

The first completed project, and focal point of the Cleveland EcoVIllage is the W.65th rapid station. Completed in 2004, the 3.4 million dollar station was built with the environment in mind. The station includes several green elements such as passive solar heating, a recycled steel roof, energy-efficient lighting, and benches made from concrete and recycled tires. A pedestrian bridge and mini park connect the station to the surrounding neighborhood.

In 2005 the new W.65th St. bridge was completed, connecting the north and south sides of the EcoVillage over the Rapid tracks. Recommendations from EcoVillage residents were incorporated into the bridge design. As a result, the bridge includes a decorative steel fence, tree pits, historic gateway lighting, and sidewalk stamps on the bridge. The W.65th Street bridge is well liked by automobile drivers and pedestrians alike. It now serves as the model for bridge design throughout Cleveland


For more information on clean transportation or to plan your GCRTA bus or rapid trip visit

Michael Zone Recreation Center

The Michael Zone Recreation Center Sustainable Greenspace is an unprecedented initiative encompassing environmental education, ecological design, and community development. In 2008, the City of Cleveland and Ward 17 Councilman Matt Zone pledged a combined $3.5 million in funding towards the project. In 2010, the funds will be made available and construction will begin.

The redeveloped greenspace will be the first example nationally, to our knowledge, of the comprehensive redesign of a large city recreation facility to demonstrate ecological restoration and sustainability principles in the heart of an urban neighborhood.  Demonstrations of environmental stewardship will be integrated into a state-of-the-art upgrade of the outdoor facilities at the recreation center. The project will establish innovative partnerships that will provide environmental education opportunities to varied audiences, including students at local schools.  The primary project partners for the Michael J. Zone Sustainable Greenspace are the Cleveland EcoVillage, ParkWorks, and the City of Cleveland.

Greenspace & Local Food


The City of Cleveland was recently ranked #1 out of the nation’s fifty largest cities for access to healthy locally grown food. This success is primarily driven by a dedicated group of urban agricultural producers operating throughout the city.  EcoVillage is home to one of the most productive urban community gardens in the city, the Ithaca Community Garden. Ithaca Garden, which is an organic garden, is maintained entirely by neighborhood residents.  Many garden events and green living workshops occur in the Ithaca Garden.  Along side the community garden in the EcoVillage Produce LLC Market Garden. Produce from the Market Garden is sold at the Gordon Square Farmers Market held in the parking lot on West Clinton.

Ithaca Court EcoVillage Community Garden

Located on the corner of W. 58th and Bridge Avenues, Simmons Park serves as the northern gateway into the EcoVillage. Dedicated in honor of long time residents, Mary and Earl Simmons, the park serves to beautify an otherwise unattractive vacant lot. The park stands on a site of a former gas station. In order to build the park, leaking gas tanks had to be pulled from the ground and soil had to be brought in. Today, the park is a neighborhood gem. It’s planted with only native drought resistant species and is fully cared for by members of the Detroit Shoreway Community.

Community and Society

The Cleveland EcoVillage is founded on community inter-dependence. Through community organizing, the project strives to connect people and resources in a way that bolsters the quality of life for every resident. In order to promote connectivity, drive personal development, and educate residents on the benefits of environmental stewardship DSCDO and its partners offer a variety of workshops and programs. Activities range from native plant workshops, rain barrel workshops and gardening seminars to community planting days and neighborhood clean-ups.

Of course no community process would be complete without also celebrating success. Last year, on its tenth anniversary the EcoVillage Community celebrated with a Season of Celebration. Thanks to the hard work of many block clubs and garden groups and funding from Neighborhood Connections the Season of Celebration was a huge success.

The summer long event was composed of a series of five community events including EcoVillage Greenspace Day, Lillian Court clean-up and art instillation and a kids in the garden three part arts and crafts program. Greenspace Day included a park dedication, cemetery tours and a large community picnic in the garden. The event was an overwhelming success with over 200 neighborhood residents and visitors attending.

How to Get Involved


The opportunities to get involved in the Cleveland EcoVillage project are endless. You can choose to volunteer at the Gordon Square Farmers Market, attend the Lorain to Fir or Bridge Brigade Block Clubs,

garden at the EcoVillage community garden or simply lend a hand trimming roses at Simmons Park. There is always plenty of work and celebration to go around.

We welcome residents and visitors from all over the world to take a tour of EcoVillage, spend the day, share their stories and ideas and lend a hand as we continue to build our community.

To be added to the EcoVillage News and Action Opportunities list serve call Nanci McCormack at (216) 961-4242 ext. 223 or email your name and contact information to 

Partners and Resources


Our work would not be possible without the continued support of our partners. Please follow the links below to explore available resources and the great work of our partners throughout the region.


General News and Information


City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability- Information on City led environmental campaigns and programs


Cleveland State University – Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs 


Earth Day Coalition – Information on environmental issues and local and national advocacy campaigns


EcoWatch – News and information on current events in the local, regional and national sustainability sectors


Great Lakes Green Pages – News and information on current events in the local sustainability sector


GreenCityBlueLake – Information on all things green in northeastern Ohio


Water Conservation and Storm Water


Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District – Information on storm water pollution, rain barrels and protecting our watersheds


Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District - Information on storm water run-off, waste water treatment and infrastructure improvements throughout the region


Green Housing, Energy Conservation and Indoor Air Quality


Cleveland Carbon Fund – Online local carbon off-set fund and carbon footprint calculator


Community Land Trust of Cleveland – Information on affordable green housing options


Environmental Health Watch – Information on energy efficient living, lead abatement, healthy homes and affordable green housing options


Green Energy Ohio – News and information on alternative energy options

Tax Incentives Assistance Project – Information on consumer tax incentives for energy efficient appliances and renovation materials


Greenspace and Local Food


ParkWorks – Information on greenspace improvement, vibrant neighborhood design and park programming throughout the City


Local Food Cleveland – Online forum dedicated to the advancement of local, nutritional food production and consumption


Cuyahoga County OSU Extension - Information and guidance on urban agriculture and local food


Recycling and Waste


City of Cleveland Division of Waste Collection and Disposal – Information on local recycling and waste programs


Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District - Information on county-wide recycling and waste programs


Clean and Healthy Transportation


City Wheels Car Sharing – A low cost alternative to automobile ownership


Great Cleveland Regional Transit Authority


Ohio City Bike Co-op – Educational resources for safe cycling, training and workshops and local advocacy information and events


Support provided by:


The Cleveland Foundation


The George Gund Foundation


The Giving Back Gang

A neighborhood with a view, a community with a vision.

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