Cavotta’s Garden Center is an existing, renown, for-profit gardening center which took over and transformed an adjacent vacant lot at 19511 Nottingham Road in the Collinwood neighborhood. The owner, Angela Cavotta, removed existing impermeable materials from the lot to expand her urban farm and compliment her existing garden center.
Funds from the Gardening for Greenbacks grant, awarded in 2017, assisted with the purchase of one high tunnel, the installation of an irrigation system, rain barrels and clean infill soil. Ms. Cavotta also used the funds to install a perimeter fence.
This importance of the project was to decrease the amount of water run-off produced by the vacant lot and assist the family-owned business in reducing Northeast Ohio Sewer District fees for impermeable surfaces while mediating the environmental impacts of the excess run-off. The total cost of the project was approximately $8,000.
Ms. Cavotta has been awarded two previous Gardening for Greenbacks grants by the City and has met and exceeded all program requirements. The first grant ($3,000) in 2011 allowed Ms. Cavotta to install her first hoop house and expand the 80-year old, multi-generational family-owned garden center’s capability to provide and sell year-round vegetables and fruit. The second grant ($5,000) in 2013 allowed the urban farm to install a water line for the greenhouse and further support the year-round production of produce. Ms. Cavotta has since added bee hives, chicken coops, rabbit hutches and goats to her urban farm.
The Gardening for Greenbacks grant was integral to helping the Garden Center transform a vacant liability into an asset. The business owner continues to sell produce grown at Cavotta’s Gardening Center and at seasonal farmers markets. The $5,000 grant assisted Cavotta’s Gardening Center meet the City’s mission to build a healthy, sustainable food system in Cleveland.