Quiana Singleton continues to plant the seeds of change in Central with her work in community gardens. She also educates children on gardening techniques and why trees and plants are good for communities. Singleton is a Promise ambassador and climate ambassador for Burton Bell Carr Development agency.
Freshwater Cleveland recently highlighted the climate ambassador program and how it’s bringing positive changes to the environment in Central:
An initiative orchestrated by regional organizations and led on the street level by Cleveland residents seeks to counteract climate change effects that disproportionately impact lower income citizens. Through community-driven programming and projects, the “Climate Ambassadors” effort aims to build an army of nature-loving warriors willing to fight for environmental and social change.
Work began last year to combat the adverse impacts of climate variability in the Glenville, Slavic Village, Central-Kinsman, and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods. These communities were chosen due to shared social and land use patterns thought to amplify existing climate-related issues, namely aging housing stock, a depleted tree canopy and outdated infrastructure.
Singleton was interviewed by Freshwater about her work as a climate ambassador:
Central-Kinsman ambassador Quiana Singleton is a community leader on the tree-planting activities. She’s also involved with a gardening project focused on healthy eating. She believes teaching folks how to grow fruits and vegetables expands their minds while also getting them to respect the delicate nature of their surroundings.
“We’re getting people out of their neighborhoods and showing them what’s out there,” says Singleton. “They can appreciate what’s in the community and beautify what they already have. It’s wonderful.”
According to Freshwater Cleveland, Central-Kinsman is deemed one of Cleveland’s most distressed districts due to its abandoned buildings, empty brownfields and a sparse tree canopy. Though the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority has made upgrades to public housing, residents are sprucing up the streets with new leafy green growth.
The Central-Kinsman project engages 16 students in grades three through eight in planting trees at Anton Grdina Elementary School on East 71st Street. Five trees have taken root through the community-wide endeavor thus far, with plans for another ten in the offing.
Read the full story from Freshwater here.