Sustainability Overview

CMHA is dedicated to meeting our current energy needs while ensuring that the needs of our future generations can also be met and continuously seeks out strategies to move CMHA toward becoming a sustainable organization. We recognize that our success is tied to our employees, residents, and suppliers each viewing sustainability as their responsibility and reducing the environmental footprint that we all leave behind. By focusing on the following areas, we have furthered our commitment to becoming more environmentally responsible:

  • Energy & Water Conservation
  • Green Roofs
  • Solar Energy
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Sustainable Community Partnerships
  • Green Building

CMHA utilized a portion of a 12-acre brownfield site adjacent to its Campus complex to install a one-megawatt solar array. The output of this array is interconnected to The City of Cleveland’s municipal power company. The solar array was completed in 2012 and to date has produced over 6,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, and has offset as much carbon as planting more than 115,000 trees.

See how much we're producing right now!

Sustainable Cleveland 2019

CMHA has participated in the City of Cleveland’s "Sustainable Cleveland 2019" initiative, a ten-year project initiated by Mayor Frank Jackson whose goal is to make Cleveland a sustainable city by the year 2019. CMHA staff continues to go into the community to perform educational outreach and create awareness around what is happening at CMHA.

Urban Agriculture

Approximately 4,500 pounds of produce each year

Community Gardens

  • Crestview
  • King Kennedy North
  • Lakeview Tower
  • Lee-Miles
  • Quarrytown
  • Riverview
  • Scranton Castle
  • Severance
  • Springbrook


  • Address: 1300 Crestline Avenue
  • Location: Behind the building, adjacent to the outdoor community space
Resident planting vegetables in garden Residents digging in dirt

CMHA Employee Garden

In 2016, CMHA employees began planting and harvesting produce on their lunch breaks in one of the two hoop houses located at the CMHA Administrative Headquarters. Employees donate 70% of the harvested produce to CMHA residents. Employees also earn points toward the CMHA Wellness Program through their participation with the garden.

Employee handing out vegetables to residents Employees posing for photo inside of greenhouse

Youth Gardens

  • Addison
  • Riverside Park
  • Woodhill


  • Address: 1441 E. 71st Street
  • Location: Adjacent to playground
Residents planting vegetables in garden Youth residents planting in garden

Green Team Sites

  • 3 sites
  • Hire about 20 members each year
  • Check the Careers Tab on the CMHA website for more information on how to apply
  • Enrichment program in urban agriculture and principles of sustainability
    • Plant, cultivate, harvest produce
    • Healthy nutrition and living
    • Biodiversity
    • Stormwater Management
    • Canning and Preservation
    • Composting/Fertilizing
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Watershed Stewardship
    • Experiential field trips
      • Botanical Gardens
      • Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center
      • Rural farms
      • Orchards
      • Holden Arboretum

Green Team Photo

Green Team standing at a table showing the vegetables they've grown

Green Team standing in field Green Team standing in garden Green Team holding vegetables they picked from the garden

Ohio City Farm

In 2010, CMHA, with community partners, decided to develop an unused plot of land behind the Riverview Tower building into one of the largest urban farms in the country.

Years later, the six-acre farm has proven to be a neighborhood icon and a beacon of local food and sustainability.

CMHA residents through the Green Team farm 8,000 sq. ft. of the garden. Residents also receive 50% off all produce sold at the farm stand. The farm stand also honors additional assistance programs such as Produce Perks (external link) and The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (external link). The farm partners also bring the farmers market into the building once per month for an event that includes a cooking demonstration to teach residents how to prepare the seasonal crops.

Aerial view of Ohio City farm Ground view of Ohio City farm showing plants Horses plowing field for planting top