Cleveland Galleria Continues March Toward Sustainability

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18th-century practices in 20th-century building.
  • 18th-century practices in 20th-century building.

The Galleria, a former hotbed of downtown business before all the businesses left downtown, is doing its part to turn back the clock of recession — by about 200 years, when plowhorses clogged the city streets each rush hour. Yet another cog in Cleveland’s urban agriculture movement, the Galleria debuted its "Gardens Under Glass" project early this year. It takes advantage of the glass-roofed mall’s potential as a growing site for vegetables and herbs, which it sells to restaurants in the building.

Now the project’s conceptualist, Galleria Director of Marketing and Events Vicky Poole, is moving into what she calls “Phase Two” — the Gardens Under Glass ReSource Center, in the former Gorant’s Cards and Candy space at the mall’s east end.

Its grand opening will take place starting at 5 p.m. September 22 to tie in with the Sustainability Conference slated for the Cleveland Convention Center September 22-23. But the opening will be open to the public as well.

“We’re inviting people to walk or bicycle over to the Galleria to reduce their footprint,” says Poole. “It will give people a chance to see what we’re doing here.”

The ReSource Center will provide one-stop shopping for people interested in what the Greater Cleveland area has to offer in the way of sustainability resources, providing information about organizations, government agencies, business and products available, and classes on topics like composting, recycling, and making water barrels.

Poole says that in constructing the new space, they’ve been heeding their own message, using as much recycled material as possible, including mixing the paint for the walls from paint found in the Galleria’s basement.

“My slogan has been ‘It’s not easy being green,’ and it’s really not,” says Poole. “It’s all about education, and that’s the focus of the ReSource Center. I’m hoping it will help enlighten people about the effect of the way we live.” — Anastasia Pantsios

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