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DIANNA KALL -
Last fall, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department's Mounted Unit
connected with CleveLand Crops, a division of the Cuyahoga County
Board of Developmental Disability, that cultivates unused urban
land in Cleveland for crop production. They work with
individuals to develop farming skills so they can become
successfully employed. The produce they farm is then sold locally
to markets and restaurants. The profits aid in offsetting the cost
of the program.
Dave Wygonski, CleveLand Crops Operations Supervisor met with
Sergeant Richard Svoboda, Cleveland Metroparks ranger mounted unit
supervisor about the need for fertilizer; a costly, though
essential, part of farming. Horse manure, a natural fertilizer,
would not only help the crops, but also help with some of CleveLand
Crops cost-cutting measures, since the product is free. With
10 horses, the Mounted Unit has plenty of manure to spare.
This spring, CleveLand Crops' crews picked up eight loads of
waste material from the ranger stable and distributed it to three
of their farms: Stanard Farm, Heritage Farm and Ohio City Farm.
�This is a way to add organic nutrients to our property at very
little cost and this helps us incredibly.�
Daniel Nolen, employment manager for Cuyahoga County Board of
Developmental Disabilities, commented on the partnership, �We love
being part of this very organic system for fertilization. Right now
we can use natural parts of waste products for all of our
properties. What we really like is the total process of
leftover products going back into the system.� Besides
creating a learning opportunity, CleveLand Crops can pick-up and
deliver its own material at a minimal cost.
Overall, this situation is a win-win arrangement for Cleveland
Metroparks and CleveLand Crops. Cleveland Metroparks does not have
to pay for manure removal, and CleveLand Crops does not have to
purchase manure or pay for delivery. �This is a great cooperative
arrangement that enables both organizations to realize cost
benefits in an ecologically-responsible manner,� stated Gregory M.
Loftus, Cleveland Metroparks ranger chief.