Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Getting Our Hands Dirty: Mobilizing Local Systems for Food Security (Part 1)

May 4 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

With Sara Continenza, MPA of Food Strong, and Beth Vild of Big Love Network 

How can we invest in underserved communities & urban parks to advance health equity? Be part of the solution! Get your hands dirty in the urban gardens of East Cleveland that are cultivating family and neighborhood food ambassadors of all ages. Then discover root causes to food injustice and dig in for more ways you can make a difference.

Join us May 4, 2024, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm for Part 1 (Action) at East Cleveland Gardens.  As an extension of your Earth Day commitments, work side-by-side with volunteers working at the First Saturday Volunteer Cleanup at Coit Road Farmers Market, where change is growing every day. Discover ways neighborhood urban gardens are taking root. Dig in and build relationships that help heal people and the planet. Located at Coit Road Farmers’ Market 15000 Woodworth Rd, East Cleveland, OH 44110.

Register Here

The event continues on May 18, 9:30 – 10:30 am at the Family Life Center. After setting the context with a brief history of systemic policies that created low food access, Sara Continenza and Beth Vild will spotlight two thriving vacant-to-vibrant models for mobilizing local food & garden ambassadors for neighborhood resilience in Cleveland and Akron neighborhoods. This event will happen at the Family Life Center, 16349 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023.

About the Speakers:

Sara Continenza is the Executive Director and Founder of Food Strong, a nonprofit 501c3 organization serving under-resourced Northeast Ohio communities.  In 2016, Sara collaborated with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and several nonprofit organizations to develop a School Garden Toolkit and Curriculum based on Ohio’s Learning Standards. In 2017, she launched a youth garden and culinary arts program serving schools and community groups. She founded Food Strong in 2018 to serve as an umbrella for these programs. Now, Food Strong coordinates numerous community wellness initiatives for clients from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences. Through funding and support from Cuyahoga County, Food Strong recently launched a Vacant Lot Restoration Initiative. Food Strong also administers the Fresh Food Connect app, capturing fresh food and plant donations before they are sent to landfills. Food Strong is now reconstructing a pop-up camper into a mobile farm stand to sell fresh, local foods and products in communities with limited healthy retail options. 

Beth Vild is a community organizer and permaculturalist dedicated to eliminating environmental racism within the city of Akron. She has 22 years experience as a community organizer, 35 years gardening experience, is a Kent State Alumni from the Pan African Studies Department, and has 3 permaculture design certification specializing in participatory, urban design. Her work as Director of Programming at the Big Love Network allows her to seek local policy change, work in building large coalitions tackling environmental justice, and work on equitable neighborhood development practices. On the side she owns Wild Woman Designs and Consulting, where she provides permaculture design and consulting services.

Our Nature Forum Series 2024

Healing the Planet, Healing Communities, Healing Ourselves

A series of programs engaging communities at the intersections of personal leadership, trauma, healing, and the environment scheduled across spring of 2024 in the third annual Our Nature Series. Through the series, we will more deeply explore… 

  • How the climate crisis exacerbates issues already affecting health equity
  • How actions for the environment help to heal and address oppressive systems
  • Making reparations with nature
  • Connecting to land to begin healing trauma (Gun violence, planting trees, nature deficit disorder, mental health, food apartheid)
  • Elevating methods for nonviolent community organizing

Join us for conversations and events centered around sustainability, climate, and environmental action around our region.

Our Nature 2024 is generously sponsored by:


Sponsorships available, email admin@communitylifecollaborative.org or call 440.708.1961 for more information.


May 4
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


East Cleveland Gardens, Coit Road Farmers’ Market 15000 Woodworth Rd, East Cleveland, OH 44110

The CLC hosts subject specific events throughout the year that align with our respective Community Programs. Our non-profit will also have immersive ways to connect through public events and fundraisers periodically.