project leader
Tom G
3665 Langton Rd
(Noble Neighborhood)
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Letter to Supporters

the project

This is a pilot project that attempts to rejuvenate community spirit and build property values through side-by-side front-yard garden installations approximately 6' x 6'..  By creating and maintaining beautiful spaces visible from the street, we hope to enable neighbors to communicate to themselves and passers-by that theirs is a viable, vibrant neighborhood.

The project tackles the main problem of such installations--long-term maintenance--at three levels.  The first, horticultural, calls for the installation of plants--trees and native perennials flowers--that thrive in NE Ohio, as well as soil preparation aimed at reducing weeds and the need to water frequently.. The second, homeowner commitment, calls for joint required classes on plant selection and participation in garden installation. The third, broad community, calls for participation by the wider community including high school student implementers and knowledgeable local consultants, who will provide assistance and advice for one yearr after installation.

The project is designed to become rapidly scalable.  If we succeed with 10 well-maintained garden plots, we can expand the model to 50 and 100 plots and so on throughout the Noble neighborhood. Final success will mean that we have established attractive gardens supported by a strong spirit of neighborhood cooperation as a signature attribute of the wider Noble Neighborhood.

the steps

1. Sept15-Sept 30: Two classes at the Home Repair Resource Center to select, design garden plots and to learn about maintenance.  Prepare final designs.

2. October 1-November 15 15: Initial soil tests. 10 garden installations.

3. November 2018-November 2019.  Continued followup as needed, especially during droughts.  We will be asking such questions such as: "Are the soil amendments keeping weeds at bay.?" " How is the compost maintaining moisture?"  "Which plants appear to be thriving and which not?"  "Have we  protected gardens sufficiently from deer, whether by correct plant selection or, in the case of trees, by appropriate fencing."  Our answers will help us determine how best to move forward into the rest of the community.

why we're doing it

We believe that gardening, correctly done, builds community and property values. The Noble Neighborhood after a period of decline is now bouncing back due increased resident involvement and energy.  This project aims to accelerate that upswing by involving different levels of the community from home owners and renters to high school students.  We also believe in integrated communities, and the relatively high comfort levels between neighbors of different backgrounds and ethnicities remains one of the Noble Neighborhood's great strengths. The project aims to reinforce those comfort levels with a renewed neighborhood purpose.


Disbursed Budget (12.28.18):

Initial Funds Available

Heights Community Congress (HCC)              $4,490

(Includes individual contributions from project recipient homeowners, Frohring Foundation, Wolpert Family Fund, Cuyahoga Presbytery)

IOBY                                                               $1,809.71

TOTAL                                                            $6,299.71

Expenses Paid to Date

Instructional site rental/Tool Loan                 $300

Student Labor ($10/hr/6 students/6 hrs)      $360

Compost (Rust Belt Riders)                               $720

HCC 501.C3 Admin Fee                               $245.75

Topsoil (Kurtz Bros.)                                          $213.00

Mulch (Kurtz Bros.)                                     $133.92

Pizza (Dewey’s) for student workers              $121.75

and other volunteers on Nov. 3

Landscape Design consulting/instruction $400.00

(Land Design Cooperative)

Community organizing, project                   $600.00

coordination (Green Paradigm Partners)

Total spent to date                                     $3,094.42

Remaining Funds Available 2019             $3,205.29

Estimated Expenses 2019 (Project Completion in May: Planting)

Plants ($120 x 11  36 sq. ft-plots)             $1320.00

Student Labor (6 x $10/hr X 4 hrs)             $240.00

Consulting fees (Land Design Cooperative,  

Green Paradigm Partners)                        $1,000.00

Misc. (Food for neighborhood celebra-

tion upon completion of the project; left-

over funds saved for future projects)                                                                                                      $645.29

Final Total Remaining                                        $0

RAISED = $1,899.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $54.29


Original Budget:

1. We estimate that plants (bought wholesale), soil,mineral amendments, and specialized, high-fungal compost will cost ~$250. (Exactly what plants--trees, perennial  flowers, etc. will be determined by home owner choice.)

2. Before-and-after soil tests (via Logan Labs) will be $60/plot

3. Training, implementation and follow-up for one year= $290/plot.  This includes:

  1. Two class sessions at Home Repair Resource Center $150/session for 10 homeowners=$300 (Includes space rental and teaching time)
  2.  Heights High student help at $10/hr. Includes initial plot preparation and later maintenance, watering help as needed for one year Figuring two students at 3 hours per plot= $60/plot
  3. Four paid consultants to instruct, organize, implement and consult for one year of follow-up $50/plot/person.  $200/plot.. (Paid consultant support is  a major factor in what makes this effort sustainable and scalable throughout the Noble Neighborhood. Volunteer efforts alone will not suffice.)

4.Total cost: $600/plot x 3 plots= $1,800 

(Since we already raised $4,190 to cover the cost of 7 other plots) 


Subtotal = 1,810
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $54
Total to raise = $1,899



Letter to Supporters

Hello, our great Pocket Garden supporters (anonymous benefactors are BCC'd),


You have all probably been wondering about the status of our project (  I'm writing to tell you that things are MUCH further along than I can yet post on the IOBY site.


The reason is that we have been focusing mainly on institutional givers, and even when we get definite "yeses", actual checks with valid signatures  take a lot longer to arrive into the IOBY website accounting system.  (e.g. summer vacations at non-profits also play a role!!)


Our status, at present, is that we have $5,551 committed, a little less than $700 short of our end goal.  That includes our latest large gift, $1,000 from the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, which is due to arrive around July 31.


The bottom line is that we will definitely proceed--probably starting in September with our classes and in the fall with our planting. And I'm quite confident that we'll still get to our final financial goal.


Thank you all very much for your support and your continued interest.


Yours truly,


Tom Gibson

Project Coordinator


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Hannah Bidigare-Curtis
  • Laurie Albright
  • Nancy S. Levin
  • Anonymous
  • Noble neighbor Barb
  • Anonymous
  • Nancy Rose Jamieson
  • stone
  • Anonymous
  • robin koslen
  • Jacqueline Stimpert
  • Vikki Nowak
  • Anonymous
  • Linda Wilkinson
  • Kirsten and Brian
  • Kathy S.
  • Christine Link
  • Trudy A.
  • Heights Community
  • Anonymous
  • Patricia Matteo
  • Wendy Partridge
  • Tom Gibson
  • Susan M Sanders