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FreshWater Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn ‘On the Ground’ reporting: Community health, culture and more

September 28, 2018

FreshWater Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn ‘On the Ground’ reporting: Community health, culture and more

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Local digital publication FreshWater Cleveland is in the midst of a 10-week “On the Ground” reporting project on the city’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Cleveland.com is helping to amplify their in-depth coverage, which launched in August.

The embedded journalism initiative has been touching on topics from local businesses to barber shops. Look for it to continue to dive into economic development, significant shifts in population growth and demographics and the results of an in-depth community health assessment and efforts to enhance and improve the community.

Along with written work, FreshWater will also host a storytelling series in Old Brooklyn and produce a video and other content in partnership with Cleveland.com. 

The neighborhood has seen a growth in new businesses over the past years, such as Opal on Pearl, Vino Veritas, Lilly Chocolates and Confections and Metropolitan Coffee. Read more about the new and longstanding businesses in a recent feature by the Plain Dealer’s Laura DeMarco.

“Old Brooklyn is Cleveland’s largest neighborhood -- and an iconic one at that, with over 100 years of history,” FreshWater managing editor Jen Jones Donatelli told Cleveland.com. “We’re excited to dive deep into what makes it special and cover all the things that make it a compelling place.”

You can keep up with the on-going coverage here. 

Read FreshWater’s most recent reporting

Old Brooklyn sparks “Health in Action” with a groundbreaking new report - Old Brooklyn Development Corp. recently commissioned a Community Health Needs Assessment report for its neighborhood. It focuses on food access, housing injustice, greenspace equity, chronic disease, neighborhood resource access and usage and substance use. FreshWater dives into its results. Read more here.

A tree grows in Old Brooklyn (and it’s the stuff of legends) - You may have seen the soaring tree behind James Ford Rhodes High School, but did you know it has a name and a story all its own? The Jesse Owens Olympic Oak carries on the legacy of its namesake track star, who was the first to win four gold medals at one time during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The tree saplings were a gift from Germany. Today, Owens has been in the headlines again thanks to a new park being named in his honor and his second cousin, Tyrone Owens, being inducted into the James Ford Rhodes Hall of Fame for his work as a women’s track coach. Read more here. 

So, what’s up with those giant carrots lining Pearl Road in Old Brooklyn? - Some of Old Brooklyn’s most recognizable public art may be highly visible, but there’s a good chance you might not know the story behind it. This arts feature delves into artist Melissa Daubert’s “Root Riders,” the carrots seen dotting Pearl Road. Learn more about how it pays homage to Old Brookyln’s history of greenhouse farming. Read more here. 

A cut above the rest: Old Brooklyn’s barbershops offer style and substance to the community - If you step into Urban Kutz Barbershop, you can get a blood pressure screening. Owner Waverly Willis has even started his own nonprofit, The Urban Barber Association, that focuses on topics like literacy and employment. Or pop over to The Trim Barbershop, which free haircuts and school supplies to kids. This FreshWater feature looks at the way shops are giving back to their neighborhoods. Read more here.  

Old Brooklyn celebrates the opening of its first brand-new school building in 54 years - FreshWater takes us past the ribbon cutting at William Rainey Harper elementary school, which follows the International Baccalaureate model. Get an inside look at how it’s fostering inclusion and innovation. Read more here. 

Building a church family in Old Brooklyn, one house at a time - Pastor Tony Loseto and his wife, Beth, are known for leading Gateway Church Old Brooklyn, which just opened the doors to its new home at 4542 Pearl Rd. on Sept. 2. But the couple has also been busy repainting local homes and making light repairs every summer for the last five years. Read more here. 

A tale of two tastemakers: Lilly Chocolates and Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. join forces in Old Brooklyn - Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. was recently selected as a Cleveland Chain Reaction semi-finalist. Lilly Chocolates will be opening in the neighborhood soon. What better way to celebrate the momentum than teaming up for sweet collaborations? Read more here.

Portrait of a neighborhood: Old Brooklyn - Learn more about the neighborhood’s past, present and future. Read more here.

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