Creative Mornings CLE Speaker Addresses Nature in an Urban Setting

Fri 5/15 @ 8:30-10AM

Randy McShepard is well known in northeast Ohio. In addition to his high-level corporate job with Medina-based RPM International Inc., he’s served on numerous local boards and co-founded the NE Ohio think tank Policy Bridge.

But people in the food community know him as one of the three long-time friends who co-founded the Rid-All Green Partnership a decade ago, the expansive urban farm in Cleveland’s “Forgotten Triangle” neighborhood. They spearheaded an effort to reclaim abandoned land, where they’ve built greenhouses, hoop houses, an aquaponics fish farm and a composting facility, created educational programs, sponsored a “Fresh Fest” festival last summer, plan to build a restaurant and farmers market, and are currently providing free, healthy food to people in need in their immediate neighborhood.

McShepard is this month’s guest on Creative Morning CLE, a monthly event that’s part of an international network, which chooses a topic suggested by one of the chapters. The global chapters then shape that in their own way, finding a local speaker to address it. The Salt Lake City chapter suggested “Nature,” which was picked more than a year ago, but seems uniquely suited for this time, when the healing properties of nature are needed desperately.

“In many parts of our city, natural spaces were viewed as disposable and filled with unwanted debris, waste from our daily life,” Creative Mornings CLE writes. “At the same time, inner-city neighborhoods that were filled with trash found natural foods increasingly scarce, which impacted length and quality of life for residents. Randy McShepard, with life-long friends Damien Forshe and Keymah Durden, took control of an unofficial dumpsite in their childhood home Kinsman neighborhood. Together they turned the trash heap into one of the most fertile urban farms in the country and created a reliable local source of fresh foods to nurture future generations.”

In normal times, each month’s event takes place at a different space around town — this one might even have been at Rid-All Farm, who knows? And coffee and a light breakfast are provided. But you know what’s coming: provide your own coffee and breakfast and log onto Zoom to join the program and hear McShepard tell how he, Durden and Forshe (who passed away in late 2018) turned trash into treasure by taping respectfully tapping nature.

Register here. You’ll get the link to join shortly before the event starts on Friday May 15.



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