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Hope blooms in Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood once down, but not out

Volunteers band together to re-energize their street
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Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 20, 2022

CLEVELAND — Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. And for one neighborhood in Cleveland, the change of seasons is also bringing a resurgence of pride.

Before the frost of winter set in, people who live in Edgewater Park were on the move planting the seeds of change.

Months later, News 5 returned to the neighborhood to see how the fruit of their labor is now helping make Cleveland A Better Land.

Long-time resident Lori Fiorelli describes the hillside that runs along Desmond Avenue.

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Daffodil Hill on Desmond Avenue in Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood.

"It's been an eyesore for a long time," said Fiorelli.

After years of neglect, it is now providing some inspiration.

"We've always seen this corridor as an opportunity," said Morgan Taggart.

This past November, dozens of volunteers, with gloves and shovels in hand, dug through difficult terrain filled with broken bricks, rock and chunks of concrete, to plant more than 5,000 daffodil bulbs.

"It was just a way for the neighbors to get involved in something positive," said Taggart.

Fast forward five months and pops of yellow dot the landscape.

"I didn't expect this many to bloom right away. It’s a new look for the neighborhood," said Nikki Hudson.

Hudson said she came up with the idea of planting daffodils on Desmond Avenue after a community clean-up.

She wanted to do more to help change the narrative in her community.

"The housing crisis kind of did a number on the neighborhood, and so we're trying to build back up," said Hudson.

Her effort to re-energize this section of Edgewater Park found support to become a reality through crowdfunding.

"Neighbors, local businesses that contributed to actually buying the daffodils," said Hudson.

And there were a lot.

Hudson was able to order 600 pounds of daffodil bulbs.

Dozens of volunteers then deployed to get them in the ground and send a message.

"Anything is possible in our communities if we just kind of come together with some vision and ideas," said Taggart.

Hudson hopes the beauty here will encourage others to do their part to increase community pride.

"Maybe people won't throw the garbage out of their car window when they're driving by the flowers. Somebody has to say, I'm going to cut my grass today or I'm going to pull weeds today or I'm going to pick up trash that I see. And the next thing you know it's an amazing place to live," said Hudson.

Hudson’s plan is to plant upwards of 3,000 more daffodil bulbs to fill in some of the gaps in color along Desmond Avenue.

“I have a lot of great neighbors and block club members, so I knew I had their support," said Hudson.