Aug 26, 2019
By Hannah Drown, cleveland.com
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are one of Northeast Ohio’s oldest and most beautiful treasures. Some 33 dedicated gardens, designed and cultivated by distinct cultural or nationality groups, adorn the drive along Martin Luther King Boulevard and East Boulevard in Rockefeller Park.
Founded in 1916, the Cultural Gardens are unique to the world. They represent the diversity and multiculturalism that is Cleveland, and bring to life the Gardens’ mission, “peace through mutual understanding.” They also tell the story of our region’s immigrants.
Depicted in the gardens are the poets, philosophers, peacemakers, composers, scientists and others who have contributed to world culture. The Gardens are home to Goethe (German Garden); Yeats (Irish Garden); Chopin (Polish Garden); Dante (Italian Garden); Nikola Tesla (Serbian Garden); Nizar Qabbani (Syrian Garden); Mark Twain (American Garden); Gandhi (Indian Garden) and many others. (Click on our “statues and monuments” tab to see who’s in the Gardens!).
Also featured in the gardens are symbolic sculptures and replicas of or tributes to sacred monuments in other lands.
The area offers opportunities to learn and explore, and a place to relax, enjoy nature, walk or ride a bike. You also can stroll along Doan Brook, which runs through the Gardens. Visitors are always welcome.
A special note: During this time of global pandemic, the park is remaining open. However, when you come, please be aware of and sensitive to social distancing guidelines: stay six feet apart from others and wear masks if possible. Wash your hands before your visit or use hand sanitizer before you exit your car. We’d love for you to visit the Gardens and we’d love for you to stay safe.
EDUCATORS: The Cultural Gardens Federation offers a number of resources for you. We can arrange for speakers from the different nationalities represented in the Gardens, and presentations about the Cultural Gardens in general and how they represent Cleveland’s immigrant and cultural history. We also offer in-person tours for any grade level and can have representatives from the gardens available to talk about their countries and the icons and cultural symbols in their gardens. Currently, in-person events are subject to COVID restrictions (generally speaking, groups of 10 or less are permitted to gather), but online meetings are very possible. Call 216-220-3075 to set something up!
If you are interested in reserving one of the gardens for a private event, such as a wedding, call the city of Cleveland’s Special Events Department at 216-664-2484. The CCGF cannot reserve a garden for you.
Check out this video which shows all of our gardens in their glory, along with our new Centennial Peace Plaza:
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation is non-profit, 501c3 organization that represents all of the gardens and acts as a liaison between sponsoring ethnic communities and government and institutional partners. The Federation has been instrumental in preserving, maintaining and promoting the Cultural Gardens.
The CCGF board and staff oversee planning for the gardens. They partner with the city of Cleveland, which owns the park, and many other organizations such as University Circle Inc. and Holden Parks Trust.