Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, from St. Clair to Superior Avenues
Cleveland, OH

Submitted by: Keith Sorensen

A collection of gardens representing landscape architecture from a variety of cultures.

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Why It Works

The park is linear in that it's adjacent to Martin Luther King Boulevard. There's a bike path on either side of the Boulevard. You pass from garden to garden as you travel along the corridor. There are signs in front of each garden citing what country it represents. Each garden, in turn, represents a different culture that has settled in Cleveland. I think the Cultural Gardens are one of the gems of Cleveland.

What Makes Cleveland Cultural Gardens a Great Place?

The gardens are accessible by all of the above mentioned modes of transportation. In addition, each garden is linked to the next by footpaths. The gardens are partially visible from the boulevard, but one must get out of their car and explore them on foot to discover some of the hidden enclaves.

Some of the sidewalks and fountains are in disrepair, though the vegetation seems well cared for. Occasionally I will find a piece of litter. There is plenty of seating as each garden will have a number of benches. I often see couples sitting together enjoying the serenity of the place on a Sunday afternoon. Some parts are somewhat isolated, but I never felt unsafe despite the absence of any kind of security presence except for the occasional passing of a police car down the Boulevard.

With the exception of the Lakeshore Bikeway, this is the only urban bike path in Cleveland, so it is pretty heavily used by cyclists who live in the city and want to enjoy a recreational ride. The gardens are a good place to relax or contemplate. They are also a good place for picnics, though there aren't any grills or picnic tables. Most often I see couples or individuals there, occasionally families.

The Cultural Gardens are more of a place to go to be alone and contemplate, or enjoy the company of your lover with a romantic afternoon picnic. But when I do encounter other people there they have always been friendly toward me. It's also a nice place for immigrants to be reminded of their homeland, as most of the ethnicities of Cleveland are represented through the gardens. It's one of the places I always like to show to out-of-town visitors.

Contact Info:

Cleveland Cultural Gardens: 216-664-3534
Cleveland Department of Parks and Recreation: 216-664-2485

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