Fourth Norwood Historic Home Tour is a success!

The weather was beautiful for the Fourth Annual Norwood Historic Home Tour and Fall Festival and Off Pike Market at Victory Park. The day showcased not only Norwood’s gorgeous old homes, but also new developments and businesses, and our talented community, with performances from Norwood Orchestra, W Monty’s, and the Cable Guys; a storytime with the Norwood Library; and family games and crafts.

Norwood Together coordinated the event with a collection of partners: the Norwood Historical Society, Off Pike Market and the City of Norwood. The event also was sponsored by Jennifer McGillis Realtor, Duke Energy, Huber Lumber Co., Perry Contracting, Inc., Naegele, Kleb & Ihlendorf Funeral Home, and the Acanthus Group LLC. Special thanks to Northwood Cider Co. and The Valley Church, and the dozens of volunteers who kept the day running smoothly.

The tour began with the Norwood Historical Society and the Cincinnati Type & Print Museum before riding to Park Avenue to discover the neighborhood’s history and architecture. We had the unprecedented opportunity to tour an exquisite Queen Anne Victorian home thanks to Linda Prues. Her iconic Norwood was once the Y.W.C.A. 

The walking tour included the history and architecture of Immaculate Conception Church, corner stores, and Dorl Field, originally built for printing employees and families and named for Theodore C. Dorl. “Teddy” was a general superintendent of U.S. Printing & Lithograph Company and president of the Craftsman Club.

We visited the site of the former U.S. Printing & Lithograph Company and the U.S. Playing Card Company, including the Samuel Hannaford and Sons designed brick facility at Park Avenue. The companies shared a restaurant, the land which became Dorl Field, and multi-family units for employees. 

The tour included the police training facility and canine officer, as well as the Happy Hollow Inn, featured in the Bruce Willis movie, Hard Kill, which was mostly shot at the U.S. Playing Card buildings before being demolished.   

Finally, Salvation Army, originally Kemper-Thomas, known for their advertisements, colorized calendars, Vienna art plates, thermometers, and brewery products. The company could arrange room and board for employees at the aforementioned Queen Anne Victorian Y.W.C.A nearby. 

Continue ReadingFourth Norwood Historic Home Tour is a success!

The Inaugural Norwood International Art Show

To celebrate Welcoming Week (September 9 – 18, 2022), Norwood Together, in partnership with Queen City Clay and Off-Pike Market is organizing the inaugural Norwood International Art Show, September 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We are excited to welcome artists new to America (Bhutan, Syria, Peru, India, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia) as well as local artists. Our goal is to provide space for emerging artists to showcase their talents and tell their stories.

If you’re interested to sponsor this event, please contact norwoodtogether@gmail.com.

Welcoming Week is a network of events throughout communities in the U.S. and abroad where communities bring together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity. Read more about Welcoming Week from Welcoming America.

Norwood Together is part of Welcoming America’s global network of nonprofit organizations and government members to transform communities into more welcoming places for all residents, including immigrants.

Tickets are FREE, GET YOURS!

READ MORE

Continue ReadingThe Inaugural Norwood International Art Show

Strongest Town Contest Sister Cities Come Together

By Alisha Loch & Mary C Miller (published on Strong Towns, August 18, 2022)

Representatives of both Norwood, OH, and Jasper, IN, meet up in person after facing off in the finals of this year’s Strongest Town Contest.

Dozens of aspiring towns entered the competition to be named 2022’s Strongest Town. The two finalists—Norwood, Ohio, and Jasper, Indiana—are both midwestern towns of similar population, the former an urban place surrounded by the metropolis of Cincinnati, and the latter a rural county seat in the farmlands of Indiana. Both towns are moving in a similar trajectory, revitalizing their downtown areas, creating events that bring residents together, building collaboration between city entities, and being mindful of their financial futures.

Those of us in Norwood, Ohio, gathered on the steps of our historic middle school with music, our local coffee trailer, balloons, and face painting in April to celebrate the results of the Strongest Town competition, regardless of the outcome. 

Our advancement round after round had us elated to be able to come together and celebrate the resilience of our community, and it was clear that our co-finalist, Jasper, Indiana, was a worthy contender. Before the results were in, a connection had already been formed in the interest of the two towns moving forward together, learning from each other, and celebrating the good things happening in both communities.

READ MORE ON STRONG TOWNS

Continue ReadingStrongest Town Contest Sister Cities Come Together

Norwood Historic Home Tour returns in October

The Norwood Historic Home Tour returns on Saturday, October 15, with an afternoon walking tour around the historic Park Avenue neighborhood, including the rich history of the homes, churches, parks, and businesses. The Home Tour joins with the Fall Festival (1–6) and Off Pike Market (1–5P). Enjoy free live music, activities for the kids, craft vendors, treats, drinks, and food trucks at Victory Park and Mills Avenue.

Each tour group will have a maximum of 20 people. They will start at Victory Park, and a bus will take them to the Park Avenue, Floral, and Robertson Avenue neighborhoods.    

This fourth annual Historic Home Tour is organized by Norwood Together in partnership with the Norwood Historical Society to highlight the history and character of Norwood. Other community partners that make the tour possible include the City of Norwood and Off Pike Market.

Buy your tickets HERE.

Continue ReadingNorwood Historic Home Tour returns in October

The Northwood Cidery Makes Norwood Home

Joseph Klare walks me through the empty building, gutted of all the features that made it an auto shop, and explains how it will soon become a thriving craft cidery in the heart of Norwood.

Northwood Cider Co. will be  the first and only dedicated hard cider company in Greater Cincinnati when it opens in the summer of 2022. Klare’s enthusiastic descriptions fill the empty space for me: the storage areas up top, where the cider will be fermented in the back, and the bar running along the west side of the building.

“We’ll have a cold storage room where we’ll have all of our finished product and some of our stuff that hasn’t been fermented yet. And then there’ll just be a very small chain divider between the front house and back house,” Klare said. “We want people to be able to see… how it’s made and where it’s made. This’ll be a production area, so people can’t just wander back, but we will be doing tours and “How Cider’s Made” classes and things like that. We’re not going to be a huge operation, obviously, but we can hopefully get some information out to people that are curious about the process and how we’re trying to use as local ingredients as possible.”

Klare and his wife Rohan Krehbiel partnered with couple Darrin Wilson and Keyu Yan to bring their love of cider to greater Cincinnati with the aim of being inclusive and inviting to all the people of Norwood. Klare met Wilson at a brewery when grabbing drinks and dinner with a mutual friend. They discovered both had a passion for home brewing cider. Klare and his partner Krehbiel, had found craft cidery through a trip to Ireland in college despite not knowing each other at the time. After the two got married home brewing became a popular hobby, especially wines and ciders due to Klare’s gluten intolerance. Wilson, on the other hand, also discovered cider while abroad and living in England. He had an existing interest in home brewing and brought home to his wife, Keyu Yan, the art of cider brewing. Wilson previously owned a brewery, but sold the business when he and his wife moved. It seemed like the perfect encounter when the two met, and the next morning Wilson messaged Klare to ask about his thoughts on starting up a brewery together. Klare describes that they “brought [their] spouses into the mix and everyone hit it off as friends”.

Greater Cincinnati’s market didn’t have breweries specialized in craft cider despite its growing popularity in the United States following the popularity of craft beer. Searching for the right location within the Interstate 275 loop, Klare and Wilson, who both work in economic and community development in their day jobs, knew they wanted a place near both residential and business areas.

“We were seeking locations where we could function as a neighborhood living room for residents, a great starting point for visitors to explore a community, and a community that had a great deal of passion and activism to make itself more vibrant,” Klare said. “Tom Perry, who previously worked for the City of Norwood, happened to be one of Darrin’s students and suggested the pair take a look at Norwood. A group organized by Norwood Together showed them around town and pointed out a few potential buildings and explained all of the great things happening in Norwood. They spotted the old Norwood Brake building, right next to Victory Park and across from Surrey Square and Kroger, and a few months later were under contract.”

The Northwood Cidery will feature classic cider flavors as well as experimental flavors that are crafted on a rotating basis, so there’s a drink for everyone. 

“The idea is that it’s going to become a flexible space so that we can hold community events. You could call us and reserve a table for some 20 people for your birthday party. You can bring your kids in and sit in the lounge and watch a basketball game with them. Or, you know, when Off Pike Market’s happening outside, and you’re out shopping. Maybe your husband or your son or your family is coming with you and you want to sit down for a while. [You want to] take a load off and grab a drink and people can keep shopping,” Klare said. “So we’re trying to make it a space that’s flexible, but accommodating and one that’s comfortable visually.”

The cidery plans to have five to six year round ciders on draft as well as five to six ciders that rotate seasonally based on what fresh ingredients are available at the time. In regards to the diversity of what the cidery/taproom has to offer Klare says this about the drinks available, which will range from various ciders, a few beers, and potentially a few wines,  

“Technically we are wine, and we want to try to convert wine drinkers into cider drinkers, but we will have two or three taps of beer for people that just can’t get into cider. Again, we want to accommodate people as best as we can. And if you just can’t get into cider and we’ll have a beer and try to talk you into trying one.”

The Northwood Cidery and Tap House plans to open in the summer of 2022 and will be located in the old Norwood Brake building at 2075 Mills Ave.

Continue ReadingThe Northwood Cidery Makes Norwood Home

Community Councils return March 24

Community Councils are monthly gatherings that give residents in each of Norwood’s four wards a chance to create productive and meaningful connections among their neighbors and with city leaders.

Community Councils always take place at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. Last year, to reduce the likelihood of covid spread, most meetings were outdoors and Community Councils went on hiatus through the winter months.

The gatherings return March 24 with a special opportunity to tour the new Norwood Recreation Center!

Beginning at 6 p.m., recreation center staff will be on hand to give tours and answer any questions people might have about classes or activities. Recreation Director Michael Gabbard will be the guest speaker for the Community Council gathering, which will begin at 7 p.m.

Attendees also will be able to connect with City Council members, talk with their neighbors, and ask questions and share ideas about the city.

Continue ReadingCommunity Councils return March 24

Honoring the Gems of Norwood

More than a dozen volunteers and a local restaurant will be recognized for their significant positive contributions to Norwood at the city’s first Gems of The Community Celebration on Thursday, February 24. 

The awards ceremony is organized by Norwood Together, a nonprofit community development organization, and presented by the Ventura Builders Group. The free community celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. and also will give attendees a chance to explore The Ventura, 4557 Montgomery Road, a vacant bank building that the Ventura Group transformed into an events center. 

The Gems of The Community award winners were nominated by fellow Norwood residents. They are business owners and volunteers, pastors and school boosters, designers and scientists. They are people who show up and are an example to others. 

“Norwood is a strong community because it’s full of people and groups working together to get things done,” said Mary C. Miller, president of Norwood Together. “We make things happen. We take care of each other. But we don’t always take time to celebrate that hard work and dedication. 

“That’s what the Gems of The Community awards are,” Miller added. “A chance to honor the people and organizations making a difference in our city.

Gems Legacy Award: Donna Laake
Donna has dedicated time to Norwood through personal volunteering and political service. She has helped lead nonprofits that help plant trees, clean up the city, and revitalize parks. Donna has been involved in various community events and organizations such as her close involvement with the Norwood Historical Society and the Norwood Business and Professional Women’s Club. She helped find funding for the new basketball courts at Waterworks and was a dedicated leader in the court’s art mural. Even in her retirement she has never hesitated to jump in and help the city in any way she can, even helping to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to the community. She has a long standing involvement in the city and knows the city of Norwood inside and out. Susan Daniels says, “She is a no brainer candidate [for the Gem of the Community Awards]”.

Gems Business Award: Indian Mound Cafe
The Indian Mound Cafe owners have invested in the success of Norwood organizations such as the Norwood Police Association, Norwood Fire Association, Norwood Athletics, various golf outings, and Gem of the Highlands 5K. They support all community partners by helping with meals for employees and students. Julie and Sheila encourage the use of their private party room to be a space for fundraisers and community events. They generously contribute lunches to the Vietnam Veteran Society. One of the owners, Sheila, received a service award for her work with the group. Recently after observing a funeral gathering at the restaurant, Stephanie Downs wrote, “What an important space they are providing for people who are grieving… They make people feel safe and loved and comfortable to be themselves.” Overall the Indian Mound Cafe is driven everyday by their owners who demonstrate care and devotion to making your dining experience easy, affordable, and tasty while also doing all they can to support the city. 

Robin Cox
Nominated by Mary C Miller and Megan Carl
Robin is a graphic designer with a clear passion to improve communication across Norwood. She displays a commitment to her city by actively supporting positivity and providing creative, fresh ideas to events such as the Historic Home Tour and Norwood Day. Robin always holds a smile on her face and listens attentively. Robin initiated the “What’s Happening” flyer/webpage, taking it on herself to contact businesses, schools, and community groups, collect information about their events, and share it across the city to better inform Norwood. Norwood Together President Mary C. Miller says, “I’m not sure where we would go for such professional work at no cost. Robin is a true gift to our community and her service is amazing.”

J. Ian Mathews and Lindsey Kemna Mathews
Nominated by Tim Garry Jr.
Lindsey and Ian Mathews, along with their young children, have been deeply engaged in community development, generously contributing their time and talent to several ongoing Norwood Community projects, including the Hudson/Floral micropark, several neighborhood clean-ups, spending weekend hours cutting the honeysuckle out of the Lindner Park and McCullough Estate Nature Preserve, and helping with the Williams Avenue Community Garden. The family makes active volunteering in the community fun for all. Tim Garry Jr. says, “Lindsey and Ian have been modeling community improvement and service to their young children, serving our community as a young family, with boundless energy, enthusiasm, commitment, and humility, over the last few years. They have sunk roots here, making our community a better place to live.”

Jon Moore
Nominated by Alisha Loch
Jon is an active member of the Norwood community and a director of digital media services at Mount St. Joseph University. He has a talent for processing information and a passion for his city, a combination which often leads to collecting and spreading valuable information to the community. Jon is also a landlord and dedicates hours of effort towards making Norwood a better place to live. He organized the development of the Hudson/Floral micropark and supported other community projects, such as connecting Wasson Way. Jon maintains a podcast called Move Norwood Forward and runs a blog by the same name where he discusses how to improve the quality of life in Norwood with enthusiastic ideas about the future of Norwood. Alisha Loch highlighted Jon’s open mind toward new ideas and enthusiasm for change. 

Stella Harrison
Nominated by Alisha Loch
Stella is a 10-year-old with a love for Norwood and a passion for change. She has created a pay-as-you-can newsletter, Norwood News, which she reports, writes, organizes, and distributes with some help from her mom. She has published four issues and garnered more than 60 subscribers with her mission to connect the people of Norwood to what’s happening in our city. Alisha Loch says that, “In one issue she addressed the Little Lending Library being taken over by adult books that didn’t seem to ever be swapped out. Her activism in bringing attention to that got the right people involved and the library box cleaned out and stocked with books for young people.” Stella is an exciting example of entrepreneurship in our city’s youth and is not only enriching her own mind, but helping Norwood grow as well. 

Ian Davis
Nominated by Jill Stoxen and Emily Franzen
Ian is an Eagle Scout, the highest rank possible in a Boy Scouts program, and a senior in high school who has made a name for himself with ambitious ideas for improving Norwood as part of his capstone project and regularly volunteering in the city. Jill Stoxen highlights the work Ian has done for Norwood by saying, “Ian Davis initiated the renovation, clean-out and beautification of the Norwood Community Center as his Eagle Scout project. The casting of vision, organization of volunteers, fundraising efforts, and community engagement set him apart as an outstanding young man in our community.” He is a rising star who has taken his ideas about the potential of Norwood and produced a result that will better his community for generations, on top of being an active volunteer for Baby Bear Free Shop and the Lindner Park Clean-up. 

The Daniel Family
Nominated by Cameron Kelley
Dennis is the parent of a Norwood Marching Indians Alumni who, with the help of his wife, Shaun, daughter, Katie, and son, Denny, has selflessly prepared and served meals to all members of the Norwood Marching Indians and their families at every band competition for more than a decade. They continue to do so long after the children have graduated. They feed more than 50 people at every event and prepare all the food out of their own home. Cameron Kelley notes, “Dennis is always smiling, encouraging our youth, and spending his own time and resources to make this happen.” Dennis also serves on the booster’s committee for planning the annual competition at Shea stadium and coordinating logistics and parking of all the bands and their equipment. He has been a cherished member of the Norwood Marching Indians community for years. 

Lois Schneider
Nominated by Cameron Kelley
Lois Schneider is a staple of the Norwood community and has always been an active volunteer in her city. She and her husband, George, raised their six children here, and Lois gave her time to the Boy Scouts and various sporting activities in which her children were involved. Since then she has coordinated the children’s programming for the Fourth of July fireworks at Shea Stadium, as well as helped make the Holy Trinity festival happen every year. She also has made an impact volunteering as a tutor with our local Whiz Kids site and has given hours of her time at the former Zion food pantry. Lois is a loyal volunteer at Baby Bear and is there every time the doors are open. Now that the Rec Center is open she can be found volunteering there every Tuesday.  She can be seen at every annual Norwood Marching Indians band competition at Shea. Cameron Kelley says, “She’s a true ambassador for Norwood and we’re a much better city due to her countless hours of giving!”

Amy Wolfinbarger
Nominated by Summer King and Amanda Wolfinbarger
Amy is active in the political scene of Norwood and demonstrated her clear care for the people of Norwood through a persistent push for change for years. She has organized events and advocated for others through an initiative she presented twice before it was approved. The city of Norwood showed their appreciation and support for Amy and the ordinance passed. Amy can often be seen picking up trash in Norwood parks and along the streets and helps others access the help they need by providing valuable information and even opening up her home. She is a volunteer and activist in the city, described as a “selfless citizen of Norwood.”

Sonny and Kristen James
Nominated by Chris Kelsch, Sen. Cecil Thomas, and Michele R. Riddle
Bishop Sonny James and Pastor Kristen James are community leaders who promote change in the city. Kristen shows care for the children of Norwood’s future and works to enrich the lives of families across the city with her dedicated volunteering with Toys for Tots, food share programs, and her partnership with Xavier University to give underserved youth the chance for a brighter future. Sonny stepped up and showed a strong commitment to the Norwood community in a time of need. With the devastation of racial injustices and tensions rising across the country, Sonny chose to bring about positivity and encouraged a conversation about race using his platform to create the Hearing Every Perspective events, where city leaders, police, and residents of all backgrounds were invited to have healthy discussion to strengthen our community. Sonny also successfully organized the first Norwood Black History Parade, which gathered crowds to celebrate and have positive engagement with their fellow Norwood residents. Sonny is described as a “bridge-builder, peacemaker, and a collaborator” by Sen. Cecil Thomas. “He speaks his mind out of love for his community and a sincere desire to build a stronger more diverse City of Norwood,” Thomas says.

Dana Boll
Nominated by Susan Daniels
Dana is an environmentalist who dedicates her time to informing Norwood residents about the effects of pollution and the importance of caring for the environment. Dana operates Keep Norwood Cool, an organization that aims to make Norwood more green as we grow as a city. She has worked closely with the school to educate children about climate concerns, planted donated trees along playground and resident housing, and provides Norwood with a passion for our city’s greenery. Dana puts great effort into adding more trees to the landscape of the city, even in areas that seem long forgotten about, while providing information on the importance of what she is doing and hosting informational meetings on how to improve Norwood’s environment and air quality.

Darlene Young
Nominated by Charlene Truss
Darlene is an active member of New Vision Missionary Baptist Church who volunteers regularly at the food pantry. She helps those who are food insecure, especially since the pandemic began and food insecurity seemed more pervasive, while acting with kindness and warmth. Darlene serves as a greeter and has a positive spirit that invites people of the community in. She greets any community member with a smile and has a radiant impact on New Vision as a whole. Charlene Truss says, “Darlene has an inviting spirit that touches the hearts of everyone she sees and greets, and as a greeter, allows the mission of New Vision to continue.”

Jeanne Sickinger
Nominated by Taylor Provins
Jeanne has carried out many projects in Norwood and is known for supporting events in her community, big or small. Jeanne has initiated community events like the Williams Ave Market which later combined with the Off-Pike Market, where she can be seen each spring and summer; helped with landscaping and more along Wasson Way; and was instrumental in the creation of the Williams Avenue Community Garden. Concerned about a vacant lot near her home, Jeanne worked to get permission from the city to make it what is now the community garden. With help from her neighbors, Jeanne maintains the garden, also now home to a Free Little Library, and serves as a gathering space to walk through, read books, or have neighborhood children explore. “When I think Norwood, I think Jeanne,” says Taylor Provins.

John Cappella
Nominated by Amanda Sinclair
John dedicates himself to the Gem of the Highlands 5k and uses his professional background to support the Norwood community and his expertise to improve the Norwood parks through fundraising. He challenges the Gem of the Highlands committee to do things with excellence and brings an attitude of positivity and joy to any environment he enters. Amanda Sinclair describes his dedication to the city by saying, “All the work he does to help this great neighborhood is through volunteering in the midst of being a husband, dad and full-time employee, and he does it with a smile on his face.” John would like to recognize the entire Gem of the 5k board for all of their hard work each year.

Josh Stoxen
Nominated by Chuck Smith
Pastor Josh Stoxen engages with Norwood through his many acts of service in the city. He works closely with businesses and organizations in Norwood to promote positivity and help amplify the voices of those around him. Josh leads the Community Coalition of the city that organizes food ministry and other helpful services to facilitate better access to programs and events that can help those in need. The coalition aims to make community services more accessible and available to those who need them, as well as bringing together these organizations that all aim to help the Norwood community. Chuck Smith says, “Josh is as engaged in benevolent ministry in Norwood more than anybody I know. Norwood is better with him!”

Kate Hand
Nominated by Melanie Mize and Amber Ballard
Kate is the Norwood neighbor who works to help the community in any way she can. Kate has volunteered her time, donated, and organized events to help push for positive change in Norwood. She personally has hosted campaign fundraisers and is active in the Norwood political scene in a positive and open minded manner. Kate pushed to move Norwood farther. She has been involved in projects large such as the Montgomery Road Clean-Up and the Norwood Pride Parade and loves to work with her community members to put on events that advocate for change. Amber Ballard adds that, “[Kate] has recently moved out of Norwood, but we wouldn’t be where we are right now without her efforts.”

Rodney Rogers
Nominated by Susan Daniels
Rodney was president of the Norwood Historical Society for over a decade and contributed much of the research on the history of Norwood that has set up the organization for success today. He is credited with bringing the Historical Society into the new age and dedicated countless time and effort to supporting the current president, Susan Daniels, with any inquiries or historical knowledge she could need from him. Rodney has also worked hard to keep the Linder Park trails clear and shows a clear care for the community. Susan Daniels thanks Rodney in saying, “I truly wouldn’t be able to run the historical society as President if it weren’t for Rodney’s commitment.”

Robert James
Nominated by Tiffani Williams, Javier Reyes, Nathan Lundy, Damon Romero, Leslie Du Pont, Sydney Reeves, Victoria Walker, and Dominick Heverin
Robert has gone out of his way of simply being a business owner in Norwood or a gym trainer. From helping friends in need when they are stranded an hour away, or helping change a tire in the worst of weather, Robert leaves a mark on the lives of those around them. He is known as a friend and a mentor, and loves to lead by example when working with troubled teens in the city. Robert encourages people from all walks of life to join in and live a healthier, fulfilling life through physical fitness but also to achieve a sense of belonging in the community to connect the people of Norwood. Robert demonstrated strong leadership and organizational skills by holding amateur boxing shows that encourage his community to come together and challenge themselves. Tiffany Williams says, “There are many reasons I’m nominating Mr. James for the Community Leadership award, but one of the most important reasons is his commitment to uplifting and building young men and women of the community… With his inspiring and loving guidance, he has changed the lives of many people from all walks of life.”

Diane Prather
Nominated by Lori Chaffin
Diane gives her time, energy and sometimes money to help the people of Norwood. She started Norwood Helping Norwood and has helped so many people and touched many lives! She has lived in Norwood most of her life and works as a health clerk for the Norwood School District. Diane demonstrates a strong commitment to Norwood by volunteering every week at Norwood Grace United Methodist Church serving meals to the community. She shows clear concern for the community and provides creativity in thinking and planning through her Facebook giving program Norwood Helping Norwood. On this page Norwood residents post things that they need and also what they have to give. Diane matches the need with the gift and uses her own resources, with the help of her teenagers, to  pick up and deliver the items to the family in need. Through this process she  also demonstrates the ability and initiative to bring people together to facilitate positive change.  

Continue ReadingHonoring the Gems of Norwood

Be Heard At Norwood’s Community Council Meetings

(Norwood Together, November Release) As the end of the year comes to a close, Norwood Together takes a look at the Norwood Community Councils’ growth and showcases how vital these community meetings can be. The council meetings aim to connect residents with their representatives and to make the Norwood leadership accessible. Demystifying the people in charge opens up more comfortable conversations where residents feel their voice is being heard. 

The Community Council meetings arose from this very need, as residents expressed through the Norwood quality of life survey that they felt disconnected and unheard. The council meetings started in ward one in 2019 but grew as the need for connection grew. Now all four wards organize a council meeting. Other than connecting with representatives, the meetings have speakers from all aspects of the community, including the health department, Norwood’s recycling program, the police and fire department, as well as members of the school board. 

Norwood Community Council meetings are an opportunity to voice excitements and concerns in the city while spending time socializing and meeting neighbors as well as city representatives. The goal of the council meetings is to make residents feel more informed about Norwood. Sara Lehew of the Community Council points out that in Ward 1 in particular, “We have been represented by council members from the Democratic and the Republican parties, and no matter what their political affiliation, the council members for Ward 1 have strongly supported the meetings and the info-sharing that is a main goal of the group.” Lehew says that the group strives to “help mitigate the feelings of uncertainty and negativity in residents by ensuring that information is shared with as many people as possible and comes directly from our elected leaders.”

Due to the pandemic community council meetings were put on hold but resumed in March of 2021 with a dedication to continue connecting residents to the services and leaders across our city and a strong push from Norwood Together. The Community Council meetings will resume in March of 2022 once again.

“We’re excited to hit the ground running in 2022 with more of a unified plan and predictable agendas”, said Alisha Loch, one of the Norwood Community Council organizers. “It’s our goal to be even more problem solving; we’ve dabbled with this by getting residents the answers they need or connecting them with the right person to address their issues, but would like to dig even deeper in creating grassroots solutions to each wards’ concerns.”

Follow the Norwood Community Council Facebook for more updates and meeting locations as we approach 2022.

Continue ReadingBe Heard At Norwood’s Community Council Meetings

The Oldest Streets of Norwood Are Begging to Be Seen

Norwood Historical Society is partnering with Norwood Together again for the 2021 Historic Home Tour.

From 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 16, rain or shine, tour groups will meet at Victory Park and walk a mile through some of the oldest streets in Norwood. These houses, dating back to the 1880s and early 20th century, were popular for boarding. Students and laborers, many coming from the South in search of work at Norwood factories, would rent out rooms.

The tours will last about 70-80 minutes, and each tour group is limited to 15 people. Tickets are $10 a person. Buy them here. 

“Norwood Historical Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit, interpret, publish and educate about the history of Norwood, Ohio. Anytime we get a chance to carry out our mission, in any shape or form, while partnering with other organizations is a great adventure. When we uncover the history behind these homes and share it with the public, the stories bring them to life,” said Susan Daniels, President of the Norwood Historical Society. 

The Norwood Historic Home Tours began two years ago, with Norwood Together and the Norwood Historical Society aiming to showcase Norwood architecture and landscaping and also to encourage civic pride. These tours also give non-locals a chance to appreciate the beauty and complexity of Norwood.

The tour will be exploring Ward 1 this year, one of four political wards in the city. With the neighborhood dating back to the turn of the 20th century, it’s an extremely walkable community, and because many homes have been updated throughout the decades, the tour will be interesting for both modern and historical architecture enthusiasts.

In addition to architecture and history, Historic Home Tour ticket holders will get the chance to learn about gardening and how to raise and keep chickens in Norwood.

When you return from the tour there’s even more fun to be had. The Norwood Fall Festival will be at Victory Park during and after the Historic Home Tour, from 2 to 6 p.m. The free Fall Festival will have live music, food vendors, pumpkins, Off Pike Market, and a variety of family activities, giving you a chance to take in the beautiful sights of Norwood then support its community.

This event is sponsored by Realtor Jennifer McGillis, UDF, Ventura Builders Group, Cappy’s and Off Pike Market. 

Continue ReadingThe Oldest Streets of Norwood Are Begging to Be Seen

Norwood Welcomes America Dinner: A Great Success

The Norwood Welcomes America Dinner highlighted the rich culture woven into Norwood and its people.

Welcome America Week is a national movement observed in the second week of September. Along with Welcome America Week events around the country, the Norwood Welcomes America Dinner asks immigrants in the community to take the lead. Norwood residents from Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Palestine, and Jordan planned the sold-out family-style dinner, which brought 50 neighbors together at Lower Millcrest Park to share a meal and their cultures.

“The ultimate goal is to create a Norwood where people from all cultures are known, respected, and loved,” said Carson Sotelo, Event Chairman.

Continue ReadingNorwood Welcomes America Dinner: A Great Success