Old Brooklyn

Old Brooklyn’s boundaries are Brookside Park and the Big Creek Valley to the north, the Cuyahoga River to the east, Brookpark Road to the South and Ridge Road to the west. The area was known as the hamlet of Brighton in the 1830s and incorporated in 1889 as South Brooklyn Village before being annexed into the city of Cleveland in 1905. The area was known for its greenhouses, turn-of-the century doubles and bungalows, and quiet tree-lined streets. Old Brooklyn is home to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. To learn more about Old Brooklyn visit their website at http://www.OldBrooklynConnected.com.

Refreshment Stations

Pick up a GardenWalk Guide, a cool drink, or a light snack!

Neighborhood Map

Gardens in Old Brooklyn

Gardener Stories

When Old Brooklyn native Debbie O’Malley was ten years old, she spent the summer with her grandmother who had a huge, beautiful garden.  Debbie began her lifelong love of gardening that summer. She learned not only how to plant and weed a garden, but how to design one that was pleasing to the eye as well as relaxing and serene. 

Debbie and her grandmother believed that every garden should contain a bit of whimsy. You will find many hidden treasures throughout her gardens. She continues a tradition of winding gourds around the trees just as her grandmother did many years ago. Her gardens contain many inviting places for visitors to sit and enjoy a sense of peace and tranquility.

When asked if he is a gardener or a conservationist John Young paused before answering. “I suppose a little bit of both” he said.  A trip to this 1840 homestead during Garden Walk Cleveland will not only give  visitors a chance to walk the same garden paths that John Young’s family has used since 1918, but they will also have a chance to enjoy Emerald Valley-fifteen acres of pristine woods. Mr. Young intends to preserve this valley in its natural state for him, his family and others to enjoy in the heart of Old Brooklyn. The valley eventually winds down to the confluence of the Big Creek and the Cuyahoga River. It includes one unnamed stream and seven springs.

Welcome the “Home for Abused and Abandoned Plants.”  This is the name Gregory Cznadel has given to his garden. He enlarged the original property when he purchased .6 acre of land at an auction in 2006. He is a National Wildlife Steward and his goal is to turn his property into an arboretum and nature preserve. 

Greg’s garden is also a learning center where he has inspired adults and children with little known facts about wildflowers and the science of dendrology. He is currently designing tags for the wildflowers including mythological stories, medical uses and poems to the wildflowers. A poem he loves to share is Forget-me-not by Janett Dengo that tells us remember to stop and smell the roses (1st verse):

Bluish are the petals of this bloom