Over the Rhine and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy Join Forces for the Forest City


On Friday June 26th, Ohio favorites Over the Rhine will bring their trademark Cincy sound up north for an intimate performance at the Beachland Ballroom. All net proceeds will benefit the Western Reserve Land Consevancy and their “Reforest Our City” program. Kicking things off will be local Pete McDonald, a folk singer who in his own right has performed for various benefits over the years.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 12.49.53 PMThis one-off date will be Over the Rhine’s only area performance before heading out on tour in July and then across the US in the fall to as far as Alaska and back before doing a string of dates in the Netherlands.

We spoke with Jim Rokakis of the Western Reserve Land Consevancy to find out a little more about the show and the Reforest Our City program.

Justin – The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is doing all kinds of things to enact and endorse land conservancy in Northeast Ohio, but tell us specifically about the Reforest Our City Program for whom this concert is benefiting.

Jim – The Reforest our City project is a program we started last year as part of a partnership with the Holden Arboretum. The goal of the program is to train private citizens in the planting and maintenance of trees. Cleveland, once known as the “Forest City” has lost much of its’ tree canopy. In fact in a study of all the communities of Cuyahoga County Cleveland ranks at the bottom in tree canopy coverage. Cities are broke, so we are steeping in here—and eventually in other communities around Northeast Ohio. Our goal is to plant 100,000 trees over the next ten years. The money raised will go to fund the program, i.e. purchase trees!

Justin – How did this benefit show come about?

Jim – The idea of this show came about as a way to create enthusiasm and—obviously—raise money. This replaces a show we have at the Beachland every year called “Conservation Rocks.” We are hopeful to make this tree fundraising event an annual happening.

Justin – How did you connect with Over the Rhine and get them involved?

 Jim – We work all over Ohio—including Cincinnati– and the neighborhood known as Over the Rhine. Many of us have been fans of the group, and have seen them at places like Cain Park, Kent State and other venues in the region. We reached out to them and even though they just came off a long west coast tour they agreed to make the four hour trip up here to do the show. So they are Ohio based (and have turned down opportunities to leave Ohio) and we love their music.

Tickets to the show are still available and can be purchased at www.beachlandballroom.com.

Make sure to also check out the Western Reserve Land Conservancy website here.



Justin is the co-owner of Cellar Door. A man of many hats.