Green Umbrella in the News

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  • April 19, 2017 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati.com

    The year 2020 is quickly approaching and with it, the 50 anniversary of Earth Day.

    At Green Umbrella, we’re working hard to make Greater Cincinnati a top 10 metro area for sustainability before then. We’re already making progress. Our region has more than 101,000 acres of protected greenspace to date; we’ve seen a 55 percent increase in farmers markets in just the last three years; and there is now $191 million in slated funding for walkable and bike-friendly communities.

    The national recognition has also begun. Greater Cincinnati has ranked in the top 10 for our parks, trees, bike commuting, local food, and for our commitment to sustainability. This makes our region a great place for businesses to locate, and for people seeking an active outdoor lifestyle and a vibrant metro area.

    Green Umbrella’s Action Teams have 2020 goals for key areas of impact including: greenspace, outdoor recreation, local food, energy, waste reduction, transportation and water. Instead of resting when we exceeded two of our goals early, we set new ones.

    With Earth Day drawing near, it’s a great time to be part of our region’s sustainability goals by doing one or more of these things:

    1. Eat local: Support farmers, improve your health and our local economy by shifting 10 percent of your food budget to locally grown food. Find your local farmers market or sign up for a CSA.

    2. Save the food: 40 percent of food (about $1,500 per household) is wasted each year. Shop with a plan, and store to save food so it doesn’t go to the landfill.

    3. Drive less, live more: Download a free transit app to buy fares and plan your route. Bike or walk, especially for destinations within two miles.

    4. End littering: 18 percent of litter ends up in streams and waterways as pollution. Put trash in its place, and help pick up litter.

    5. Recycle: Paper and cardboard are still the largest part of our waste stream but yet are easily recycled. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

    6. Re-think energy: Switch up traditional light bulbs for LED – they use 90 percent less energy and last 15 years longer. Or Solarize - the cost of solar installation has gone down dramatically, and there are rebates and tax credits to help you go solar.

    7. #OptOutside: Get outdoors and submit your favorite green place to help us promote the value of greenspace and connecting with the wonders of nature.

    8. Plant natives: Native plants require less water and maintenance to grow. Plant a native tree and join our region’s effort to plant 2 million trees by 2020.

    9. Plan to attend: Learn how we can build a more sustainable and equitable region at the June 9 Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit.

    10. Join us: We’re working to unite businesses, nonprofits, local governments, universities and individuals in a collective effort to make Greater Cincinnati as environmentally sustainable as possible.

    To learn more, visit www.greenumbrella.org.

    Act locally. You will make a difference.

    Kristin Weiss is executive director of Green Umbrella.

  • April 18, 2017 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Media

    Earth Day will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2020, and by that time, Green Umbrella wants to make Cincinnati one of the top 10 green cities.

    Our region has over 101,000 acres of protected greenspace, and in the past three years, we’ve seen a 55 percent increase in farmers markets. There is now $191 million in slated funding for walkable and bike-friendly communities, and Greater Cincinnati has ranked in the top 10 for our parks, trees, bike commuting, local food and for its commitment to sustainability.

    But we still have a long way to go. 
    Green Umbrella has 10 actions you can take today to help make Cincinnati more green — see them here.


  • April 18, 2017 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Media

    From walking trails and bike lanes to expanded sidewalks that accommodate both walkers and cyclists, Greater Cincinnati is improving residents’ access to safer routes for non-motorized modes of transportation.

    Think: The Cincy Red Bike stations popping up in neighborhoods all over the TriState, improved trails in Northern Kentucky’s riverfront communities and added sidewalk access in places like Anderson Township are all adding to this.

    “There are lots of good initiatives going on,” says Frank Henson, board president for Queen City Bike.

    But there’s still a need to continue to push on the issues, says Danny Korman, a well-known local walking/biking advocate and former owner of Park+Vine in Over-the-Rhine, which closed earlier this year. He feels car traffic is still an issue for cyclists, and some roads need more connecting bike lanes.

    Effective March 21, a new Ohio state law gave a safety boost to bikers by requiring motorists to give people on bikes three feet of clearance when passing.

    In the grand scheme, commuter biking still only makes up 1 percent of all trips in Cincinnati, according to the 2015 U.S. Census. The city also ranked 39th out of the 70 largest cities when it comes to the percentage of commuters pedaling to work.

    But bike riders are becoming more visible all around town, as evidenced by the popular Red Bike, a pay-per-ride bike share program that started in 2014 with a handful of downtown racks. According to spokesperson Jason Baron, Red Bike is up to 56 stations and 442 bikes throughout the city and has been “enthusiastically embraced by the city.”

    And it’s not just young people using them; demographics show 50 percent women and 50 percent men are using Red Bikes, with age and ethnicity of riders running the gamut. Those numbers equate to about 240,000 bike rides per year, Baron says.

    For Red Bike, it's now about growing ridership by getting new riders to try it for the first time. Baron says Red Bike might extend its service into more local communities, but that growth is slower for now.

    Korman says bicycle safety and access depends on where you are in Greater Cincinnati. Korman highlights, for example, the heavy car traffic that impedes riders using the not-yet-complete protected bike lanes that run along Central Parkway from downtown to Northside.

    Even though these lanes are clearly marked, cars are still being parked between the pylons and the curb, which is where bicyclists are supposed to ride.

    Henson points to other efforts like those by regional sustainability group Green Umbrella, whose ongoing plans for increasing walking and biking in the region include a 42-mile urban loop that would connect existing trails to schools, work places and bus stops. (View a map of the planned Cincinnati Connects trail here.) The first phase of the project is underway, and design work will start on a second section this summer.

    “It’s such a great step forward,” says Henson, who adds that once the urban loop is completed, bikers will be able to stop at bus stops if they need a ride to another part of the city and catch a ride up a steep hill by putting their bike on the bus’s front rack.

    Meanwhile, a Miami-to-Miami trail network feasibility study is currently underway; the project could eventually connect Cincinnati’s northern communities.

    Across the river, an 11.5-mile pedestrian trail called Riverfront Commons will soon connect all six Northern Kentucky river cities. The project won a $1.2 million grant for work that is scheduled to begin this May and will be overseen by Southbank Partners.

    As far as hills go, Henson says they’re not really slowing down bikers, since anyone encountering a hill too steep to pedal can always hop off and walk those portions. “The rule in Cincinnati is that you'll never meet a hill that you cannot walk. There's nothing wrong with that.”

    Sidewalk projects are in the works for travelers by foot, too. Examples include new construction in Anderson Township and Fort Thomas, as well as sidewalk-revamp projects underway along Eggleston Avenue on downtown’s east side and Monmouth Street in Newport.

    Steve Sievers, assistant administrator for operations in Anderson Township, says his team has been focusing on walkability for the last 20 years. The township’s goal is to increase the use of sidewalks and other footpaths by adding shade and benches.

    “We're being strategic about it,” he says, while noting that some segments will never have sidewalks because the cost outweighs the potential benefit.

    Korman, who is co-author of Walking Cincinnati, says much of our infrastructure pre-dates cars, and the city was therefore built for walking. His book highlights good walking areas in the city.

    “It’s not entirely under threat,” Korman says. “But we need to constantly pay attention to our oldest areas and all the river towns as well.”

  • April 18, 2017 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

    Earth Day has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1970 as a national grassroots “teach-in” on the environment.

    Now observed worldwide, Earth Day, observed April 22, continues to focus on the environment but goes beyond teaching. Locally there are celebrations, service projects and special activities throughout the Cincinnati area. If you're looking for a way to celebrate, here’s a listing of opportunities to consider.

    Volunteers needed for food prep

    In the Cincinnati area hunger and poverty are significant challenges. In recognition of this, Indian Hill High School students are observing Earth Day by making enough soup to feed 10,000 to 15,000 people.

    Mimi Dyer, volunteer and outreach coordinator for La Soupe, serves up free soup during a recent visit to Romualdo's in Madeira. The La Soupe Mobile takes its soup to various locations. They only ask for a donation for the soup. La Soupe is a non-profit that rescues food that was otherwise destined for the landfill. They turn it into soup for food-insecure families. (Photo: The Enquirer/ Liz Dufour)

    In partnership with La Soupe, the students plan to prepare 5,000 quarts of soup over two days. To achieve this goal, they need your help. Adult volunteers are needed to work in 2.25-hour shifts. Volunteer opportunities are available on Wednesday, April 19 or during the main event Thursday, April 20 through Friday, April 21.

    To volunteer, visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4fafad2baa8-ihhs.

    Party for the Planet

    The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden hosts its eighth annual Party for the Planet 4 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20. Businesses and organizations from around the region will share their expertise and resources about sustainable living. Topics include solar energy, composting, recycling, energy efficiency, green building, rain gardens/barrels, and more.

    The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden celebrates

    The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden celebrates Earth Day with its annual Party for the Planet. As part of the celebration, the zoo holds its 5th Annual Rain Barrel Art Benefit Auction. (Photo: Provided)

    Speaking of rain barrels, the 5th Annual Rain Barrel Art Benefit Auction will be held during Party for the Planet. The silent auction is 6 to 8 p.m. Winners can take home their rain barrels at the end of the night. The band, Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, will be at Party for the Planet too for the weekly spring music series Tunes and Blooms.

    Additional details can be found at cincinnatizoo.org or by calling 513-281-4700.

    Seeds to save Monarchs

    The Save Our Monarchs Foundation is making a push ahead of Earth Day to encourage people to plant milkweed seeds. Milkweed is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar.

    The monarch population is down 90 percent from what it was in 1992. Milkweed is also rapidly disappearing due to habitat loss resulting from land development and widespread spraying of weed killer on the fields where they live.

    If you wish to observe Earth Day by planting milkweed seeds, visit www.saveourmonarchs.org and place your order for seeds.

    Mill Creek Cleanup

    If you don’t mind getting a little wet and dirty, you might want to check out the Mill Creek Yacht Club’s 23rd Annual Stream Cleanup from Evendale to Lockland beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 21. Enthusiastic volunteers are needed to help collect litter in and along the stream. Last year about 25 people helped including volunteers from Procter & Gamble and J.M. Smucker.

    Mill Creek Yacht Club readies to observe Earth DayBuy Photo

    Mill Creek Yacht Club readies to observe Earth Day with its 23rd Annual Stream Cleanup from Evendale to Lockland beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 21. (Photo: Enquirer file photo)

    Seats in the canoes are limited to volunteers who are 18 or older. There’s plenty of room for the land-based effort that’s open for all ages. Volunteers will meet at Koenig Park in Reading. For information or to sign up visit the sign-up page at Eventrite.com or call, 513-563-8800.

    Cincinnati Nature Center blends fun and education

    Free admission is offered Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23 to the Cincinnati Nature Center's Rowe Woods, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, for its Earth Day celebrations. Over the weekend, the center offers several family friendly activities.

    A native plant sale will take place on both days along with an opportunity to meet the artist Jaime Iliff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Nature PlayScape will be the location of several child-friendly activities. For a complete listing of happenings, or to preregister for the program “Gardening for Wildlife,” visit the Cincinnati Nature Center’s website – www.cincynature.org or call 513-831-1711.

    Earth Day Haiku

    Looking to do something unique this year for Earth Day? Then head over to Fernald Preserve, 7400 Willey Road, Ross, to participate in the free Earth Day Haiku Hike 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22.

    Organizers of this event decided to combine two celebrations into one, Earth Day and National Poetry Month. For information, visit their Facebook page at Earth Day Haiku Hike.

    The 47th Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration

    The new Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, in Blue Ash plays host to this ongoing and popular free, family-friendly Earth Day event noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Local Food.”

    Greater Cincinnati Earth Day features more than 100 vendors and exhibitors offering Earth-friendly products and interactive educational activities, live music, a beer garden, petting zoo and recycling games. In addition to the exhibits and entertainment, local food trucks and Rhinegeist “Cincy Made” craft beer truck will attend.

    Musical entertainment will be plentiful throughout the afternoon. Acoustic sounds of Lauren & Hogan will begin things at 1 p.m. in the food court area. The indie rock band Room for Zero hits the stage at 2 p.m. followed by the area’s top Americana band Hickory Robot at 4 p.m. A yet-to-be-named band performs at 5:30 p.m.

    The theme, Local Food, will actively involve environmental groups, government agencies, businesses and citizens of all ages in demonstrating their contributions to the beauty and quality of life through their positive actions.

    More details about this event hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition can be found by visiting www.cincinnatiearthday.com.

    Krohn Conservatory

    A free tree seedling goes to the first 300 visitors to Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, as part of its Earth Day Celebration 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 21. The special event is included in admission $7, $4 ages 5-17, free ages 4 and under. 513-421-5707.

    Burlington 5K

    Looking to get out and enjoy nature on Earth Day while also getting in a bit of fitness? Then head out to England-Idlewild Park, 5550 Idlewild Road, in Burlington where the Burlington Elementary School and its PTA are holding an Earth Day 5K starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22. Money raised will be used for physical education enrichment tools and equipment. Race day registration begins at 8:30 a.m. For information visit, http://bit.ly/EarthDay5KBurlington, or call (859) 334-4447.

    Earth Day in Loveland

    The Jackson Street Market, 204 W. Loveland Ave., in Loveland celebrates Earth Day 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22 with a scavenger hunt, games and local organizations offering ways of incorporating sustainability in your life. The event is free. For information call, 513-265-2217, or visit bit.ly/2czSzPP.

    Arbor Day

    What better way to celebrate the Earth than through an Arbor Day Celebration? Amberley Village is hosting such a celebration at the village hall, 7149 Ridge Road, 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 24. Guests can meet by the flag pole as a tree planting demonstration is held in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day. The event is free. For information call, 513-531-8675, or visit, www.amberleyvillage.org.

    Washington Park

    Celebrate Earth Day at Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., with eco-friendly activities and vendors noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The day includes live music, food and drink plus activities for children and adults.

    Sustainable living under Green Umbrella

    Just in time for Earth Day, Green Umbrella announces grant funds going to groups that are working to advance efforts to feed the hungry, reduce food waste and conserve energy.

    Thanks to a $75,000 gift by the Duke Class Benefit Fund, Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance, is funding six projects which will allow each to expand and grow its efforts. Grant recipients are: Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection; La Soupe; Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati; Gabriel's Place; and Dirt: a modern market.

    "Green Umbrella's theme for Earth month this year is Innovate: Activate: Celebrate. We're thrilled to be giving out $75,000 to activate these member projects that benefit the health of our community and environment," Executive Director Kristin Weiss said.

    To learn more about how Green Umbrella is working to make the Cincinnati area one of the nation's top metro areas for sustainability by 2020, visit www.greenumbrella.org.


  • April 14, 2017 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Around Cincinnati (via WVXU)

    Cincinnati's Earth Day celebration will happen on Saturday, April 22 at Summit Park in Blue Ash.

    Joining our Ron Esposito with a preview of the food-centric event are Vice-Chair Emily Cigolee and Public Relations Director Josh Clyde, and from Green Umbrella, Kristin Weiss.

    Listen here.


  • April 11, 2017 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: River City News

    A local organization is celebrating a reduction in food waste and an increase in locally-sourced food that is accessible and affordable in food deserts.

    Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance, is using a $75,000 grant from the Duke Class Benefit Fund to assist local projects.

    Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection, two area food hubs, had $500,000 in local food sales in 2016, worked with 80 local food producers, and represented the majority of local food aggregation and distribution in the region. With this grant, they are increasing energy-efficient refrigerated storage capacity where they base their operations – Freestore Foodbank and Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen. Additionally, they are increasing the types and amounts of produce that can be stored by adding additional temperature zones.

    La Soupe – In 2016 alone, La Soupe rescued 125,000 pounds of food from going to the landfill and donated 95,000 servings to people living in food insecurity. With this grant, they’ll add an onsite energy-efficient walk-in freezer to double the number of people in need they serve each week (currently 1,750), with the goal of rescuing 300,000 pounds of food and transforming it into 200,000 servings to donate by 2018.

    Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati – Located in Cincinnati’s urban core, Civic Garden Center’s vision is to teach people to “garden anywhere and everywhere.” This grant will help them get locally sourced food into the hands of residents by providing energy-efficient refrigeration and aggregation for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers that pick up their shares at their site They’ll also be able to refrigerate 1,000+ pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for local community gardens seeking to donate to nearby food pantries.

    Gabriel’s Place –This grant will allow Gabriel’s Place to expand their local food marketplace in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood and provide meaningful access to the local food system, at prices that are affordable to community members. Because Avondale is a food desert, this grant will especially help serve senior citizens and residents living below the poverty line who tend to not own vehicles.

    Dirt: a modern market – Dirt is Findlay Market’s local-only business that promotes local growers and producers within a 150 mile radius of Cincinnati. This grant will help distribute local food through the store and serve as a hub for Findlay Kitchen (a shared use incubator kitchen), the Findlay Farmstand Program (which brings fresh, local produce to three food desert communities with a population of 35,500) and Pop Up Markets (which takes Findlay Market to local businesses).

    “Green Umbrella’s theme for Earth Month this year is Innovate: Activate: Celebrate. We’re thrilled to be giving out $75,000 to activate these member projects that benefit the health of our community and environment,” said executive director, Kristin Weiss, in a news release.

    To learn more about how Green Umbrella is working to make Greater Cincinnati one of the nation’s top metro areas for sustainability by 2020, visit www.greenumbrella.org.

  • April 07, 2017 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Media

    Opening Day for Cincinnati Reds baseball is always a celebration, but there’s another Opening Day — also full of entertainment — in store for community members. Tri-State Trails is hosting its second annual Opening Day for Trails event April 8 and 9.

    As part of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s national kickoff to spring trail season, this weekend’s festivities will feature 14 trail events that encourage participants to walk, hike or bike their ways throughout Greater Cincinnati.

    “Our vision is to make Cincinnati the healthiest region in the country,” says Megan Folkerth, program officer for active living at Interact for Health, one of Rails-to-Trails' community partners. “Opening Day for Trails encourages people to explore local trails and incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.”

    This season’s Opening Day for Trails sampler will showcase the variety of ways in which people can incorporate physical activity into their lives. Event highlights include:

    Covington will host a scavenger hunt on the Licking River Greenway Trail

    Indiana will host a guided history tour on the Whitewater Canal Trail

    In partnership with UC|sustainability, Tri-State Trails will lead a four-mile bike ride through Uptown, along the proposed Wasson Way

    “Opening Day for Trails showcases some of the many ways you can experience our robust trail system in Greater Cincinnati,” says Frank Henson, chair of Tri-State Trails and president of Queen City Bike. “We’re excited to engage new trail users and build support for continued investment in trails and active transportation.”

    DO GOOD:

    - Explore the full list of events for Opening Day for Trails.

    - Post a trail selfie using #tristatetrails for a chance to win free gear from REI Cincinnati.

    - Tell a friend about this weekend’s upcoming events, and encourage them to explore and be active as well.

  • March 20, 2017 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Business Courier

    The former owner of Over-the-Rhine retailer Park + Vine has a new job at a Greater Cincinnati environmental group.

    Danny Korman will advocate for bicycling as trails ambassador for Green Umbrella, whose mission is to coordinate environmental and sustainability collaboration among 200 members including nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions and governments.

    Former Park + Vine owner Danny Korman has taken a job with Cincinnati environmental group Green Umbrella.

    Part of Korman’s job will be to gather support for Tri-State Trails and a massive plan to build a 42-mile, regional network of bike trails that would connect communities and job centers.

    Green Umbrella describes Korman as a regular bicycle commuter and outdoorsman. Park + Vine, which recently closed in Over-the-Rhine, was a business that also advocated activism.

    Korman has 15 years of nonprofit management experience in city, county and state governments in economic development, historic preservation, bicycling, marketing and media relations.

    “We are excited to have Danny working on bicycling advocacy in an official capacity in Greater Cincinnati,” said Frank Henson, chairman of Tri-State Trails.


  • February 19, 2017 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO

    COVINGTON, Ky. -- Once it’s complete, the Licking River Greenway and Trails will span more than a dozen miles, connecting urban and natural sections of Newport, Covington, Wilder and Taylor Mill — ultimately tying in with the Riverfront Commons pedestrian pathway.

    There’s even talk of one day connecting to Lexington via the southerly Sheltowee Trace Trail.

    But the ambitious project has met with a number of setbacks — and a healthy amount of skepticism — since master plans were released in 2008.

    See more.

  • February 07, 2017 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Media

    Green Umbrella is known for furthering sustainability and green efforts in Cincinnati, but it’s also working to help grow the food movement. With the help of a lump sum of $75,000 from the Duke Class Benefit Fund, the nonprofit is providing grants to support energy-efficient refrigeration in the local food system.

    Refrigeration is essential to maintaining quality, meeting food safety requirements and avoiding food waste. It’s also one of the most costly parts for the local food supply chain. The grant will help advance the region’s sustainability goals related to local food, food waste reduction, fresh food access and energy efficiency.

    Cincinnati boasts many food-related accomplishments, including:

    A 55 percent growth in farmers markets over the past three years, with 25 percent of those markets — like Findlay Market and the Northside Farmers Market — providing year-round access to local food.

    Two food hubs, Our Harvest Cooperative and the Ohio Valley Food Connection, that make it easier for restaurants, food retailers and other organizations to purchase local food in larger quantities.

    A rise in grocery co-ops that source local food, such as the newly opened Clifton Market and the Apple Street Market in Northside, that is still working toward an opening date.

    Support for healthy food access through programs like Produce Perks, which doubles up dollars for farmers and SNAP/WIC consumers who purchase locally grown produce. There are 18 new locations that will participate in the program in 2017.

    The publication of resources that help consumers support local farmers, build the local economy and help the public get to know food better. These include the 10% Shift to Local Food Challenge and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide, as well as local chapters of the Chefs Collaborative, Slow Food and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

    The launch of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council that works to advance a healthy, equitable and sustainable regional food system.

    Food waste initiatives like the forum on Food Waste: A Strategic Regional Conversation and breweries like MadTree that donate spent grains to local farmers.

    Food publications like Cooking Light and Edible Ohio Valley that are produced right here in the state of Ohio.

    The grants will help get Green Umbrella one step closer to achieving its goal of doubling production and consumption of local food and locally made goods by 2020.

    Applications are due March 15, and can be accessed here.

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