Green Umbrella in the News

  • December 08, 2022 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    Holiday Feasts Don’t Have to Mean Leftovers in Landfills. Local Groups Discuss Ways to Reduce Food Waste

    For many of us, this time of year means big holiday feasts with family and friends.

    But figuring out exactly how much to make can be tricky, and cooking too much often leads to food waste.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that uneaten and wasted food contains enough calories to feed more than 150 million people each year, far more than the estimated 35 million Americans facing food insecurity.

    Several efforts are underway locally to reduce food waste while helping neighbors in need.

    On Cincinnati Edition, we talk about what local organizations are doing to reduce food waste and make sure fewer leftovers end up in landfills.


    Maddie Chera, Ph.d., director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council

    Georgine Getty, executive director, Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and Social Center

    Tony Staubach, coordinator, Hamilton County R3source Food Waste Diversion

  • December 08, 2022 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Highland County Press

    Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council Selected to Participate in Nationwide Learning Network

    The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council (FPC) has been selected to participate in a community of practice focused on regional food systems development. After a review of over 50 applications, 11 food policy councils from across the country were selected for the 18-month project, reflecting a diversity of approaches to regional food systems work.

    Regional food policy councils are collaborative groups that seek to address food-related issues across county and/or state boundaries. This localized work has emerged as a promising approach to developing equitable, sustainable and vibrant food and agriculture systems.

    This new community of practice is a central part of a cooperative research project that aims to better understand regional approaches to strengthening food systems. Leading organizations in this project are the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS), Ohio State University, the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and Colorado State University.

    As part of this community, Cincinnati's FPC will help guide research and the creation of resources to support other councils in taking regional approaches to food system development.

    “A more competitive, fair and resilient food system requires investment in regional supply chains, and food policy councils can play a critical role building bridges between rural communities and consumer markets,” said Tricia Kovacs, Deputy Administrator of the Transportation and Marketing Program of USDA-AMS.

    “When we think about food systems, it makes sense for us to work regionally, as our food distribution networks cross state and city boundaries to bring food through the value chain,” said Maddie Chera, Director of Cincinnati’s FPC. “We are excited that the timing of this community of practice coincides with the implementation of our new strategic plan, role changes in our Food Policy Council, and growth in our parent organization, Green Umbrella.”

    The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council will be represented in the community of practice by Director Chera and Anna Haas, Program Director for Local Foods Connection.

    A subsidiary of What Chefs Want!, Local Food Connection is one of the longest-serving current members of the Food Policy Council, participating for at least seven years. Haas has served on committees and been an ongoing key partner, especially in Farm to Institution work that involves planning, supporting, and coordinating the flow of local food from regional farms to businesses and schools. She brings wide-ranging food system experience, expertise grounded in daily work directly with farmers and food artisans, and big picture systems perspective to lead in the Council’s implementation of grant-funded projects and other work.

    The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council has an active call for nominations to serve on the Council. Learn more and find other ways to get involved directly with their work by visiting their website at

  • December 05, 2022 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Local 12

    Mill Creek Alliance Holds Final Planting Event of the Season

    NORTHSIDE, Ohio (WKRC) - The Mill Creek Alliance held its final fall planting event in Northside Sunday.

    Mill Creek Alliance holds final planting event of the season (WKRC, Johnny Dwyer)

    The organization partnered with Tri-State Trails and the Common Orchard to plant a new section of edible fruit trees along the Mill Creek Greenway bike trail.

    "We're planting native plants along this greenway trail to encourage people to have a better connection with our local ecology," said Johnny Dwyer, the environmental education and outreach coordinator for the organization.

    Dwyer says the Mill Creek Alliance plans to plant more trees next spring and summer.

    If you're interested in volunteering, you can register online.

  • November 23, 2022 12:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Business Courier 

    Adventure Crew Connects City Teens With Nature Through Recreation

    On a bright, mild October morning at Camp Ernst in Burlington, dozens of students from seven area high schools don helmets and harnesses, preparing to brave an aerial ropes course. It’s a new experience for most of the teens, and they chatter nervously as an instructor goes over the equipment and techniques for safely crossing from platform to platform.

    One by one, they make their way up the ladders and inch across the cables. A girl stops and yells to a teacher below. “Mr. Haney, I’m scared!”

    Jeff Haney responds with encouragement. “You are doing great!” He coaches her to let go of the tether and use both hands to climb.

    Haney, a teacher at Holmes High School in Covington, is also an adviser for the school’s chapter of Adventure Crew, a nonprofit with a simple mission: to get city-dwelling teens outside to connect with nature – and each other.

    The idea started with Cincinnati Public Schools teacher Denny McFadden, who led his 11th and 12th graders from Hughes High School on an annual kayak trip down the Little Miami River.

    “These were kids who might never have seen the Little Miami, much less paddled on it, and he saw how transformative it can be in building confidence,” said Miriam Wise, Adventure Crew’s director of support and engagement.

    In 2012, McFadden and other volunteers launched Outdoor Adventure Club as a pilot program under Green Umbrella, starting with excursions in three CPS schools. The organization incorporated as Adventure Crew in 2015, and today it reaches about 1,000 students in grades seven through 12 from 26 schools in CPS and Northern Kentucky.

    The group’s staff of 19 and a network of 30 to 40 volunteers organize challenging outings each Saturday, with activities that rotate each month – from hiking at Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford to skiing at Perfect North Slopes. Adventure Crew covers all costs, including gear, transportation, lessons and meals.

    “Cost was a barrier for the kids who inspired the program,” Wise said. “The reality is the certainty of a good lunch is potentially just as attractive as a good time with your friends.”

    The focus on high schoolers rather than younger children is intentional, she said. Many of the activities involve self-guided learning, such as figuring out how to maneuver a kayak that’s stuck in a bank.

    “That kind of exploratory, trial-by-fire learning is ideal for this age group,” Wise said.

    Haney has witnessed the growth of his own students in the program.

    “It’s great to see them learn how to interact with the environment,” he said, “and also prove they can do things they didn’t know they were capable of.”

    Adventure Crew is currently on the hunt for a new executive director. Kirsten MacDougal, who held the role for nearly five years, exited in October.

    The nonprofit also is searching for a home base. The staff works remotely when they aren’t outdoors, but Wise said the organization would benefit from the right mix of space to accommodate a small number of people and a large amount of gear, including 25 bikes and a van.

    The nonprofit’s signature fundraiser, Paddlefest, takes place each August, drawing thousands of kayaks and canoes for a 9-mile trip on the Ohio River, which closes to motorized traffic. Since Adventure Crew took over the event in 2016, revenue has more than doubled and now accounts for about 20% of the organization’s funding.

    The other major event is the Bill Keating Jr. Great Ohio River Swim, a 900-meter sortie from Serpentine Wall to the Kentucky shore and back. Fees from participants help pay for Adventure Crew’s program providing swim instruction to teens over spring break.

    The tagline of Adventure Crew is “outdoors for all,” and that inclusiveness has been key to the group’s success, Wise said.

    “Many of our kids don’t qualify as your outstanding athlete,” she said. “Maybe they aren’t as attracted to organized sports. But they want to move their bodies, they want to explore and they have energy … The kids who haven’t found their group yet, they find a community with us.”

  • November 19, 2022 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Spectrum News 1

    ‘Complete Streets’ Plan Looks to Transform West End, Other Cincinnati Neighborhoods

    Noah O’Brien has lived in Cincinnati’s West End for over a decade. During that time, he feels the neighborhood’s business district along Linn Street has served as anything but that.

    Featuring up to seven lanes in places, the roadway has very few retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, and laundromats. There’s only one sit-down restaurant along that 1.4-mile stretch of Linn Street.

    It’s been an ongoing problem for the past two decades, O’Brien said. He mentioned storefronts in the business district built with the CityWest development more than 20 years ago that still have never had a tenant.

    “They still have the original gravel floors,” he said.

    But O’Brien and other members of the community council have new hopes for their business district now that there are plans for a “complete street” redesign of Linn Street.

    What You Need To Know

    • The city of Cincinnati is using 'complete streets' concepts to come up with a design plan for Linn Street in West End
    • Complete streets design aims to make major neighborhood roadways more focused on utility for residents
    • The design focuses on areas ranging from pedestrian and bicycle safety to aesthetics and creating a neighborhood feel
    • City Council is considering a policy that would require the Department of Transportation and Engineering to include these design considerations on all major projects

    The complete streets movement places an emphasis on people-first road design. Through the process, traffic engineers focus on the safe movement of people through an area, rather than getting cars and other motorized vehicles through there as quickly as possible.

    These designs include engineering features such as protected bike lanes, bus lanes, bump-outs, expanded sidewalks, and other traffic-calming improvements. But they also look for more creative upgrades, such as adding trees or other design features to give streetscapes more of a community feel.

    O’Brien hopes improving safety and removing the “freeway-like feel” of Linn Street encourage businesses to open in the area. The 42-year-old said addressing poverty and violent crime in the neighborhood are other keys to reaching that goal.

    “This is supposed to be our business district, but it doesn’t feel like it,” added O’Brien, the vice president of the West End Community Council. “It often feels like a highway down the center of the community for the sole purpose of moving cars up and down with almost no businesses.”

    Earlier this year, the city of Cincinnati received a $20 million RAISE grant from the federal government to help fund the major infrastructure project. It extends from Linn Street through W. Eighth and State streets in Lower Price Hill.

    “This large investment in improving the safety and aesthetic qualities of Linn Street will bring our community closer together,” O’Brien said. “We’ll all use the sidewalks and bike lanes more, which increases the viability of future local businesses along Linn Street.”

    A new push for complete streets across Cincinnati

    The Linn Street proposal is still early in the development phase. But on Wednesday, Cincinnati City Council took steps toward ensuring there’ll be similar projects in the future by introducing the “Complete Streets Ordinance.”

    Authored by Council member Mark Jeffreys, the ordinance would make the city consider traffic calming measures and pedestrian safety tools for every road rehabilitation project.

    Through the new emphasis on complete streets policy, the city will be able to “right wrongs” from decades ago, Jeffreys said. He added that the expansion of the expressway system tore apart once-thriving neighborhoods and businesses districts such as the one in the West End.

    Jeffreys has been working with DOTE, the city’s legal department and pedestrian safety advocates on this issue for the past 10 months. He credited Council members Meeka Owens and Greg Landsman for their involvement.

    City Council member Mark Jeffreys joined other city leaders and 'complete streets' advocates on Linn Street to outline the city's use for the transportation design tool in Cincinnati road projects in the future. (Casey Weldon/Spectrum News 1)

    City Council member Mark Jeffreys joined other city leaders and 'complete streets' advocates on Linn Street to outline the city's use for the transportation design tool in Cincinnati road projects in the future. (Casey Weldon/Spectrum News 1)

    The ordinance will go before committee next week and then be for a vote of full City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

    “We have a different vision for our city grounded in the belief system that we should design our streets for people first, and especially for people who live in that neighborhood,” Jeffreys said. “A belief that we should build a city where people have the freedom to walk safely with their family to a neighborhood park, recreation center or library.”

    The city’s Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) engineers started using complete streets ideas in its designs several years ago, according to Dir. John Brazina. DOTE is using similar concepts to right-size Beekman Street in South Cumminsville, and Glenway, Warsaw and Harrison streets on the west side.

    While complete streets concepts are already in use, the ordinance would codify them into the decision-making and planning processes, Jeffreys said.

    Jeffreys believes further aligning with the complete streets policy will also help the city in its efforts to attract future federal grant dollars to support neighborhood-centric transportation projects.

    On Nov. 10, the board for the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) adopted a complete streets policy of its own. It requires applicants for grants to consider those concepts when applying for grant funds.

    A federal agency, OKI has final say on all federal dollars spent in region on surface transportation projects

    Jeffreys is an OKI Board Member.

    Complete streets helping to complete neighborhoods

    Before Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Jeffreys held a press conference at Lincoln Recreation Center on Linn Street to announce the ordinance. Joining him were city leaders and representatives from several organizations, including Tri-State Trails. The group discussed what the community benefits of complete streets design.

    Alena Speed, executive director of the organization Homebase Cincinnati, said improved aesthetics and better functioning streets will make neighborhoods more attractive to businesses and customers. Pedestrian safety is also important to local Community Development Corporations, she added.

    “We have to do more to think about the people in our neighborhoods,” Speed said.

    Proponents of this type of design also see it to take local environmental action. Local environmental organizations have wanted this ordinance for years, said Nathan Alley, with Ohio Sierra Club, stating that the ordinance is something. He views it as a tool for helping Cincinnati prepare Cincinnati for the long-term effects of climate change.

    Alley mentioned that creating travel corridors that are less car-focused streets will inspire people to walk more or ride a bike. That will not only reduce the city’s carbon footprint, but it will also improve the local air quality and reduce risks of health conditions like asthma, he added. He noted these designs can also help with stormwater runoff, which should reduce sewer backups and overland flooding.

    “This is a matter of equity, environmental justice and making streets (more) accessible,” Alley added.

    Safety comes first

    While improved air quality and better business options will be great, for O’Brien, it all comes back to safety.

    In 2020, beloved West End resident Donna Pringle suffered fatal injuries after a driver on Linn Street. The 67-year-old was walking in a crosswalk near Chestnut Street, across the street from the rec center where Wednesday’s press conference took place.

    The city's Department of Transportation and Engineering made several road enhancements to Linn Street after a driver struck and killed a beloved West End resident. (Photo courtesy of City of Cincinnati)

    The city's Department of Transportation and Engineering made several road enhancements to Linn Street after a driver struck and killed a beloved West End resident. (Photo courtesy of City of Cincinnati)

    This year, traffic collisions have killed 30 people in Cincinnati, six of them being outside of an automobile, per data from the city.

    Linn Street experienced several serious pedestrian-involved crashes over the years. In 2019, DOTE marked it dangerous as part of its Cincinnati Vision Zero review plan. As part of Vision Zero, the city installs traffic calming tools, like speed cushions, in known high-crash areas. The goal is to stop drivers from killing or severely injuring pedestrians.

    In response to Pringle’s death, DOTE installed curb extensions on Linn Street to shorten the crosswalk distance in front of the recreation center, and plans to install speed cushions in this area in early 2023.

    Jeffreys called Vision Zero a complement to the complete streets approach.

    Planning for next steps for Linn Street is still months off, Brazina said. The department is working with the federal government on the timeline, and the design is still in the planning stages.

    Early proposals have focused on enhancing the roadway experience for pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders and motorists. Some of the suggested improvements include shrinking of traffic lanes, expanding sidewalks and adding new landscaping. One of the six current options includes a tree-lined elevated bike lane in the middle of the road.

    O’Brien said he looks forward to the day he can ride bikes down Linn Street with his wife, Lizzy Chirlin, and their 4-month-old son, Emmett. That’s something they don’t feel safe doing right now.

    Jeffreys said complete streets planning has transformative potential, but those types of changes won’t happen overnight. These projects take “years, not months,” he said.

    While he knows shovels in the ground are still a way off, O’Brien stressed optimism about the future of Linn Street.

    “This community is still devastated from the death of Donna Pringle,” he said. “It’s (going to be) hard not to think of Donna and her legacy as we work on these critically important improvements to design and safety on Linn Street.”

  • November 02, 2022 12:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Xavier Newswire

    Wasson Way Set to Connect Xavier

    By Spencer de Tenley and Lucy Kramer, Multimedia Managing Editor and Staff Writer

    The Wasson Way trail expansion is quickly approaching, with a connection coming right through Xavier.

    The new connection has raised some concerns over the possibility of gentrification in neighborhoods surrounding Xavier.

    The frequently used section of trail near campus that runs parallel to Dana Avenue will continue construction in the coming months with a new part that “will go west of campus on an uninhabited part of campus in Evanston and north Avondale,” Sean V. McGrory, a member of the Wasson Way Board of Directors, stated.

    Xavier has partnered with Tri-State-Trails, Crown, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the City of Cincinnati and the City of Norwood to bring the expansion through campus.

    The trail is expected to expand transportation around Cincinnati for Xavier students, especially commuters and off-campus residents. With biking in mind, Liz Blume, Director of the Community Building Institute, mentions that the Wasson Way expansion “is a great opportunity for all the students who live close to, but off campus.”

    The Wasson Way trail will soon be connecting Xavier’s campus to the broader Cincinnati community with a planned trail expansion coming through campus and leading through Evanston and North Avondale areas. The trail system has gained supporters and detractors from the community area.

    This new expansion, while being a potential time saver for many students commuting to class, will also connect Xavier’s campus to downtown Cincinnati and to the University of Cincinnati.

    In addition to connecting to downtown and UC, the expansion will connect to a larger regional trail system across the city and provide another amenity for students living at the University Station apartments. With projected additional foliage and foot traffic near the University Station, Blume adds that, “it will make University Station a more attractive location for tenants and retailers who want to be near the bikeway.”

    Xavier fell under criticism due to its involvement in recent vandalism along the existing Wasson Way.

    Back in August of this year, Xavier students were found to be in connection to the destruction of trees along the trail; many of these trees were planted by volunteers and local business owners and were planted in honor of past and present community members.

    After the destruction of these trees, Xavier released a statement apologizing for the damage, and the perpetrators were reprimanded.

    “We want to make sure that we’re communicating to the larger community that we’re a good partner. We really want this, and our students are enthusiastic about it,” Blume said.

    On the citywide scale, concerns about gentrification have arisen in the neighborhoods of Evanston and Avondale.

    Gentrification in Avondale has been historically prevalent with the construction of I-71 in the 1960’s and the Uptown Innovation Corridor more recently; thus, Tri-State Trails and Wasson Way have partnered with the Avondale Development Corp. to be more acutely intertwined with the concerns. This partnership poses the opportunity for trailside affordable housing, but Tri-state Trails and Wasson Way agree it would be a challenge.

    Rachel Culley, Tri-state Trails GIS Analyst and Planner, acknowledges that “The trail will raise property values, and it does have the possibility to displace people if they aren’t able to secure their homes or secure property nearby” mentioning that Tri-state Trails tries to approach trails with a holistic view. “We’re thinking a lot about different affordable housing policies, economic development policies, zoning that we could potentially get put in place before the trail is acquired or constructed,” she adds.

    Despite this, no policies or laws have been put in place to protect Avondale community members from displacement thus far. “We need to be making investments to make these neighborhoods better; this represents one of them,” Blume states. Even with the concerns about gentrification, increased living standards in the  neighborhoods are the project’s central focus. Blume says that “the overall intention in a city should be that all neighborhoods are wonderful places to live, so making investments in the things that make places wonderful to live in is a good thing,” Adding that “We’re not going to make improvements and investments that make the quality of life better in poor neighborhoods because it might trigger gentrification.”

  • October 26, 2022 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Link NKY

    Gift Promoting Bike Safety Could Open Eyes to Larger Conversation: ‘It’s the Concept of Making Our Streets Safer for Everyone’

    Robin Gee

    October 26, 2022

    Brrring, brring!

    That’s the sound drivers, bike riders and pedestrians will hear more often in Fort Thomas if all goes according to plan. At the October city meeting, council member Ken Bowman announced that Reser Bicycle in Newport donated 400 bike bells to Fort Thomas residents in the hopes of promoting safer riding, especially on sidewalks.

    Jason Reser, owner of Reser Bicycle Outfitters in Newport, donated the bells after learning that safe bicycling is an issue in Fort Thomas. It’s been a growing issue across the region as people seek alternatives to driving.

    Crowded sidewalks

    “Fort Thomas is pretty unusual in Northern Kentucky because a lot of kids ride their bikes to school,” Reser said. “Fort Thomas and Fort Mitchell are really the only communities where people really feel safe to let their kids ride to school, that the roads are safe enough for them to use.”

    However, he said, a lot of children are riding their bikes on the sidewalks. Fort Thomas is also known for its walkability — and this is causing issues between bicycle and scooter riders and pedestrians.

    “What’s going on now is kids are riding to school and people are using the sidewalks, but the sidewalks are not that big,” he said. “And now, there’s also the electric scooters, and those go a little bit faster than the bicycles, especially on the sidewalk, so that’s becoming an issue up there.

    “We thought, hey, if we can try to draw awareness to this, multiple users on the sidewalks. It’s a little gesture, but maybe we can make people a little bit happier, make it easier to share the sidewalk for now.”

    Complete streets

    The concept of complete streets, Reser explained, is to reconsider how and why we use our streets.

    “A lot of street and road design has been about the most efficient and fastest way to get cars from point A to point B,” he said. “But now there’s a lot of thought, especially when you’re looking at urban and suburban locations, toward places where people really shouldn’t be speeding up. It’s the concept of making our streets safer for everyone.”

    Complete streets is an approach to city and street planning that takes into consideration not only bicyclists, but people in wheelchairs, scooters and golf carts, as well as pedestrians. The term has made it’s way into planning and design circles and even to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    According to the Department of Transportation website, “Complete Streets approaches vary based on community context. They may address a wide range of elements, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, bus lanes, public transportation stops, crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, modified vehicle travel lanes, streetscape and landscape treatments. Complete Streets reduce motor vehicle-related crashes and pedestrian risk, as well as bicyclist risk when well-designed bicycle-specific infrastructure is included (Reynolds, 2009).”

    Reser cited projects by Newport, Fort Thomas and other river cities to create a “smart corridor” on U.S. 27. He said city officials and planners are paying close attention, and there are a number of organizations in our area hoping to influence those leaders.

    He pointed to a November 10 summit at Northern Kentucky University hosted by Tri-State Trails, an organization promoting expansion of the region’s trail and bikeway network. The summit will feature guest speakers from other communities that have moved toward complete streets and other pedestrian and bicycle friendly infrastructure.

    Community connection

    Communities that provide more options for transportation and better connectivity also have a better time attracting employers, he noted. He said organizers for the summit are pushing this fact and hoping that area leaders are listening.

    He said, going back to Fort Thomas, he hopes planners can take a hard look at how streets are being used.

    “Is it necessary to have four-lane streets plus parking, basically six lanes wide just for cars?” he asked. “So many users are running and biking and using golf carts now… A lot of people say, ‘Well, this is just for bikers.’ I would push back and say, really this creates more safety for everyone.”

    There are a number of organizations advocating for “complete streets.” One of them is the Smart Growth America, and greater details of the concept is available on their website. Reser Bicycle Outfitters is located at 648 Monmouth St. in Newport. Fort Thomas residents can pick up their free bells at the Armory in Tower Park. A few are also available from the Fort Thomas Police Department.

  • October 24, 2022 11:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: CityBeat

    Studio Kroner's Newest Exhibit Examines Literal and Metaphorical Trash — and How it Threatens Our Future

    Katrina Eresman 

    Mon, Oct 24, 2022

    Trash is everywhere. Literal garbage litters the streets and sidewalks. Metaphorical trash makes up much of the content flooding news channels and phone screens.

    In its upcoming exhibit Trash Talk, Studio Kroner is putting this trash in the spotlight, and examining how it threatens our future. The exhibit will feature works by studio founder Paul Kroner and Northern Kentucky-based artist Devan Horton.

    The two artists had been working on their own trash-related works separately. When Kroner reconnected with Horton at a show at Clifton Cultural Arts Center, he realized it was the perfect fit.

    “Neither one of us are necessarily painting pretty things,” Kroner tells CityBeat. “I get very excited about that kind of possibility, of trying to go, OK where’s the deviation? How do we create conversation? How do we use art to explore difficult topics?”

    Studio Kroner opened on Court Street in Downtown Cincinnati in 2021, and has held exhibits by local and national artists. Recent exhibits have included San Francisco-based New Yorker illustrator Mark Ulriksen, and Ludlow, Kentucky-based twin artists ​​Jeff and John Winkle.

    In addition to curating more traditional exhibits, Kroner likes to use the space to engage audiences with difficult topics. Earlier this year, he hosted a month-long exhibit and program called All Else Pales. In addition to highlighting visual art, poetry and theater focused on the causes and effects of climate change, the exhibit included educational talks by scientists.

    Trash Talk is going a step beyond the standard exhibit by serving as a fundraiser for local environmental organizations.

    “Hopefully our work in that space can matter,” Kroner says.

    Kroner’s contribution to Trash Talk speaks on the world’s metaphorical trash. His series "Box News" features black-and-white portraits painted on cardboard boxes.

    “There are so many people in our news feeds every day who are just like, ‘blablabla,’ spewing forth a lot of untruths and things that I feel are really threatening to our culture and democracy,” Kroner says. “I really have this idea that these people are wanting to send us back to a black-and-white timeframe, which is why they’re in black and white.”

    Kroner says that he chose to paint these portraits on a medium that’s meant to be thrown away, with the message being that their untruths will ultimately end up in the trash, too.

    “This is my hope, is that they’re here but they’re very ephemeral, like the packages we get delivered to us,” he says.

    Horton’s series “Penchant” makes up the other half of Trash Talk. In these works, Horton paints towers of trash in order to call attention to the problem of waste.

    “They’re all pure trash,” Horton says. “I purposefully took away everything that was living. Because, you know, trash surrounds us. It's everywhere.”

    In college, Horton’s work focused on swarms and hive minds, so she frequented the woods seeking subjects to paint. But all she ever seemed to find was a shocking amount of trash. Horton hopes that her series will get more people to confront the severity of the problem, and consider how they might adjust their own consumer waste.

    “Trash is obviously not the number one contributor for climate change, but to me it seems like the easiest one to fix, and something that we can do a lot about at an individual level,” Horton says. “I’m hoping to reach out to individuals. [...] Maybe they start analyzing the things they consume, maybe they just start recycling more.”

    When it comes to recycling, both Horton and Kroner praise the Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub.

    “They can recycle anything,” Kroner says. “They’ll find a use for anything.”

    “It’s pretty impressive,” Horton adds.


  • October 21, 2022 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    New Crown Mural Dedicated Outside GABP

    Brendan Hader

    October 21st, 2022

    The Cincinnati Reds, ArtWorks and CROWN dedicated a new mural outside of Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.

    A project championed by CROWN Vice Chairman Rick Greiwe and designed by local artist L.D. Nehls, the 165-foot mural was created to spark excitement, curiosity and discovery of Cincinnati’s gem landmarks along the CROWN: the Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network. The CROWN is a 34-mile urban trail loop intended to serve as the hub connecting Greater Cincinnati’s regional trails to downtown, transforming the way people move in the community. Over 18 miles of the loop have been completed, and the latest creation at the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way and Mehring Way is one of two completed murals along the trail, the other on Wasson Way in Oakley.

    Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails and CROWN Campaign manager, hosted the event outside the ballpark in front of the mural. Representatives from CROWN, Duke Energy and Artworks spoke at the event while Reds president and chief operating officer Phil Castellini, senior vice president Karen Forgus and other members of the Reds’ front office staff were in attendance.

    “We believe our city is a gallery,” said Colleen Houston, CEO and artistic director of ArtWorks, a nonprofit responsible for multiple other murals around the city. “The artists have immense value in the power of storytelling honoring and elevating our culture, and that art belongs to everyone. … We hope that the CROWN trails network is catalyst for more art, placemaking and building community across our city.”

    This mural is meant to encourage locals to learn more about the city and community they live in and to celebrate how the CROWN trail and the Reds connect people and communities. It contains 19 iconic landmarks that the trail will pass. The mural also contains a QR code that offers a key to identify each of the landmarks.

    “There’s a quote on the wall that says, ‘A ribbon of energy connecting the gems and the crown of the Queen City,’” Johnston said. “That quote was from Jan Portman, one of the co-chairs of the campaign. It came to her as we were going through this process, how the trail is forming a ribbon of energy and connecting people to places in the city that they care about. The gold, decorative line work throughout the entire mural is representative of that.”

    The preliminary work on the mural began in August and featured a team of youth apprentices from ArtWorks. Funding for this mural project included a $30,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

    “Duke Energy is incredibly proud to support this project and this mural,” said John Juech, speaking on behalf of the Duke Energy Foundation. “In terms of our charitable giving goals, one of our core commitments is urban revitalization and making sure this is an inviting and welcoming city for us all to live in. I think the murals fit really well into that vision and provide a lot of vitality and pride in this city as you walk around.”

    The mural also received $25,000 from the Cincinnati Youth to Work program, which allowed ArtWorks to employ 10 youth apprentices under the guidance of two teaching artists, Sophie Shiff and lead artist Brandon Hawkins. They were there as late as Wednesday morning putting the finishing touches on the wall.

    “I went to several games as a youth growing up here in Cincinnati, so I always had a connection to the Reds,” Hawkins said. “I had the jerseys and liked to rep my city through Reds baseball, so it was amazing to get a phone call and be told that I was going to be leading a team with a mural at the Reds’ ballpark.

    “As we were painting the wall, it was really cool to see the diversity in those individuals. People asked us questions about the CROWN trail, and it seemed as if they really started to connect to the subjects that were on the wall. We hope that as people continue to walk past and learn more about CROWN trails, they can see themselves riding the CROWN trails throughout the city. And if that’s the case, then this mural will have done its purpose.”

  • October 19, 2022 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Xavier Newswire

    Ethics/Religion and Society to Host Discussion

    By Morgan Miles

    The Ethics/Religion and Society (E/RS) Program at Xavier University is co-sponsoring a lecture and panel discussion, in collaboration with the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, called “Mindful Utopianism: Real Possibilities for Solving the Ecological Crisis” on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. in the Kennedy Auditorium.

    The panel discussion will feature Drew Pendergrass, an environmental engineer who co-authored the book “Half Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change, and Pandemics.”

    Pendergrass’ publication spurred the panel’s creation. Its title refers to American biologist, naturalist and writer E.O. Wilson’s idea of restoring half of the Earth to a “rewilded” state, where the ecosystem is left alone to become balanced and biodiverse. Pendergrass is embracing “mindful utopianism” in light of the climate crisis.

    Associate Professor of Sustainability and Global Cultures History Dr. Suparna Chatterjee and Director of the Philosophy, Politics and the Politics Honors Program Dr. Timothy Brownlee will join Pendergrass in the panel discussion.

    Chatterjee and Brownlee will contribute to the conversation with their expertise in global politics and sustainable resource management.

    Panel speakers will consider practical possibilities of “’mainstream’ technocratic environmental approaches such as geoengineering,” according to the Green Umbrella website providing details on the upcoming event.

    Thursday’s event is a part of a series hosted by the E/RS Program.

    E/RS’s Director Dr. James Helmer explains that the program’s current focus is environmental and sustainability issues and our response to the ecological crisis, such as developing new ways of thinking.

    “Ethical principles and ideals grounded in an Ignatian worldview and expressed in ideas of ‘ecological solidarity’ and ‘ecological justice’ can help inform our practical response to the ecological crisis,” Helmer said.

    Dr. Bethany Henning, who currently serves as the Besl Family Chair for the E/RS program, originally suggested inviting Pendergrass to campus.

    “He is a young person with the requisite drive and expertise to engage in a global conversation that often seems hopeless,” Henning said.

    Henning’s response to the worsening ecological crisis involves considering how to retain cultural practices while disorienting shifts occur and encouraging thinking through complex questions on the global crisis and its problems.

    “The longer we put off… changes, the more lives we stand to lose in the coming decades,” Henning said.

    “We have all considered some of the benefits and drawbacks to imagining utopias, and now we are in the midst of a serious global crisis that demands radical and ingenious answers.”

    “What can we tolerate, and how can we compromise to protect one another as our life support systems become more fragile?”

    All Xavier students, Henning mentioned, have or will have experience in utopian thinking because they are required to take PHIL 100, which has students navigate through utopian thinking exercises while reading Plato’s Republic.

    The E/RS program is giving out free copies of Drew Pendergrass’ book Half-Earth Socialism to the first fifteen attendees of Thursday’s event. Attendance is free.

    For further information, please contact Henning ( or Helmer (

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