Green Umbrella in the News

  • October 11, 2019 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Newport Tries Out Temporary Bike Lanes 

    By: Ann Thompson

    If you want to help build temporary bike lanes in Newport, Connect NKY and Tri-State Trails could use your help Saturday. They're hoping to show the city permanent ones are needed.

    From left: Project Chair Rachel Comte and Wade Johnston with Green Umbrella stand just off the foot of the Purple People Bridge where a temporary bike lane will be on Saratoga.Urban planner Rachel Comte says Northern Kentucky is behind when it comes to other bike-friendly areas in the U.S. "We want to get the people out and biking, not the 'put your spandex on and ride 100 miles' people. It's more, go down Sixth Street; connect to Bellevue; to the Kroger; the high school. Get everyone out and riding."

    Listng..Urban planner Rachel Comte says Northern Kentucky is behind when it comes to other bike-friendly areas in the U.S. "We want to get the people out and biking, not the 'put your spandex on and ride 100 miles' people. It's more, go down Sixth Street; connect to Bellevue; to the Kroger; the high school. Get everyone out and riding."

    She's the project chair for the temporary bike lanes paid for by The Devou Good Project.

    Comte says there's lots of evidence people want to ride bikes around town. "We're seeing people move into the cities everywhere because people want to get out of their cars. They want to bike. They want to walk. It's healthier."

    This summer she asked Newport residents where they wanted the bike lanes, where they wanted to travel, and what areas they felt most scared when riding.

    "What's so critical to bike infrastructure being successful is having facilities that people feel safe, it feels convenient, it's separated from traffic and we're trying to do it with this project," says Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails at Green Umbrella.

    The temporary lanes will be on Saratoga and Fifth and Sixth Streets. Saratoga is right off the Purple People Bridge, which Johnston says is the most highly traveled trail in a nine-county region - 1,900 people cross on foot and bikes every day.

    "We view this project in Newport as an opportunity to show that bike lanes are not some scary thing that are going to ruin our downtown, but bike lanes are going to make our neighborhoods more livable," Johnston says.

    Bike enthusiasts hope Newport makes the lanes permanent. Counters will determine how many people used them.

  • October 02, 2019 12:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Majority of Ohio Adults Think Climate Change Affecting Nation, Local Areas

    The Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) is conducted every year to learn more about the health opinions, behaviors and status of Ohio adults. In 2019, OHIP asked about global warming because research shows that changes to the climate can affect health.1 In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified climate change as one of the major public health challenges facing the country today.2

    What OHIP found

    Most Ohio adults think global warming is affecting the U.S.

    OHIP asked “How much do you think global warming is currently affecting the United States?” About 7 in 10 Ohio adults (72%) said they think global warming is affecting the United States either a great deal or some. This is similar to the nation. More than 7 in 10 U.S. adults (75%) said they think climate change is affecting the U.S.3

    OHIP also asked, “How much do you think global warming is currently affecting your local community?” About 6 in 10 Ohio adults (59%) reported that they think global warming is affecting their local community a great deal or some. This also mirrors adults in the nation. Six in 10 U.S. adults (59%) reported that climate change is affecting their local community.3

    Responses vary by political party affiliation

    Climate change has become a politically charged issue in recent years. More than 9 in 10 Democrats (95%) think that climate change is affecting the nation. This is higher than both Independents (69%) and Republicans (50%). Similarly, about 8 in 10 Democrats (83%) believe climate change is affecting their local community. That compares with just 50% of Independents and 38% of Republicans.

    Why we ask these questions 

    Climate change affects much that can have an impact on health. The National Climate Assessment asserts that climate change affects human health primarily through extreme weather events, higher concentrations of air pollution and the increased spread of communicable diseases. These health risks are particularly true for certain groups of people, including children, the elderly and minority populations.4

    Climate change is uniquely affecting Ohio. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio’s major bodies of water are being affected, including increased flooding of the Ohio River and seasonal ice on the Great Lakes forming later in the season and melting earlier. Additionally, it is expected that higher temperatures in the near future will lead to reduced production of corn and soybeans in rural areas and increased public health issues in urban areas.5

    What's Happening Now

    Green Umbrella is a local organization working collaboratively with partners to create a resilient, sustainable Greater Cincinnati. Its vision is a vibrant community in which environmental sustainability is woven into our way of life. One of the ways Green Umbrella hopes to achieve this vision is the Cincinnati 2030 District, a network of buildings committed to reducing energy use, water use and transportation emissions by 50% by 2030. This initiative uses partnership, innovation and practical incentives to address one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in our region: commercial building stock. To learn more about Green Umbrella’s work, please visit

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Climate Effects on Health. Retrieved from
    2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Climate Change and Human Health. Retrieved from
    3. Pew Research Center. (2018). Majorities See Government Efforts to Protect the Environment as Insufficient. Retrieved from
    4.  U.S. Global Change Research Program. (2018). Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment. Retrieved from:
    5. Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). What climate change means for Ohio. Retrieved from:

  • September 27, 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Great Outdoor Weekend: Time to Get Up, Get Moving and Get Outdoors; All Kinds of Things to Do and Enjoy

    Green Umbrella will present the 16th annual Great Outdoor Weekend on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 at over 40 locations in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Indiana. Each year, Great Outdoor Weekend offers over 10,000 outdoor enthusiasts of all ages an opportunity to explore the best of our region’s outdoor recreation and nature awareness programming. This year, Cincinnati Parks will host the first-ever Great Outdoor Weekend kick off – Campfire on the Bluff – at California Woods on Friday, September 27.

    Great Outdoor Weekend happens in conjunction with National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 28. The nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort, National Public Lands Day celebrates the connection between people and the great outdoors and promotes environmental stewardship. Great Outdoor Weekend attendees can learn about local environmental stewardship efforts by exploring Greenspace Gems, local protected greenspaces with unique natural qualities.

    Some of this year’s activities include:

    · A beach hike and sightseeing with Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society
    · Boat building and butterfly banding or stargazing and night hiking
    · Discovering our region’s ecologically significant areas at a Greenspace Gem
    · Celebrating harvest with pumpkin painting, hayrides and live music
    · Exploring the landscape through urban hikes, orienteering and scavenger hunts
    · Primitive fire making and marshmallow roasting

    These experiences and many more are offered free of charge to families and adults in nine counties across the tri-state. You can find details on all of the events at This free event is made possible thanks to the generosity of Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Family Magazine, Metro, CET and others.

    In Kenton County

    Meet live owls and a hawk as Dr. Tom Sproat of BIOSE, Inc. showcases an assortment of raptors.

    Don’t miss a rare opportunity to see the birds up close and personal! Meet him and Kenton County Parks & Recreation (KCP&R) on Saturday, September 28 at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Ridge Park in Shelter House 2.

    All ages are welcome. There is no cost to attend this event, however KCP&R collects donations of non-perishable food and personal care items for Be Concerned.

    Lincoln Ridge Park is located at 420 Independence Station Rd., Independence.

    Hike Doe Run Lake

    Join Kenton County Parks & Recreation, the Kenton County Public Library and the City of Erlanger for a hike at Doe Run Lake on Sunday, September 29, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    Enjoy the great outdoors with a hike at Doe Run Lake. This guided hike will cover hilly, wooded, possibly wet and muddy terrain. Pick up a Hike Bingo sheet at the start of the hike (one per family), and see if you can locate all the listed items on the trail. After we hike we will share snacks. Meet in the parking lot at the soccer fields. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Hikers younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult, and all hikers will be asked to sign a waiver.

    Registration is required. Call Rhonda Ritzi from KCP&R at (859) 525-PLAY (7529) or call Jennifer Beach from Kenton County Public Library at 859-962-4143 to register.

    These events are part of Great Outdoor Weekend through Green Umbrella – September 28 to 29. Check out other events happening at

    Doe Run Lake is located at 1501 Bullock Pen Road, Covington.

    For more information,  contact Rhonda Ritzi at For news of upcoming programs, activities, and events to be held in Kenton County’s parks, call the Parks & Recreation office at (859) 525-PLAY (7529), visit the website  or follow Kenton County Parks & Recreation at They are always in need of volunteers and funding sponsors for their programs! Call Kenton County Recreation at (859) 525-PLAY (7529) to see how you can help.

  • September 26, 2019 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Top Things to Do in Cincinnati This Weekend: Sept. 26-29

    Make no bones about it: This weekend is filled with good food, great drinks, fall fun and more than a few off-the-cuff ways to enjoy your down time.

    Great Outdoor Weekend: Saturday and Sunday. Greater Cincinnati Parks. Each year nonprofit Green Umbrella organizes and offers more than 100 events during its Great Outdoor Weekend. These events will take place throughout the entire Greater Cincinnati region. Browse the Great Outdoors calendar to find your own adventure.

  • September 25, 2019 2:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • The 16th annual Great Outdoor Weekend brings nearly 100 free outdoor activities to the tri-state

      Green Umbrella will present the 16th annual Great Outdoor Weekend on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 at over 40 locations in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Indiana. Each year, Great Outdoor Weekend offers over 10,000 outdoor enthusiasts of all ages an opportunity to explore the best of our region’s outdoor recreation and nature awareness programming. This year, Cincinnati Parks will host the first ever Great Outdoor Weekend kick off – Campfire on the Bluff – at California Woods on Friday, September 27.

      Great Outdoor Weekend happens in conjunction with National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 28. The nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort, National Public Lands Day celebrates the connection between people and the great outdoors and promotes environmental stewardship. Great Outdoor Weekend attendees can learn about local environmental stewardship efforts by exploring Greenspace Gems, local protected greenspaces with unique natural qualities.

      Some of this year’s activities include:

    • ·        A beach hike and sightseeing with Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society
    • ·        Boat building and butterfly banding or stargazing and night hiking
    • ·        Discovering our region’s ecologically significant areas at a Greenspace Gem
    • ·        Celebrating harvest with pumpkin painting, hayrides and live music
    • ·        Exploring the landscape through urban hikes, orienteering and scavenger hunts
    • ·        Primitive fire making and marshmallow roasting

    These experiences and many more are offered free of charge to families and adults in nine counties across the tri-state. You can find details on all of the events at This free event is made possible thanks to the generosity of Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Family Magazine, Metro, CET and others.

    WHEN: September 28-29, 2019; all day

    WHERE: Over 40 locations throughout the Greater Cincinnati region

    For more information on specific events and participating organizations, visit and for pictures after the event, please contact Rashida Manuel at

  • September 22, 2019 6:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Northern Kentucky Tribune

    Northern Kentucky University’s Research and Education Field Station (REFS) invites the community to its annual Nature Adventure Day on September 28 from 1–5 p.m.
    Family and friends visiting the field station will spend the afternoon exploring the unique nature features across the St. Anne Wetlands, part of a 155-acre conservation easement on and near the Ohio River.

    The Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers will be on hand to demonstrate and teach fly tying to imitate natural fish foods and teach fly casting. Exciting activities like scavenger hunts and turtle races happen throughout the afternoon.
    “Adventure Day is great for our community. I love seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they experience nature on this level,” said Dr. Richard Durtsche, REFS director. “If you want to take a break from the activities, our students’ research will be on display inside the field station, and you can always join a wetlands hiking tour.”
    Nature Adventure Day is presented in tandem with Take a Child Outside (TACO) Week and Green Umbrella’s Great Outdoor Weekend – all designed to encourage children and adults to spend time together outdoors.
    ·      What: REFS Nature Adventure Day
    ·      When: September 28, 1-5 p.m.
    ·      Where: 99 Harrison Court, Melbourne, KY 41059
    For those who want a deep dive into nature, REFS’ Wetlands Management micro-credential is being offered this upcoming year. Learn to identify wetland plants, assess wetlands biodiversity and learn wetlands delineation through investigation of critical areas. To learn more about the course criteria, visit here.
    NKU’s REFS provides an operation base for a wide range of field research.

    The facility, which opened in Spring 2017, is located adjacent to and facilitates the use of the St. Anne Woods and Wetlands Natural Area. REFS is where research, education, and nature merge.

  • September 16, 2019 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Edible

    By: Sarah Fritschner

    Neil Wilson and Kristi Durban at UK’s South Farm where they educate students on organic horticulture and supply produce to UK Dining when they have surplus from their CSA.When students started classes at the University of Kentucky on August 26, more than 7,500 of them used their meal plan vouchers to buy lunch at the two dining halls: Champions and Fresh Food Company. At the salad bar, they could have chosen among spring mix, pea shoots, cucumbers, multicolored peppers, multicolored heirloom cherry tomatoes, beets, carrots and red onions.

    At the “comfort food” station at Champions, the students could choose between smoked brisket or herbed pork loin — actually, they could have had both; the dining halls are an open-choice buffet. At the pizza station they could have chosen slices with several toppings. At the kiosk “Pasture,” some students might have opted for the Pasture Burger, made with grass-fed beef, the regular Monday lunch offering.

    The pork and the beef used in these dishes and virtually all others at the university were produced by 25 of what any average person might call “small family farms” in (mostly) Central Kentucky. The produce for the salad bar, too, was grown on six family farms not far from Lexington. Pizza sauce was made by a Louisville food processor with tomatoes grown in Hart County. The products are grown on farms too big to depend on farmers’ markets for their only income, yet too small to make a living in typical high-volume markets.

    The commitment that the university’s dining service has made to these farmers and others has led to opportunity, stability, innovation and a strengthening of Kentucky agriculture and food systems. The purchase commitment and system solutions serve as a national model.

    More important, the commitment to purchase local has demonstrated that significant change can happen within a previously impenetrable purchase-and-delivery system on which institutional business models depend. To maximize profits, institutions use low-cost, high-volume, standardized goods; large national vendor contracts; rebate reward systems for purchases; complicated data systems and universal menus.

    The UK dining contract was the most important part of the groundbreaking change that has happened in Lexington, and without input from the community it might not have happened.

    In 2014, the university signed a 15-year contract with Aramark, a multinational service provider, to take over campus dining services. Aramark brought surge of growth to the university, providing capital to build and renovate dining halls, add classrooms, offices and programming, along with other benefits.

    During contract negotiations, there was a lively and public debate about priorities, when citizens, students and faculty expressed concerns about including university support of agriculture and agricultural education.

    When negotiations were completed, Aramark had committed $245 million worth of construction, renovation and commissions to UK. In addition, Aramark committed to buying $2 million worth of “local food” and local food-business products, pledging a 5% increase each year. Financial penalties were built into the contract should Aramark fall short.

    In the last two decades, much work has been done by many people in Kentucky to increase availability of local food to chefs, schools and consumers. Until 2014, institutions had not been involved in local buying.

    The University of Kentucky and Aramark changed that. But change has not come easily, and the learning curve has been steep.

    The first challenge: defining “local food” and “local-food business.”

    Initially, the contract defined “local” as either a product deemed Kentucky Proud by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, or a food produced within Fayette or the six contiguous counties. One year into the contract, it was revealed that $1 million of the local commitment was spent on Coca-Cola, which has a Fayette County bottling plant. Other “local” expenditures included Pepsi and Ale-8, ice, doughnuts and so on.

    “Foes object when University of Kentucky vendor meets in-state food-buying goal with Coca-Cola, ice,” ran the Herald-Leader newspaper’s headline (full disclosure: the author was quoted in that story).

    While university officials publicly commented that the contract obligations had indeed been met, the community was not mollified. “The intention [of the contract] was to increase sales for local farmers and to promote local food,” Lexington nutritionist Anita Courtney told the Herald-Leader at that time. “It doesn’t do any of that.”

    The university administration and Aramark officials began discussions to rectify the mistakes. By 2017, contract language had changed, specifying a dollar amount spent on product “with some portion … traceable to a Kentucky farm,” said Lilian Brislen, executive director of the UK Food Connection, a research and educational center that evaluates Aramark food expenditures each year. That number was $652,997. There were also requirements for spending on food-related Kentucky businesses, owned by Kentuckians and located in Kentucky, with a target of $1,648,193.

    That’s when the transformation of institutional dining at the University of Kentucky began.

    Institutional dining services everywhere operate by a set of universal business practices that prevent managers from buying outside of prescribed product lists. National contracts establish suppliers for Aramark accounts nationwide. These suppliers issue rebates to Aramark based on volume purchases. Distributors—the people who drive the food to the kitchen—also have contracts with national suppliers. Purchase requirements along with data and accounting systems are set up for these products. Recipes are the same at every venue and use the products being distributed nationwide.

    If a farmer shows up with short ribs at the back door of Champions kitchen, there is literally no way for Chef Chris Spera to buy her beef. Yet Aramark’s contract with UK required that they do so.

    The heavy lifting of change fell to Carolyn Gahn, a recent hire as Sustainability Director for Aramark in 2017. At the time, dining services depended on “value-added” sproducts—prepared items, like a three-bean vegan chili with local vegetables made by Louisville company Custom Food Solutions (CFS)—to fill their local slots. These items “were made to accommodate the way our ordering system and menu planning worked,” said Gahn.

    CFS products accounted for maybe 25,000 pounds of Kentucky produce.

    That amount of produce didn’t begin to meet the requirements of the contract.

    “The main area for growth in our purchasing was fresh meat and produce,” said Gahn. “That was my goal, to increase the spend in those two areas, knowing it has the most tangible impact on farmers and the spend could be increased each year.”

    After spending time with Executive Chef Martin Burton and his team and learning the process of ordering, receiving and inventory, Gahn set to work. She needed to identify products that would work within the system.

    “My mantra was ‘I don’t want to be the only customer,’” Gahn said. Being a sole buyer has several drawbacks. The buyer may be required to “buy an entire pallet at one time, or it might mean the items are not stocked with distributors, or a higher price point,” she said.

    Sole buyers are a risk to the farmer and local business, too. If any seller depended entirely on UK dining for their livelihood, a change in buying practices could ruin them.

    Spreading risk to several farmers led Gahn to Marksbury Farm Market, a multifaceted food business near Danville based on a meat processing plant. Marksbury buys grassfed beef and pasture-raised chicken, lamb and pork from Kentucky farmers. Because Marksbury was an established business, and because it purchased from many farmers and sold to many sales outlets, no one person bore the entire risk.

    Then the hurdles started. Expense, delivery, even the particular cuts of meat had to be streamlined. Gahn maintained that purchasing whole animals was the only viable solution.

    Preston Correll, a founding partner of Marksbury, was skeptical. He’d seen enthusiasm for whole animals wane when reality set in. Chefs get excited when the cost of meat is averaged over the entire animal, said Correll. They think they are getting tenderloin at the same price as the hamburger. But there are costs not factored in, like bones. Once an accountant gets a look at the numbers, Correll said, whole-animal programs usually fade.

    But Gahn was stubborn. “Purchasing the whole animal was the only option for me,” she said. “From an operations standpoint it doesn’t make sense to purchase a la carte.” One complicating factor: Aramark can’t purchase meat based on an “average” carcass price—they have to know what each plate of food cost Aramark to serve. Knowing “plate cost” is essential to Aramark’s business plan.

    One solution: putting different cuts of meat in boxes based on how they should be cooked, like “braise” or “roast” or “smoke.” Short ribs, shanks and shoulder go into the braise box; roasts were top round, sirloin and pork loin. Five different box types reduced inventory headaches at the distributor. Rather than having to account for baby back ribs, spare ribs, country ribs, pork loin, pork tenderloin, shanks, hams, shoulder and so on, there were just five slots for the boxes of meat.

    As this purchasing method is perfected (and it isn’t yet), easy communication between chefs, Gahn and Marksbury makes it easy to make changes in real time. “I underestimated [Aramark’s] commitment to the local program and the effort they brought to bear to make it work,” said Correll.

    The commitment and the volume make a substantial difference to his business, and to the Kentucky farmers they work with. “It’s really significant volume. It’s several head a week of both beef and hogs — it allows us to contract with farmers a whole lot more confidently,” said Correll. Farmers get premium-priced commitments from Marksbury, a benefit over relying on market prices at an auction. Aramark’s commitment “is a major component in those families being able to decide to farm or not farm, because of the extra income and the stability,” Correll said.

    Similarly, Gahn worked with the Local Food Connection (LFC), a produce buyer and distributor that has worked since 2015 with Kentucky and Southern Ohio farmers. The LFC deals only with local farmers and, until its relationship with UK, had sold mainly to chefs and retailers.

    Seasonal limitations to produce are a major barrier to local purchasing. Colleges operate from mid-August to early June—only one or two months of prime growing season. Local Food Connection founder Alice Chalmers had been working for years with her farmer suppliers to extend the growing season into winter.

    Gahn identified the salad bar as a station that could adapt to produce changes week to week. While winter is challenging, salad greens can grow without the heat or light required by, say, tomatoes or corn. Roasted root vegetables can be offered in winter.

    Chalmers worked with Gahn, UK personnel and others to train and certify six farmers on food safety measures. All parties agreed as to what and how much each farmer would grow throughout the school year. Aramark committed to purchasing 24,000 pounds of produce from the Local Food Connection.

    That pre-order included radishes — 122 pounds of radishes per week, which turned out to be way too much. “On paper we looked at it and didn’t think about it,” said Aramark Chef Danielle Gallaway. “We got creative: We pickled some, we roasted them.” Roasted radishes were not the answer.

    But the system worked the way it should: While the chefs were getting creative with recipes, the Local Food Connection found more restaurant buyers and the farmers were mining their own outlets while reducing the number of radishes they grew. The risk was spread out; no one was irrevocably harmed.

    Aramark’s “willingness to pilot [the salad bar] at UK is huge,” said LFC owner Chalmers. “It’s now been used as a model for other institutions, like University of Louisville.”

    Receiving oxtails and short ribs in the braise box requires some freelance decision making that may take chefs outside the bounds of corporate recipes. In that case, the staff will work with the staff dietician to put the unsanctioned cuts into recipes that supply similar nutrition — eye of round is a suitable substitute for top round, for instance.

    The Kentucky food/Kentucky business commitment has predictably led to more stability and/or income for farmers and businesses. But it has had less predictable but equally important ripple effects.

    “The thing that makes me proud of our work is less about the dollars and more about the changes in perception and mind-set with everyone involved,” she said. As an example, she said, having the flexibility to buy products that have some but not all Kentucky ingredients, UK dining significantly increases farmer benefit. Processor Custom Food Solutions uses Kentucky produce in its marinara sauce, which starts with a base of California tomato paste; Weisenberger cupcake mix includes Kentucky flour along with conventional sugar and baking powder.

    Gahn measures her success in part by the quality of the food served. Campus chefs, using beef shank to make osso buco and lamb shoulder to make schwarma, elevate the dining options. Lexington restaurants subcontracted to provide food in the dining hall include Athenian Grill, Pasture and Atomic Ramen (which uses bones to make broth), broadening students’ exposure to international flavors.

    “The challenge with local food is trying to make people care about [it],” said Gahn. “What happened last year is that we changed palates. [The students] know what good food is.”

    Last year’s purchases exceeded goals and expectations. Expenditures on local food and food business items was $2,624,573, or 146% of the required minimum. Of that, foods that had at least 10% farm product in them accounted for $1,327,922, or almost double the required minimum, according to a report released last month by the UK Food Connection.

    With more meal plans purchased this year, with athletic dining participating and with the salad bar ingredients produced through the challenging late-winter season, Gahn predicts sales will grow. Virtually all beef, pork and lamb — and much of the fish — served on campus comes from Kentucky producers.

    Brislen said that success is about more than numbers. “We’re asking a lot of our dining partner. This is not business as usual, that’s the whole point: It’s business as unusual. All this learning and innovation, the growth along the way, it’s not about getting across the finish line every year. We’re in a place where year over year, we look at how do we develop those connections that create a robust local food economy.”

  • September 13, 2019 6:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The Clermont Sun

    Green Umbrella announced five new ‘Greenspace Gems’ this week as part of its initiative to celebrate the region’s wealth of ecologically significant natural areas. Recognized for their outstanding scenic value and biological diversity, the five follow 15 additional areas named since 2018.

    Cincinnati ranks eighth in the nation for the accessibility, acreage, investment and amenities of its city park system by the Trust for Public Lands’ ParkScore. But the high-quality greenspace extends far outside of city limits. In Hamilton County, 83% of residents live within a 10 minute walk of protected greenspace. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, access to greenspace offers a variety of public health benefits such as stress reduction, increased mindfulness and creativity, and prevention of chronic diseases.

    Launched in 2018, Greenspace Gems is an initiative of Green Umbrella’s Greenspace Action Team. The program recognizes and celebrates natural areas in Green Umbrella’s 10-county region with outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance or historic interest. Gems are selected by a team of conservation experts to showcase the region’s variety of unique natural sites. By telling the stories of these protected places, the initiative aims to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region.

    “The Greenspace Gems program highlights those places in the tri-state area that provide the highest quality experiences for visitors,” said Andy Dickerson, executive director of Cardinal Land Conservancy and co-chair of the Greenspace Action Team. “Whether you’re hiking for your health, birdwatching, fishing or discovering new plant and animal species, the Greenspace Gems locally represent ‘nature’s bucket list’.”

    The sites named in the fourth round of Greenspace Gems are:

    · Visitors of Crooked Run Nature Preserve, in Clermont County, will find breathtaking river views, two miles of trails and a great spot to watch over 200 bird species.

    · Halls Creek Woods State Nature Preserve in Warren County, Ohio offers visitors the 4 F’s – forest, fossils, flowers and falls!

    · With over 65 acres of forest, Harris M. Benedict Botanical Preserve in Hamilton County, Ohio was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1977.

    · The restored wetlands at Shaker Trace make this Hamilton County, Ohio site a birding hotspot.

    · Valley View, in Clermont County, is a rescued historic farm that boasts a variety of habitats.

    For more information on the newest round of gems or to learn more about ways to nominate a Greenspace Gem visit their website.

  • September 12, 2019 6:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By Michael Monks

    The goal is to reduce by 50% the consumption of energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions among Cincinnati’s building infrastructure. That goal is set to be achieved by the year 2030.

    The 2030 District is a membership organization facilitated by Green Umbrella, a local sustainability alliance. The organization partners directly with property owners and managers, developers, and commercial tenants. Some of the region’s largest corporations, like Kroger and Fifth Third Bank, are among those championing the sustainability effort.

    The year 2030 was not selected arbitrarily. It comes from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which affirmed that by the year 2030, the would community must take unprecedented action to mitigate carbon emissions and avoid the worst impacts projected to be caused by climate change.

    To talk more about the local effort towards sustainability and a green community in Cincinnati are Cincinnati 2030 District Director Tremaine Phillips, Kroger Company Head of Sustainability Lisa Zwack, and Fifth Third Bank Assistant Vice President and Environmental Sustainability Leader Jeremy Faust.

    Listen here.

  • September 11, 2019 6:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Butler County Journal-News
    By: Mike Rutledge


    In a few years, bicyclists may be able to ride 83.4 miles from Waterworks Park in Fairfield north to Piqua on constant bike trails, creating what advocates believe would become a significant tourist attraction.

    Yet there are 4.7 miles of proposed trail in Butler County that are the only pieces for which no funding has been found: A 1.6-mile stretch in Lemon Twp. between Trenton and Middletown, and another 3.1-mile gap west of Monroe that extends from Lemon Twp. into Liberty and Fairfield townships.

    Officials from various local governments plan to meet soon, perhaps the last week of September, to discuss funding possibilities, and the board of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District on Monday authorized its executive director, David Spinney, to attend the meeting and report back.

    “The two pieces we’re talking about, we’re a few years from that,” Spinney said. “But the first step is to do the feasibility study. The scope of things I don’t think is that expensive.

    “There’s a lot of support for it. Middletown’s done a lot of work on the bike trail. Monroe is now doing it, basically to complete it within the city limits (a 2.4-mile piece scheduled for 2022 construction).”

    As for the remaining 4.7 miles, “I believe it should be a multi-jurisdictional project because it benefits residents all through the area,” Spinney said.

    “If those two gaps were filled, that would take you all the way to Piqua, Ohio,” said Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails, based in Cincinnati, which asked the various local officials to meet and discuss funding possibilities. Meanwhile, Fairfield is seeking grant money to extend the trail further downriver to Marsh Park. Ultimately, proponents hope it will extend farther, into Hamilton County.

    “I think that it would mean a lot more potential — we already have fantastic potential here — for attracting visitors near and far, but with an unbroken trail that’s so diverse and interesting as the Great Miami River recreation trail already is, it would just be that much more exciting for people,” said Angela Manuszak, special projects coordinator for the Miami Conservancy District, which is advocating for the Great Miami Riverway tourist attraction.

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