Green Umbrella in the News

  • February 16, 2022 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    By Lucy May

    February 16, 2022

    Clifton Ave Bike LaneA rider on the Clifton Avenue protected bike lane.

    Cycling in Cincinnati could get a whole lot easier and safer in the next few years.

    The city of Cincinnati is looking to expand the city's current network of bike lanes to provide better access for cyclists, starting with Downtown and Over-the-Rhine and working out to the rest of the city in stages. Next up is the West Side.

    And bike path effort CROWN recently announced it has received another $10 million toward its ambition of connecting Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods via a network of trails and other bike infrastructure.

    What is next for biking in Cincinnati? And what still needs to be done? Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about that are city of Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering Director John Brazina; Tristate Trails Executive Director Wade Johnston; and Queen City Bike Board Member and avid bicycle commuter Kathy Cunningham.

    Listen to the interview here.

  • February 10, 2022 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Institute for Sustainable Communities

    By Krystal-Rose Agu

    February 10, 2022

    A community near downtown Cincinnati, Ohio in June 2020. Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash.

    In a region where climbing summer temperatures and floods are on the rise, Green Umbrella steps in as Greater Cincinnati’s core sustainability alliance.

    With partnership from the Institute for Sustainable Communities and other equity-based climate groups, the organization gears up to launch its Regional Climate Collaborative in June to center equity and climate preparedness in government planning processes.

    Green Umbrella pulls in like-minded groups and individuals from 10 counties across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Its Regional Climate Collaborative will function as a subset of the organization to coordinate climate solutions across jurisdictions, educate elected officials on equitable best practices and build local government capacity to take action.

    “The collaborative will provide resources and engagement opportunities for communities to advance equitable climate action strategies across Greater Cincinnati,” said Savannah Sullivan, climate policy lead at Green Umbrella. “We are excited to work with local governments and community partners to get the program up and running.”

    The Institute for Sustainable Communities is no stranger to working with the organization.

    “Sustainability and equity go hand in hand,” said Sonia Joshi, associate director of U.S. programs at the Institute for Sustainable Communities. “Green Umbrella shares this focus as it creates solutions for and within its communities.”

    In 2021, Green Umbrella partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Regional Collaborations for Equitable Climate Solutions pilot program to learn community-focused best practices through three days of workshops. Green Umbrella invited five additional leaders to join the workshops, including Groundwork Ohio River Valley, Hamilton County Public Health, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and the Village of Silverton, Ohio.

    The takeaway from those workshops: Elevate local voices.

    “You can do a lot of climate work and still perpetuate issues that make communities most vulnerable,” said Daniel Dickerman, program officer at the Institute for Sustainable Communities who led some of those workshops.

    For example, solar power is a renewable energy source that can mitigate the use of fossil fuels. However, those with the most wealth are often the ones who can afford to upgrade to solar energy. This leaves the task of covering the remaining electric grid to those with lower incomes, increasing their energy costs, Dickerman said.

    Alliances like Green Umbrella’s Regional Climate Collaborative ensures those who bear the brunt of climate change are at the front of the decision-making and solution-generating table, he said.

    The Institute for Sustainable Communities and Green Umbrella will continue to work together as part of the Institute’s newest initiative, the Urban Equity Compact, set to launch later this year. The compact will provide coaching, training and technical assistance to teams working on community-centered climate issues.

  • February 01, 2022 3:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: UC News

    By Angela Koenig

    February 1, 2022

    In a new report, Cincinnati leaders and residents can now see how each of the city’s 56 neighborhoods fare regarding climate factors.

    Professor Carlie Trott, in UC’s Department of Psychology, authored the report and sees it as the foundation of a broad range of decision-making and action to provide redress to the inequities it details.

    “We can think about 200,000 trees and we’re going to give 'X' amount to every neighborhood. But an equity perspective actually kind of takes a step back, looks at the realities in different neighborhoods and things about, where do we need to direct resources to prevent future climate harms?" she says, citing disparities in tree cover as one example.

    The report, hosted on the Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES) website, is a collaboration between the city, the University of Cincinnati, residents and community partners — including Green Umbrella, billed as the regional sustainability alliance of Greater Cincinnati, and nonprofit Groundwork Ohio River Valley.

    Listen to the WVXU interview with Dr. Trott

    Read more about the report

  • January 19, 2022 3:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: UC Engaging Science

    By Meg Corcoran

    January 19, 2022

    PEWs Faculty Affiliate Carlie Trott has collaborated with community partners to conduct research into the vulnerability of Cincinnati’s communities to climate change.

    The newly released Cincinnati Climate Equity Indicators Report was produced in collaboration with the Cincinnati Office of Environment and SustainabilityGreen Umbrella Regional Sustainability AllianceGroundwork Ohio River ValleyUniversity of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Climate Equity Steering Committee Members. This report includes details on the climate crisis, specifically the role climate risk factors play in the Cincinnati community.

    Here’s how the Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability website summarizes the report:

    “The climate crisis acts like a risk multiplier, exploiting vulnerabilities and making existing problems worse. This report highlights key climate risks, and the geographic, social, and economic factors that should be considered in assessing vulnerability. This analysis will help the City and community partners develop strategies to build a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future.”

    Read the full Climate Equity Indicators Report here.

  • January 15, 2022 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Spectrum News

    By Casey Weldon

    CINCINNATI — After raising $10 million in private funding, Cincinnati is one step – or a very short bike ride – closer to the completion of the first phase of a 34-mile urban trail loop around the region.

    What You Need To Know

    • P&G, Kroger Health and UDF eached donated $1 million to help construct a 34-mile urban trail

    • CROWN aims to safely connect 54 greater Cincinnati neighborhoods via a multi-purpose trail

    • The initial goal is to link the Wasson Way, Little Miami Scenic and Ohio River trails and Murray Path

    • The effort is led by the organization Tri-State Trails

    Procter & Gamble (P&G) joined Kroger Health and UDF as major contributors to the capital campaign put forth by CROWN, which stands for the Cincinnati Riding Or Walking Network. It’s a grassroot effort led by the organization Tri-State Trails.

    The three corporations have each committed $1 million to the project as has the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation. 

    Tri-State Trails dubbed those major donors the “CROWN Jewel” partners as their financial contributions will go a long way toward helping to complete the project. The initial goal is to link the Wasson Way, Little Miami Scenic and Ohio River trails and Murray Path, a multi-purpose between Settle Road to Plainville Road along the old trolley line on greater Cincinnati's east side.

    In total, more than 450 businesses, foundations and individuals have contributed funds to the project so far, per Tri-State Trails.

    “Improving physical connections in our neighborhoods is foundational to improving the health, wealth, and future success of our region,” said Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer for P&G. “An important part of P&G’s efforts to be a force for good and a force for growth is improving the quality-of-life where we live and work and doing so equitably. The CROWN helps deliver on that mission as it connects disparate communities across Cincinnati with a focus on equitable access to the many health, recreation, and transportation options the region has to offer.”

    The proposed CROWN multi-purpose path. (provided: CROWN)

    The proposed CROWN multi-purpose path. (provided: CROWN)

    The initial phase of the project will leverage $44 million in public funding and the $10 million in private donations to bring the vision for Cincinnati’s first-ever urban trail loop to fruition by connecting the several key regional trails that are currently noncontiguous. By constructing key connectors between these trails, Tri-State Trails said they will be able to complete the eastern 24-mile portion of the planned CROWN loop.

    Once complete, the CROWN will link to 54 communities around Cincinnati. Project partners said that will give them better connectivity to major destinations, like employment centers, universities, business districts, parks and attractions.

    In a release, project partners said the multi-use trail will also provide a safe transportation option for discovering the “best the region has to offer.”

    “Not only do trails offer a safe recreation and transportation opportunity for families in nearby neighborhoods, they also enhance the quality of life by creating stronger and more connected communities,” said Jan Portman, co-chair of the CROWN Campaign Cabinet. “We believe the CROWN will be a ribbon of positive energy surrounding our Queen City.”

    In December 2021, the city of Cincinnati opened the most recent phase of Wasson Way, routing through Ault Park in Hyde Park over a former rail trestle and connecting to the Murray Path at Old Red Bank Road. 

    The current trail corridor spans 5.6 miles from Xavier University to Mariemont, Ohio. Over the next two years, Wasson Way will extend another 2 miles westward through Xavier’s campus, connecting to the Avondale neighborhood and linking to the Uptown Innovation Corridor at MLK Jr. Drive, which is not far from the University of Cincinnati campus.

    Cincinnati City Council member Mark Jeffreys, a former P&G employee, tweeted that the news is “fantastic” for the region. A known bicycle advocate, Jeffreys has already spoken frequently about the city’s need to expand the local bike infrastructure, including expanding the protected bike lane on Central Parkway.

    Jeffreys joined Tri-State Trails, other cycling advocates and Mayor Aftab Pureval on a bike ride to Washington Park ahead of the inauguration ceremony for him and Cincinnati’s other newly elected leaders on Jan. 4.

    “This is fantastic news! Thank you Procter & Gamble for your continued support in the community. Now, we also need to build out the spokes to the CROWN - protected lanes that connect neighborhoods to it, jobs, shopping & recreation,” tweeted Jeffreys.

    Additional federal and state grant funding is being pursued to finish the Ohio River Trail from Lunken Airport to Downtown and to connect the Murray Path from Mariemont to the Little Miami Scenic Trail at Newtown Road.

    The CROWN project aims to add an additional 10 miles to its overall plan through additional fundraising and trails. Future efforts will also incorporate the Ohio River Trail WestMill Creek Greenway Trail, and Canal Bikeway.

    The nonprofit effort is led by Tri-State Trails, Wasson Way, and Ohio River Way. It is supported by a public-private partnership that includes the city of Cincinnati, Great Parks of Hamilton County and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.

    To learn more or donate, visit www.crowncincinnati.org.

  • January 13, 2022 3:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU 

    By Bill Rinehart

    January 13, 2022

    CrownTrailLoop.png

    Solid green lines mark existing trails, while red dotted lines show the future trails planned in the CROWN Capital Campaign.

    Corporations, foundations and individuals have contributed $10 million to a shared-use trail system around Cincinnati. Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston says the CROWN Trail Loop will be a game-changer for the community.

    "Most obviously, people think of recreation, fitness, exercise," he says. "Having this freely accessible amenity in our community, touching neighborhoods, reconnecting neighborhoods that have been historically segregated because of the construction of the highway network."

    Johnston says the trail will give people another option for transportation, and should increase the number of people bicycling to work.

    "Right now we're really focused on getting the asphalt on the ground, but we know that that's going to encourage public art," he says. "It's going to encourage landscaping and planting trees, and it's going to encourage people to want to live near the trail, businesses to want to build things near the trail, to develop near the trail."

    Johnston says right now, Great Parks of Hamilton County is building a bridge over the Little Miami River to connect a couple of trails, and negotiations are underway to get the land to connect Lunken Airport with Downtown. He says there are also plans to build along the Mill Creek.

    "That part is not included in this portion of our campaign, but sometime in the future we hope to replicate this model and get the Mill Creek Trail finished and the Ohio River Trail connected from Lower Price Hill to Downtown," Johnson says. "And from there, we really believe this loop will be like a hub that will catalyze other trail connections - spurs that go out to other communities - more than just the loop."

    Johnson says the $10 million is a local match for federal grants. "With any of the federal or state funding that's awarded for projects, typically it's the range of 20% to 25% is required to be put up by that local jurisdiction or the applicant. And what our public-private partnership has accomplished has been the success in raising that funding that is needed so it doesn't put that burden on the city."

    The newest section of the Wasson Way Trail opened in December.

  • December 23, 2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    By Becca Costello

    Cincinnati 2030 District: Energy Reduction by Property.png

    Cincinnati 2030 District

    /

    A group of more than 300 local buildings is well ahead of a goal to reduce energy consumption.

    Cincinnati's 2030 District is a partnership of businesses, developers and building managers committed to addressing climate change. Their goal was to reduce energy consumption at least 20% by 2020. A new report on data through the end of last year shows an average 30% reduction in energy use.

    "But what's notable is that the 2019 progress report already showed that the District was ahead of target," says Director Elizabeth Rojas. "So with those two data points, we can see that the District is really positioned very well to meet the goals of 50% reductions by 2030."

    Rojas says the pandemic had a significant impact on office buildings in particular, as many people worked from home in 2020.

    "With the pandemic, the early days especially, different buildings addressed the needs in different ways," she says. "Some of them ran their systems at higher capacities, and others actually shut down many of their systems because they may have been closed."

    The members are also working to reduce water consumption and transportation emissions. Rojas says the District is still finalizing the complicated metrics for measuring that data.

    Cincinnati is one of 23 2030 Districts in the U.S. Rojas says Cincinnati is one of the few to adopt a fourth focus area: healthy buildings. It's a guide to making buildings not just more energy-efficient, but also healthier for occupants.

    "This is really a unique program, not only because it looks at so many aspects of occupant health within the built environment, but also because it's addressing it at a community scale," Rojas says. "We really tailored this to focus on the community health needs that are most disconcerting in this area."

    For example, this region has one of the highest rates of particle pollution in the U.S. — and the Healthy Building Model includes strategies to improve indoor air quality.

    Rojas says other communities have reached out to learn more about the Cincinnati 2030 District's healthy buildings plan.


  • December 19, 2021 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO

    By Madeline Ottilie

    COVINGTON, Ky. — Local food, health and data organizations are teaming up and using unique data-mapping software to try to tackle food insecurity in the Tri-state. The partnership was formed after the pandemic created a hunger crisis across the region.

    “Your money runs out. It runs out and then, in a blink of an eye, you're hungry,” Megan Pickering said. She and her husband were both furloughed at the start of the pandemic. “You start thinking of last resorts. Should I go panhandle?”

    Pickering said she turned to pantries for a lifeline. She wasn’t alone.

    Recent Stories from wcpo.com


    ood insecurity spiked during the pandemic. Someone is considered food insecure when they lack regular access to safe and adequate food. In 2019, almost 11% of Americans fell into this category, according to Feeding America. The organization estimates that number increased to almost 14% in 2020, which is about 10 million more people.“What we found is that our efforts alone would not be sufficient to meet the needs of the community,” Michael Truitt, tore Foodbank’s Director of Community Partnerships and Programs, said. “As COVID hit, that was definitely a driver to get more people at the table.”“Cincinnati has pockets of concentrated poverty and you know, we collectively have to do a much better job of getting support to folks who desperately need it,” Cincinnati city councilman Greg Landsman said.Councilman Landsman and Freestore Foodbank were joined by partners including Cincinnati Children’s HospitalUniversity of CincinnatiGreen UmbrellaHealth CollaborativeUMC Food MinistryLa SoupeWhole AgainLast Mile Food RescueCincinnati Public SchoolsKroger Zero Hunger Zero Waste and Kroger’s data group 8

    “We use publicly available data from the census and other government organizations to look at what the supply of food going into a neighborhood is versus what the demand is,” 84.51° data scientist Charles Hoffman said. He started tracking hunger on the neighborhood level. Then, he secured a free license from Esri, a company that specializes in GIS mapping software. Through Esri’s maps, Hoffman was able to lay out the data in a way that made the numbers easier to understand.

    “We map it so that we can show it in a way that is digestible for city leadership and also community level and food organizations,“ he said.

    At the start of COVID-19, the maps helped local organizations and schools better distribute emergency food. Now, the coalition is shifting to a broader goal: tackle overall food insecurity. The organizations are focused on the gap between how many meals a neighborhood needs and how many the neighborhood actually receives. The coalition will first try to reduce that gap by 10% in three pilot neighborhoods: Avondale, Lower Price Hill, and East Price Hill.

    “If the meal gap in a specific neighborhood is 10,000 meals unfilled, then the goal would be to reduce that by 1,000 for that month,” Hoffman said. “When you think about that at scale, and the amount of meals that 10% represents, for a community the size of Cincinnati, you're talking about millions of meals over the course of a year.” Hoffman said the data process allows the coalition to not only see the need but accurately measure the effect of any intervention program.

    The coalition is willing to fund ideas that could help reduce food insecurity in these pilot neighborhoods. Anyone interested in more information can contact Vivian Sevilla at Vivian.Sevilla@cchmc.org.

    Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  • December 02, 2021 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    download.jpg

    WCPO/Courtesy

    Flooding in Norwood in July 2021 has been linked to a drainage problem. Residents say 10 minutes of heavy rain shouldn't put them underwater. They had the same problem in 2016.


    When it comes to the effects of climate change in our region and across the nation, it is often communities of color that see the greatest impacts. And the decision-making about how to implement climate solutions are often made without bringing those communities into the fold.

    "We know it's because of historic systemic racism; because of disinvestment in these communities; because of policies such as redlining that have relegated Black and brown people into certain parts of the community where there may be environmental taxes, there may be flood zones, there may be lots of issues where they're impacted much more by these climate problems," says Institute for Sustainable Communities Director of U.S. Programs Jaime Love.

    Now the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is leading a pilot program for change. The Regional Collaboration for Equitable Climate Solutions (RCECS) aims to help advance local and regional climate change planning that centers racial equity. Cincinnati’s Green Umbrella took part in the pilot.

    Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the program are Institute for Sustainable Communities Director of U.S. Programs Jaime Love; Green Umbrella Climate Policy Lead Savannah Sullivan; Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio VP of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Ashlee Young; and Hamilton County Public Health Health Promotion and Education Director Mary Ellen Knaebel.

  • December 01, 2021 11:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Edible Ohio Valley

    By Kara Gebhart Uhl

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