Green Umbrella in the News

  • September 26, 2022 2:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    Can the Transition to a Greener Economy Happen in a Way That Benefits Everyone?

    From record-breaking floods to recurring wildfires to ongoing droughts — the effects of climate change are being felt more and more across the country.

    That’s led to recent climate-conscious federal legislation and greener business practices among some companies.

    But many advocates argue change must happen faster to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

    And they want to see a “just transition," meaning the shift happens in a way that includes minority communities, low-income workers and other groups that have been left out of economic growth in the past.

    On Cincinnati Edition, we discuss the idea of a “just transition” — what it means, who it would benefit and the political implications of a greener economy.


    Kevin Cassidy, director of the International Labor Organization of the U.S. and representative to the Bretton Woods and Multilateral Organizations

    Elizabeth Rojas, director of the Cincinnati 2030 District

    Matt Kolbinsky, president of Pro Lighting & Solar and a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 212

    Michele Mansfield, board chair of the World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

    The World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will host Cassidy to discuss the green economy and its impact on manufacturing and the workforce. He’ll be giving a public lecture entitled, “A Just Transition to a Green Economy: The Impact on Businesses, Workers & Government,” from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter in Covington, Ky.

    More information about the public lecture is available online.

  • September 24, 2022 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Northern Kentucky Tribune

    At 98, Oakley Farris Finds New Life and Purpose — And Bill Scheyer, the Son He Didn’t Know He Had

    At 98, Oakley Farris was dealing with the deepest possible grief, mourning the death of his beloved Eva to whom he was married for 72 years. He faced being “frozen in time” for the remainder of his life with only his sweet memories to keep him company.

    But Farris is a positive fellow — and perhaps a charmed one as well — who believes that when one door closes, another opens.

    When their paths crossed at a social function in 2012

    When the other, miraculous door opened, on the other side was the unsuspecting Bill Scheyer who has come to learn — and genetic testing has positively confirmed — that Oakley Farris is his “real” father.

    These are two giants of Northern Kentucky — one a pull-yourself-up-by-bootstraps entreprenuer cum philanthropist and the other who devoted 40-plus years of his life in service to NKY, lastly as head of Skyward (formerly Vision 2020). They had circled each other in their orbit around NKY, knew each other well enough for polite social interchanges here and there, but never really connected.

    Today, that is changing and for both of them, it is an unanticipated adventure. A discovery in the making. Who knows where it can go?

    It all started with 23andMe, an online biotech company that, for a fee, can tell you all you want to know about your DNA. Farris had heard about it from a young man who had a positive experience — and, not wanting to be left out, decided to try the service himself. His results told him he had relatives he knew nothing about and, one thing leading to another, his friend Mike Hammons identified his successor at Vision 2020, Bill Scheyer, as a person of interest.

    Hammons accompanied both men to their genetic testing, which confirmed the father-son connection. It was “a little intimidating,” Scheyer said, “for two old guys to be sitting in that waiting room with an assortment of young people.”

    . . .And the conversations go on.

    “Oakley never imagined he had a son,” said Scheyer, who also never imagined that the man he always considered his father was, in fact, not his biological father.

    Scheyer’s mom and her husband were divorced when he was a small boy. He and his mom lived in Covington and moved around a lot, but always in the First District school area. Her ex-husband lived in Cincinnati and, as Scheyer described it, was just briefly in and out of his life but not part of it. The “father figure” he credits as helping make him the man he is today was an uncle with whom he spent a lot of time. His mom, her husband, and his uncle are now deceased.

    Apparently, Oakley, a handsome, unattached young man from eastern Kentucky and a traveling salesman, met Scheyer’s mom at church in Covington — and she invited him to her apartment. Oakley moved on, she never told him she was pregnant, and she married Scheyer’s “father” soon after.

    As for Farris, he says Scheyer “came along at just the right time.”

    “I could have ended up with an ax murderer or a bum, but I gained a wonderful son, and I am absolutely enjoying getting to know him.”

    The two have started spending time together, just talking and getting acquainted in the most delightful ways.

    “I am usually laughing,” Scheyer said. “Oakley is a character, and when I’m talking with him, it’s reminiscent of talking to my older relatives. I feel a kinship there. He is ‘Kentucky’ all the way to his roots, and so am I.

    “I will say that we are definitely alike in this way — We are happy and confident of the lives we’ve had, in the people we know and love, and neither of us would change any of that.”

    In addition to leadership of Vision 2020/Skyward, Scheyer was city administrator for Erlanger, president of Southbank Partners, and president of Green Umbrella. He graduated from Northern Kentucky University — and from Holmes High School where he has been inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He loves to talk about public policy issues and says he and Oakley haven’t really disagreed on anything yet.

    “I’m getting a kick out of the relationship,” he says. “We are finding a natural rhythm. And we’re enjoying it.”

    As for Farris, he is “still digesting all this information. . .I’m taking my time. Longevity has its pros and cons.

    “I’d say this is a pro.”

  • September 22, 2022 3:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Business Courier 

    ‘It’s 1819 on Steroids’: University of Cincinnati Marks Move to Digital Futures Space

    University of Cincinnati is planting deeper roots within the Cincinnati Innovation District. Officials this week will formally celebrate their move to the Digital Futures complex, a $200 million, multiphase project taking shape Uptown.

    UC signed a long-term lease in 2018 for building one at Digital Futures, a 189,000-square-foot, six-story structure, part of a 5.8-acre development located on the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road.

    Officials said it’s the first facility solely dedicated to interdisciplinary research in the university’s more than 200-year history – a space meant to foster “creative collisions” and collaboration.

    “Nowhere else on campus can you walk out your door and run into someone who's not just in a different department but a completely different college or academic area of expertise,” said Pat Limbach, UC’s vice president for research. “We have faculty here from all over because they want to be here, but they also get to be together and dream of new ideas because of proximity.”

    The Courier recently got a sneak peek of the building, ahead of its grand opening Friday. Here’s what you need to know about the project, and what’s still to come:

    High risk, high reward

    Research is at the heart of UC’s plan for the building, “designed to foster moonshot thinking and high-risk, high-reward research,” according to the Digital Futures website. There are 20-plus labs throughout for pilot studies that include cryptoeconomics, cybersecurity, smart manufacturing, hypersonic flight and more.

    The labs are flexible, meaning they can grow or shrink in size to best accommodate changing teams.

    Several units of the UC Office of Research now call Digital Futures home. Staff have moved in systematically over the last several weeks. So do nonprofits like Green Umbrella, Mayerson Academy, Leadership Council and Elementz (all but Elementz have made the move permanent; Elementz will maintain its base in Over-the-Rhine).

    Jennifer Krivickas, associate vice president of the UC Office of Research, said having those organizations onsite provides faculty, staff and students a front row seat to the work they do. Those groups can also participate in the research taking place on site.

    “It's really advantageous,” she said.

    See inside The Battery co-founders' Pacific Heights mansion, now relisted at $35 million

    All floors includes a “canteen,” or breakroom space. The canteens are outfitted with different furniture with varying color schemes. Even the snack selections vary at each, as to encourage people to move throughout the building. That’s a practice UC borrowed from the MIT-founded CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) in Kendall Square, one of many sites the team visited during its planning process.

    “It’s a significant move for UC, and one we’d like to aspirationally apply across the institution as we think about coming back from Covid,” said John Seibert, UC’s associate vice president for planning, design and construction. “There are opportunities (in these spaces) to collide with other researchers and talking about things. Architecturally, moving those type of functions is a game changer in how we work together.”

    Other highlights include:

    • A two-story high-bay facility: The space will support the testing and operation of robotics, drones, autonomous vehicles and more.
    • Augmented/virtual/mixed realty: A large-format AT/VR/XR lab will support multiple research efforts. There’s a multi-user space (where researchers can put multiple people in the same virtual environment to study how people interact); a driving simulation area (to study interactions with autonomous vehicles); and biometric capabilities (using sensors to track heart rate, respiration and more), among other offerings.
    • Advanced mobility: An advanced mobility propulsion lab will develop data, tools, designs and solutions to enable ultra-quiet electric aircraft propulsion systems.
    • Cryptoeconomics: This lab provides a physical space for researchers, students and companies to study the impact of blockchain technology on the future economy.
    • E-shop: An electronics shop includes a dry lab workbench for designing, repairing, testing and prototyping electronics.

    Next gen

    The Digital Futures building is the latest addition to the Cincinnati Innovation District, an ecosystem that also includes UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub, a 100,000-square-foot building that opened across the street in 2018. Other additions to the district are planned.

    Terrex Development & Construction and Messer Construction, which are developing the Digital Futures complex, said a neighboring 180,000-square-foot, six-story speculative office building, which is neighboring UC’s, is also nearly complete. The buildings will eventually be flanked by more office space, a hotel and a mixed-use retail and residential development.

    The Digital Futures complex is meant to complement 1819, which counts Fifth Third, Kao, Kroger and biotech investment company Orange Grove as partners. But it can offer more in terms of space, said Rusty Myers, executive vice president of JLL Cincinnati. JLL is handling leasing for the property.

    “This is 1819 on steroids,” Myers told me.

    Conversations are ongoing with a number of potential tenants for building two, including local, national and international companies. JLL is working with partners like REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio as part of that process.

    Myers said ideal tenants include corporations – companies in 1819, for example, looking to grow their footprint – or those on the “cutting edge” in terms of digital research, AI, biotech research and more. Intel’s planned $20 billion investment in central Ohio has also spurred increased interest.

    The space is designed flexibly, whether for office or lab use. Myers sees it as Cincinnati’s version of a Microsoft or Google hub.

    “I've done a lot of spec office building work in my career, and this is the best one,” he said. “It's the next generation of office. You have high ceilings, (it’s) designed for open office concept, with no columns in the footprint, (with) full-height windows and tons of light. It’s pretty special.”

    Still to come

    Phase one, which comes in at the $200 million price tag, will also include the construction of a 160-room, up to 10-story hotel. A partner has yet to be determined. Work could start next year, after the initial timeline for that part of the project was delayed by Covid and its impact on the hospitality industry.

    Phase two calls for another office building fronting Interstate 71, between five and eight stories at 120,000 to 200,000 square feet.

    Phase three includes a possible mixed-use building, with ground floor retail/restaurant space and residential living above, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive

    Adding those components "will really tie all of this together, including 1819, into a real campus,” Chad Burke, principal at GBBN Architects, said.

    Overall, the price tag for the entire project is estimated at more than $500 million. Peter Horton, principal and co-founder of Terrex, said the timeline for future phases is to be determined. A lot depends on the leasing for the second building.

    “The dominos have to fall in order,” Horton told me. “We intend to keep working and developing, and the quicker we move the better. But there's a lot of great traction. It’s too perfect of a scenario for companies out there looking to collaborate with UC, and all the things this site delivers.

    “I think it’s going to be a smashing success,” he said.

  • September 21, 2022 2:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO

    Beechmont Bridge Connector Open After Years of Planning, Construction

    ANDERSTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A new trail connector near Lunken airport is linking miles of Cincinnati trails that were previously unconnected. The Beechmont Bridge Connector officially opened Wednesday.

    Before the connector, bicyclists would have had to ride next to cars on Beechmont Avenue to cross the Little Miami River to get from one trail to another.

    "For about six years, I've been riding the bus with my bike on it over the levee or braving, riding with traffic, trying to avoid rush hour," said Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston, who lives about a half mile away from the connector. "The bridge, there is no shoulder, so this where you start to sprint to get through."

    The project has been in the works for years and costs over $9 million. Great Parks of Hamilton County is responsible for the addition and said pedestrian safety is something they had in mind with this project.

    "Being on a road or in traffic, sometimes is necessary in a dedicated bike lane, but the ultimate experience for being outdoor and on a trail is to be in a separate trail environment, so it's safer," said Great Parks of Hamilton County CEO, Todd Palmeter.

    The connector is only about a half-mile, but allows pedestrians to safely travel from downtown Cincinnati all the way to Springfield.

    "Over 300,000 people that live within a five-mile radius of the Little Miami Scenic Trail will now have trail access because of this project," said Great Parks of Hamilton County Board President Caren Laverty.

    The stretch connects to the existing Little Miami Scenic Trail terminus near State Route 32 and will allow trail users to safely travel to the Ohio River Trail. It passes through a new tunnel under the State Route 32 westbound ramp to Beechmont Avenue, and under Beechmont Avenue itself.

    The Connector continues over the Little Miami River on a new bridge extension adjacent to, but physically separated from, the eastbound lane of the Beechmont Avenue Bridge. Once across the Little Miami River, it meets up with both the Armleder-Lunken Trail and Lunken Trail, from which users can continue to the Ohio River Trail.

    "I actually live in Loveland, so this just opens up so many options for our family to get downtown," said bicyclist Megan Folkerth.

    "This network, the infrastructure that so many have been working to build is a foundational part of our collective effort to give everybody access to the neighborhoods, to the commerce centers, the parks where they live, work and play," said Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval.

    It’s one piece of a much larger project: the CROWN trail network. The CROWN is a planned 34-mile urban trail loop that will connect 54 neighborhoods. Johnston said he’s hoping the eastern 24 miles of the project will be complete by 2026.

    Johnston said this step is a big leap forward.

    "It's going to be tourism, economic development, an ability to live next to an amenity," he said. "It's just a game changer for so many people."

    There will be a public celebration on October 2 with activities, food trucks, craft beer and more. It’s being held at Otto Armleder Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • September 15, 2022 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Fox19

    Nky Cities Win Approval for Protected Bike Lane Sought After Cyclist’s Tragic Death

    By Brian Planalp

    Published: Sep. 14, 2022

    NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - A two-way protected bike lane is coming to Northern Kentucky thanks to a groundswell of community support following the death of a cyclist last month.

    The bike lane will span the 11th Street/Girl Scout Bridge connecting Newport and Covington, according to transportation advocate Matt Butler with the Devou Good Foundation.

    The cities secured approval from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the bike lane Wednesday. The approval was necessary because 11th Street is a state route.

    The Devou Good Foundation will fund the project. It’s expected to be complete by the end of October.

    Butler says Tri-State Trails will work with Covington to create a “safe transition” from the bike lane to city streets.

    Additionally, the cities and KYTC have agreed to work on a DGF-funded project to fully fund a long-term safety plan for pedestrians and cyclists. Tri-State Trails will spearhead the effort.

    “This will provide long-term planning for safe routes for our most vulnerable neighbors,” Butler said.

    The effort began after Gloria San Miguel was hit by a car and killed while cycling over the bridge on Aug. 20.

    ”Gloria was really connected into this community and she was loved by so many people, and I think people really want to see something positive come out of her death,” Butler said before a meeting of the Covington Commission Tuesday night. “And so I think this is that moment where we all need to speak up and tell the city what’s important to us.”

    Mark Phipps, 60, is charged with manslaughter and tampering with evidence after Newport police say he fled the scene of the crash.

    Last month, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet responded to a petition with thousands of signatures calling for the protected bike lane by offering to create a bike lane marked by sharrows. Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston remarked that wasn’t enough.

    “Pavement markings would not have stopped this [San Miguel] from being run down by a vehicle in this hit and run incident,” Johnston said. “What our region needs is protected bike infrastructure and trails that are separated by car traffic.”

    Johnston says there are trails for bicyclists in the Tri-State, including the Riverfront Commons Trail in West Covington that opened earlier this summer. But Johnston also concedes those trails are flawed.

    “The trails are not very well connected,” Johnston explained. “That’s a big barrier for people to use them more in their everyday life. When you reach that dead end or that pinch point or that scary intersection, it’s enough to deter most people from riding their bike.”

    Another local man, Dr. Jefferey Robbin died while cycling in a separate incident the same weekend as Miguel. Their passing follows the March death of Dennis Rahtz, a runner who was hit by a TANK bus on 4th Street in Covington.

    Three cyclists died in the City of Cincinnati alone last year.

    “The roads are really bad. Pedestrian and cyclist deaths are way up nationwide,” Butler said. “The number-one indicator of injuries and deaths is speed, and through our work, we find that people are commonly going double the speed limit.”

  • September 12, 2022 3:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: NRDC

    Cincinnati Signs the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

    Signed by Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, the City of Cincinnati recently joined the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) to reduce food waste and create a more sustainable food system. MUFPP is an international agreement "to develop sustainable food systems that are inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse, that provide healthy and affordable food to all people in a human rights-based framework, that minimize waste and conserve biodiversity while adapting to and mitigating impacts of climate change."

    “Signing the international Milan Urban Food Policy Pact is an important step for the city and the region, bringing us into a network of global leaders in food systems,” said Cincinnati Mayor Pureval. “Through it, we publicly commit to what we’ve always known: we can ensure the health and wellbeing of Cincinnati’s economy, our environment, and our citizens if we work together across sectors, aligned around common goals that benefit all of us. We’re excited to continue work with partners like the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council and other organizations to implement actions set out in the Pact, starting with our focus area of food waste.”

    The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact consists of multiple tracks of interest within food systems. Cincinnati will focus on furthering the food waste reduction work they have seeded through participation in NRDC's Food Matters Regional Initiative. These are their goals:

    Developing of the Cincinnati Community Composting Collaborative as part of the USDA Community Composting and Food Waste Reduction grant;

    Continuing their ongoing partnership with Hamilton County Resource’s to advance shared food waste reduction goals, including dissemination of Hamilton County’s Wasted Food Stops with Us campaign;

    Engaging health inspectors and food businesses to ramp up safe food donations.

    MUFPP currently has 225 cities globally, including 15 U.S. cities, committed to developing more sustainable food systems. Through this pact, cities have the opportunity to share best practices, build partnerships, provide political and strategic support, and network with global experts in the area of food and sustainability.

    We look forward to continuing to partner with MUFPP Food Matters participants, Cincinnati and Hamilton County, to reduce wasted food and help build a more resilient and inclusive food system.

  • September 12, 2022 2:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Southwest Ohio Parent

    Get Outside and Enjoy Over 100 Free Activities During Great Outdoor Weekend

    Recently ranked fourth-best in the nation for parks, Greater Cincinnati is home to an abundance of beautiful green spaces, nature preserves, parks, and trails — and each year Green Umbrella encourages everyone to get outside and choose from over 100 free, family-friendly events during Great Outdoor Weekend.

    Great Outdoor Weekend

    Now in its 19th year, the two-day event will take place on September 24 and 25 at locations across Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. Throughout the weekend, kids and adults of all ages can sample a wide range of outdoor recreation and nature awareness programs. Canoe the Little Miami River, help install an orchard, stargaze, or venture out on a nature scavenger hunt. From hiking and paddling to butterfly tagging, birding, and fishing, there’s something for everyone!

    We continue to learn more about the countless benefits that spending more time outdoors provides to our mental and physical health. From reducing stress and anxiety to increasing vitamin D, outdoor activities help improve self-esteem, ability to focus, and quality of sleep. Connect with nature during Great Outdoor Weekend and take some time for yourself, meet up with friends, or plan a family outing.

    This free event is made possible thanks to the generous support of Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society, Cincinnati Metro, University of Cincinnati Office of Research, Cincinnati Magazine, Great Parks of Hamilton County, MetroParks of Butler County, Southwest Ohio Parent Magazine, and others.

    Learn more and find your adventure here.

  • September 12, 2022 2:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Magazine 

    Five Events to Check Out During This Year’s Great Outdoor Weekend

    Recently ranked fourth-best in the nation for parks, Greater Cincinnati is home to an abundance of beautiful green spaces, nature preserves, parks, and trails—and each year Green Umbrella encourages everyone to get outside and choose from more than 100 free, family-friendly activities during Great Outdoor Weekend. Now in its 19th year, the two-day event will take place September 24 and 25 at locations across Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana.

    “Every year we try to expand the event to reach more communities and increase participation across all 10 counties in our region with a wide variety of activities for people of all ages and backgrounds,” says Green Umbrella Event Manager Charlie Gonzalez. “The goal is to get tens of thousands of residents outside to celebrate nature and learn about all the great organizations that host outdoor programs throughout the year.” Here are some highlights from the list of more than 100 activities to choose from.

    Family Walk Up the Exciting Howard Creek

    September 25, 10 a.m–1 p.m.

    Join Cincinnati Wildflower Preservation Society for a family-friendly walk up the beautiful Howard Creek. As you wade through this shallow and clean creek, you’ll observe wildlife like birds, butterflies, crayfish, bugs, tadpoles, and more. Nets will be provided for kids and expert guides will help identify what everyone finds.

    Orchard Installation at Taft Elementary

    September 24, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

    Help the Common Orchard Project install a new community orchard at Taft Elementary and tour the orchard that was planted last year at Mt. Auburn Preparatory Academy. Attendees will gain skills and knowledge around permaculture principles, fruit trees, plasticulture, companion planting, passive irrigation, and community engagement. Playgrounds are available for children during the event and pizza will be provided for lunch.

    Run the Riffles with Mill Creek Alliance

    September 24, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

    Mill Creek Alliance has a full day of activities planned at Salway Park on Saturday, including hikes, paddles, and a dance class. Seasoned guides from the Mill Creek Yacht Club will provide everything you need to join them on a mini urban stream paddle adventure (registration required). There are also opportunities to explore the stream banks, document plants and animals, and use citizen science tools to assess water quality. And after the sun goes down, you can venture on a “Space Walk” to explore our solar system in an immersive visual art installation.

    Rowboats, Fishing, Golf, Urban Farming, and More with Great Parks of Hamilton County

    September 24 & 25

    Entry to all parks managed by Great Parks of Hamilton County will be free throughout the weekend and Great Parks is hosting a wide range of activities at many locations. Among the offerings: learn about local bird species and how to monitor and protect them (Sharon Woods, September 24 at 9 a.m.), take a 10 minute golf lesson (Miami Whitewater Forest, September 24 at 10 a.m.), learn how to fish (Lake Isabella, September 25 at 1 p.m.), or take advantage of free rowboat rentals (Winton Woods, September 25, all day).

    Monarch Tagging and Butterfly Hike with MetroParks of Butler County

    September 25, 12 p.m.–2 p.m.

    It’s butterfly season and MetroParks invites you on a butterfly hike at Forest Run MetroPark. Catch, identify, and release as many butterfly species as you can, and help tag monarch butterflies with unique stickers at their shelter for Monarch Watch research. MetroParks is also hosting a birding hike (September 24 at 8 a.m.), wildflower hike (September 24 at 10:30 a.m.), and hands-on activities on a historic farmstead (September 25 at 2 p.m.).

    Visit the Great Outdoor Weekend website for the full schedule

    Take a look at the 100+ activities and start planning your weekend. Find your adventure at!

  • September 09, 2022 11:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    The Fruits of a Local Orchard Project Are Going a Long Way

    By Ann Thompson

    Published September 13, 2022 

    The Common Orchard Project has already established more than 20 orchards in Greater Cincinnati. Ten new ones are planned this fall and Chris Smyth would like to have 10 new ones every year.

    The two-acre Camp Washington Urban Farm, next to the River City Correctional Center, is slightly overgrown now, but it won't be too much longer before fruit trees from there help start more neighborhood orchards all over Greater Cincinnati and beyond.

    Executive Director of the Common Orchard Project Chris Smyth calls the farm the hub of the project and looks forward to opening 10 additional orchards this fall. It was in 2020 when WVXU told you about the first one in West Price Hill.

    “I’m trying to find ways to activate spaces in neighborhoods that are not just lawn, but that a variety of people want to get together and share their own knowledge, he says. “It’s kind of a watering hole where the experts aren’t from specific socio-economic groups, so everybody can share their gifts together.”

    Smyth explains the idea is to supply fresh food where people are, and that they will eat.

    He already has the farm separated into different areas. A space by a mural will be for classes; further down are fruit trees waiting for transplant; a hoop house is protecting figs and another area is reserved for berries.

    This is one of the quietest spaces on the 2-acre farm (because it's right near I-75) and so Smyth says classes will happen in front of the mural.

    He stops to explain one important project — composting. Grants from the Ohio EPA, the USDA and the SC Ministry Foundation make it possible at the farm.

    “So once this operation gets going, we'll be taking in about 300,000 pounds of food scraps every year, mixing it with wood chips, and turning it into some five 600 yards of usable high-quality compost,” he explains. “And we'll either be selling that or giving that away to new community gardens farms, putting it in orchards, putting it out on this land.” Common Orchard will sell the composted material or use its rich dirt.

    The neighborhood orchards opening this fall are in College Hill, Evanston, Finneytown, Hamilton, Lower Price Hill, Mt. Airy, Mt. Auburn and Wilmington.

    This is in addition to more than 20 existing neighborhood orchards.

  • September 09, 2022 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Highland County Press

    CROWN Trail inspires ArtWorks mural at Great American Ball Park

    ArtWorks has begun work on a new mural at Great American Ball Park, in partnership with the CROWN (Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network) and the Cincinnati Reds.

    Located at the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way & Mehring Way, the mural spans 165 feet of wall between the Reds Hall of Fame and Smale Riverfront Park.

    The mural was designed by local artist L.D. Nehls to spark excitement, curiosity and discovery of Cincinnati’s gem landmarks along the CROWN, to encourage the community to learn more about Cincinnati and to celebrate how the CROWN trail and the Reds connect people and communities.

    “I love Cincinnati and I love trails that are both walkable and bikeable, so I could not have been more excited to work on a project that celebrates both of them,” said Nehls.

    The preliminary work on the mural began in August featuring a team of youth apprentices. The expected completion date is late September with a public dedication planned for early October.

    “The Reds are excited for the CROWN to connect this beautiful stretch along the Ohio River, where Great American Ball Park sits, with other trails throughout Cincinnati,” said Phil Castellini, Reds President & Chief Operating Officer. “Using the exterior walls of the ballpark as Artwork’s canvas is the perfect way to showcase the CROWN’s vision of bringing people together, just like Reds baseball has been doing for over 150 years.”

    Funding for the mural project includes a $30,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and $25,000 from the Cincinnati Youth to Work program which allows ArtWorks to employ local youth between the ages of 14 and 21 to help create the mural.

    “We believe that art is important for an active, safe, and thriving trail system, so we are thrilled to produce public art in partnership with the CROWN for a second year,” said Sydney Fine, Senior Director of Impact for ArtWorks. “Beyond the benefits to trail users, the youth apprentices producing the mural, who work under the mentorship of professional artists, grow their civic and city pride. Not only because of the content of the mural, a celebration of Cincinnati gems but also because of their investment in work that benefits the community at large.”

    “Duke Energy is proud to support the CROWN urban trail loop with another mural project, this time along the Ohio River Trail,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This iconic art piece energizes the trail by making it a more colorful and vibrant experience for everyone.”

    Duke Energy also funded the Electric Avenue mural on the back side of their Dana Avenue facility along Wasson Way, which is the longest mural in the region.

    “When we talk about the CROWN, people’s eyes light up and we can almost see their wheels turning as they think about the fun and meaningful ways to activate the trail,” said Jan Portman, Chair of the CROWN Campaign Cabinet. “This wonderful partnership with ArtWorks and the Reds is a perfect example of the creativity inspired by a safe place to walk, run, and ride. The trail is being built thanks to the generosity of our community, and it’s with the creativity of our community that the trail will turn into a ribbon of energy connecting people and places in our region.”

    The CROWN Capital Campaign has raised $10M in private funds that will leverage federal and state grants for trail construction through a public-private partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Great Parks of Hamilton County, and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. Kroger Health, United Dairy Farmers, P&G, and the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation each contributed $1M to the campaign.

    “It’s thanks to the incredible generosity of our community that the CROWN trail network is coming to life, both with more trail miles and new public art enhancements,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails and Campaign Manager for the CROWN Capital Campaign. “This beautiful mural — at mile zero of the Ohio River Trail and 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail — will remind residents and visitors of all the iconic gems the CROWN will connect once complete.”

    Mural Team

    Project Manager: Zhaira Costiniano

    Designer: L.D. Nehls

    Lead Teaching Artist: Brandon Hawkins

    Teaching Artist: Sophie Shiff

    Youth Apprentices: Jeff Samual, Rashad Manuel, Greg Beridon, Piper Vice, Phoenix Brumm, Kee kee Stokes, Eve Miller, Aaliayah Ruff, Grace Pearson, Pekko Meyers.

    About ArtWorks: ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations, and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st-century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 14,000 public and private art projects in its 26 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals. Learn more at

    About The CROWN: The CROWN is led by a nonprofit partnership of Tri-State Trails, Wasson Way and Ohio River Way. The project will leverage $44 million in public funding in addition to $10 million in private donations to bring the vision for Cincinnati’s first-ever urban trail loop to fruition by connecting several key regional trails that are currently noncontiguous – Ohio River Trail, Little Miami Scenic Trail, Wasson Way and Murray Path. By constructing key connectors between these trails, the CROWN Capital Campaign will complete the eastern 24-mile portion of the planned CROWN loop. Learn more at

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