Green Umbrella in the News

  • March 27, 2021 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: FOX 19
    By: Ashley Smith

    A bike lane has been added to Clifton Avenue; it’s just temporary for now, but that could change come August.

    Mayor Cranley was joined by community members at a ribbon-cutting for the new lane Saturday.

    “Let’s give everyone a round of applause for the beginning of this amazing bike path,” said the mayor.

    Director of Tri-State Trails Wade Johnston explains that this two-way ‘protected bike lane’ is part of a 34-mile trail loop around Cincinnati. It’s a large project that will take several years to complete.

    “Ultimately, while this is providing safety for bicyclists, this is going to make it safer for pedestrians and for bicyclists,” said Johnston.

    The supplies for this near-mile-long section were funded through the Devou Good Foundation.

    If approved to become permanent, the city is ready to fund the remaining $2 million. However, they say they need to hear from you before going forward with the project.

    “We hope that you feel safer using it because you’re separated from cars, and ultimately we want to hear if there’s things that we need to improve because the whole benefit to this project is that it’s temporary, we can refine it before we invest to make it permanent,” Johnston explained.

    So grab a bike and the entire family. And if you don’t already have a bike, Red Bike has you covered!


  • March 26, 2021 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The News Record
    By: Allison Kiehl

    A temporary two-way protected bike lane is set to open on Clifton Avenue on March 27, extending from Straight Street to Ludlow Avenue.

    The bike lane was created by putting concrete barriers to separate bikers from road traffic; it designates a previously existing lane of Clifton Avenue to bikers.

    The city of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) worked closely with Clifton Town Meeting to develop this project, according to DOTE Director John Brazina.

    The Devou Good Foundation provided funds to cover all of the capital costs of opening the protected bike lane.

    “So far, the cost is $93,000, of which $17,000 we are committing to making the bike lane permanent, if the community wants it, or to remove it,” said Matt Butler, President of the Devou Good Foundation.

    Making the bike lane permanent would mean removing the orange cones, adding more concrete barriers, and making the lane more secure.

    “We allocate funds to do good in the community,” said Butler.

    In addition, The Devou Good Foundation consulted with DOTE to bring the bike lane to Clifton for the use of University of Cincinnati (UC) students and residents of the local community. Other organizations coordinating the project include Vision Zero Cincinnati, Tri-State Trails, Metro and the University of Cincinnati.

    Councilmember Jan-Michele Kearney and Mayor John Cranley have also expressed support for the two-way protected bike lane, according to Brazina.

    There is no specified timeframe for the longevity of the protected bike lane. “It will be evaluated after three months to see how well it works [with] the flow of traffic,” said Brazina.

    The temporary nature of the bike lane is more cost-effective and allows for a trial of the project in the community without a permanent commitment.

    An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on March 27 at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook Live. The event will be streamed live on Councilmember Kearney’s Facebook page (@janmichelekearney) and the City of Cincinnati Government (@CityOfCincy) page.




  • March 23, 2021 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO
    By: Zach McAuliffe

    A new documentary from Newsy called "Modern Metropolis: Preparing Today’s Cities for Tomorrow’s Challenges” will air on WCPO Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

    The documentary was shot over two years in Cincinnati as film crews followed community leaders and their efforts to make the city into a 2030 district. These districts are a new international model for urban sustainability which hope to cut energy, water and emissions in half by the year 2030 by creating networks of healthy, high-performing buildings.

    The documentary is 24 minutes long and is split into three parts. The three parts are:

    The Science of Cities - Explains the science of how we are connected

    The 2030 Districts - Explains this model for building and maintaining sustainable cities

    Strength in Unity - Encapsulates the overall theme of the documentary.

    “From climate change to population growth, this story is about Cincinnati taking control of its destiny by preparing for the future ahead," Joey Maiocco, Newsy senior producer and editor of the documentary, said.

    You can watch this documentary on television on WCPO, or wherever you stream WCPO, Thursday evening.


  • March 03, 2021 10:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By: Nick Swartsell

    COVID-19 has shaken up many aspects of our lives, including our relationship with our local food supply.

    Fears about the virus, long lines and shortages in grocery stores have caused more people to turn to regional growers for their produce. But at the same time, restaurant closures due to social distancing guidelines have hit some of those same farmers hard. How are small local food producers adapting to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by this difficult time?

    Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about how the pandemic has impacted our local food systems are Green Umbrella Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council Director Michaela Oldfield; Our Harvest Cooperative Assistant Farm Manager Alex Otto; Eden Urban Gardens Founder April Pandora; and Carriage House Farm Farm Manager Richard Stewart.

    Listen at https://www.wvxu.org/post/greater-cincinnati-food-producers-navigate-pandemic#stream/0

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

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati

    In early 2020, Cincinnati contracted the nation’s largest municipal solar farm as part of its plan to convert the city government’s power usage to 100% renewable energy by 2035. The plan, the third of its kind, acts as the city’s roadmap for climate and environmental action.

    “We’re on the front lines of responding to climate change, climate justice issues, matters of where climate issues intersect with economic issues,” says Carla Walker, climate advisor for the City of Cincinnati.

    A major initiative in the latest Green Cincinnati Plan is an effort to create a 2030 District, or a collection of buildings and neighborhoods committed to reducing energy usage, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50% by 2030. The project has required collaboration with large corporate and institutional partners.

    To read more, click here.


  • February 12, 2021 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Environmental and Energy Study Institute
    By: Joseph Glandorf

    Cincinnati, Ohio, is a midsize city that has attracted attention for its outsized climate action. In early 2020, Cincinnati contracted the nation’s largest municipal solar farm as part of its plan to convert the city government’s power usage to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The 100 percent renewable energy goal is just one of 80 total recommendations in the 2018 Green Cincinnati Plan, which aims to reduce city carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 and implement a suite of other projects in the fields of environmental sustainability, environmental justice, and climate resilience. The plan, the third of its kind, acts as the city’s roadmap for climate and environmental action.

    According to Carla Walker, Climate Advisor for the City of Cincinnati, the first Green Cincinnati Plan was born out of Cincinnati’s engagement with the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2008. The first plan focused primarily on carbon reduction and sustainability; the second, published in 2013, incorporated climate resilience; and the third and current plan has deepened its engagement with issues of equity and justice.

    Beyond this expansion of focus areas, Oliver Kroner, the Sustainability Coordinator for the city's Office of Environment and Sustainability, says the plan has benefited from major advances in science, policy, and technology over the last 10 years. The city has also worked to create a more robust community engagement process, which is central to the creation of the plans.

    However, plans are only as good as the actions they inspire. So, Cincinnati got to work and is on track to meet its emissions targets. Relative to a 2006 baseline of 9.3 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the city’s emissions have decreased 18.4 percent. Emission reductions have been realized due to trends in population movements, grid decarbonization, and city policies. The city’s Energy Aggregation program, introduced in 2012, provides 100 percent renewable energy or natural gas to tens of thousands of households, abating 250,000 tons of CO2 per year. Over the same period, emissions from municipal government facilities dropped 36.3 percent from about 432,000 tons due to solar installations and efficiency upgrades to the municipal water works and other government systems.

    A major initiative in the latest Green Cincinnati Plan is an effort to create a 2030 District, or a collection of buildings and neighborhoods committed to reducing energy usage, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by 2030. The project has required collaboration with large corporate and institutional partners. Though the city had limited experience engaging with such partners on a project of this scale before, Kroner says the District has seen enthusiastic uptake by stakeholders across the city. According to Kroner, the 2030 District has been one of his office’s “faster growing efforts” and now covers around 25 million square feet of property.

    Like cities across the United States, Cincinnati has limited municipal resources at its disposal. While increased federal support would be beneficial, the city has found creative ways to implement its programs. According to Kroner, the Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES) has unlocked resources by winning grants and saving the city money in operations. But one of its most important resources has been the local community itself.

    “We have relied heavily on community support,” Kroner said.

    Indeed, the 2018 plan came about through an extensive community engagement process. The first consultation meeting in 2017 attracted about 350 attendees. From there, the city convened over 30 meetings, resulting in a list of over 1,400 recommendations that were later distilled down to the 80 included in the plan. A wide range of stakeholders, including individuals, businesses, community groups, faith organizations, and nonprofits, all contributed.

    “Anyone who wants to help out with the implementation of the plan, you are more than welcome to do so,” Walker said. “That’s really part of OES’ DNA. We’re always reaching out to partners, not only in the development of programs, but also in the execution of the Green Cincinnati Plan.”

    The city has made strides to center equity for underserved communities in its community engagement process. Savannah Sullivan, Climate and Community Resilience Analyst at OES, says the city is working on “centering equity within the work, not only with outcomes but also with processes.” She cited work with Groundwork USA on the city’s Climate Safe Neighborhoods project, which analyzes the relationship between historical patterns of urban racial segregation and climate risk to inform the development of participatory resilience plans in at-risk communities.

    “This work is focused on developing community engagement structures that are inclusive and center racial equity, and not only learning from the lived experiences of people within climate-impacted neighborhoods, but also creating feedback and connection systems with our office that can then inform our future plans,” Sullivan said.

    One of Walker’s projects is the city’s Energy Equity program, in which the city provides grant funding and educational assistance to low-income tenants of multifamily housing so they can access energy efficiency upgrades. The project emerged from research showing that this population paid a greater share of income towards energy than most other populations in the country. Energy Equity seeks to fill an important gap—programs encouraging energy efficiency upgrades usually focus on homeowners, not renters, reinforcing structures of inequality.

    Another goal at the intersection of environmental justice and climate resilience is to expand urban greenspace by ensuring that every neighborhood has at least 40 percent tree canopy coverage. The city has significant work ahead to achieve this goal. At present, some neighborhoods have as much as 70 percent coverage and others have as little as 10 percent, with sharp divisions along lines of race and income.

    Greenspace reduces the urban heat island effect, whereby sunlight is absorbed by dark surfaces, like asphalt, increasing the air temperature. Urban heat islands are disproportionately common in low-income communities and communities of color. The city’s work in this area dovetails with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded study on urban heat islands released by the city in fall 2020, which aimed to locate the most heavily impacted areas in Cincinnati.

    Cities are well-positioned to be climate leaders. From the adoption of renewable energy to reducing the urban heat island effect, the work to address climate change impacts is happening first and foremost in municipalities.

    “We’re on the front lines of responding to climate change, climate justice issues, matters of where climate issues intersect with economic issues,” Walker said.

    Kroner emphasized that while the United States set emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, it did not go into detail on recommending actions to meet those targets. Detailed recommendations to figure out how to reduce emissions are just what the Green Cincinnati Plan process generated. Cities only heightened their ambition to create and deploy specific climate plans in the wake of the executive branch’s announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017 (the withdrawal took place in November 2020, but the United States has rejoined the Paris Agreement under the Biden Administration). Along with other cities, Cincinnati has benefited from the funding and technical assistance opportunities created to support the work of sub-national entities, including grants from organizations like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National League of Cities.

    Cities have also been collaborating with one another to share experiences and relevant policy solutions. In Cincinnati’s case, their climate planning draws lessons from other cities with an industrial legacy. The city participates in regional initiatives like the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments.

    “We learn a lot from peer cities. Cities around the country are all trying to figure this out together, and all of our solutions are open source,” Kroner said.

    City leaders have also shared their work at the global level through the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy, which includes representatives from over 10,000 cities in 138 countries. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley joined the Covenant on the same day that President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2017.

    Walker emphasized that while city and subnational leaders have been drawing more attention for their climate work in recent years, this work is not new, “There have been a number of coalitions that have been working on this over the years, not only the last four years, I mean the last couple of decades. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been working on these issues since I was in Mayor Mallory’s office [from 2005 to 2010].”

    “We’ve been taking the lead for a while,” Walker said. “It’s not like this is a new phenomenon.” The experience cities have gained leading on climate action is more important than ever in this critical moment in the climate fight.

    The Green Cincinnati Plan in Brief

    The 273-page plan calls for a wide range of investments in environmental protection and sustainability. It includes carbon reduction goals, but also seeks to improve resilience and equity. It is organized into eight main sections:

    The built environment

    Education and outreach

    Energy

    Food

    Natural systems: air quality, water quality, and green space

    Resilience

    Transportation

    Waste

    Each section describes a set of measurable goals and a set of recommendations to meet them. Each recommendation comes with an estimated carbon reduction potential and cost-benefit analysis. The city and its community partners actively work to implement each of the recommendations and track their progress over time.


  • February 08, 2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By: Michael Monks

    Cincinnati punches above its weight when it comes to cities working on making their built environments more ecologically friendly and sustainable, local experts say.

    What's more, big issues in Cincinnati, like historic preservation and affordable housing, aren't the barriers to developing sustainably you might think they would be. Some of Cincinnati's challenges and strong points are actually a boon for green building and renovation if approached the right way, experts say.

    Joining Cincinnati Edition are Green Umbrella 2030 District Director Elizabeth Rojas, Green Building Consulting President Paul Yankie and SHP Sustainability Director and past Cincinnati AIA President Allison Beer McKenzie.

    Listen: https://www.wvxu.org/post/experts-say-cincinnati-making-strides-sustainable-development-heres-why#stream/0

  • February 07, 2021 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
    By: Hannah Sparling

    The phone call came this past March. The woman on the other end of the line was having trouble finding produce. Empty shelves because of the coronavirus pandemic. She wanted to know if April Pandora had any to sell.

    “They needed produce, and we had it,” said Pandora, who owns and operates an organic urban farm in Cincinnati. “That’s what we do.”

    As small businesses around the nation are suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, urban farmers like Pandora are actually seeing a boost in sales as well as heightened interest in their niche part of the region’s agricultural system.

    People are more concerned with their health, so there’s a new demand for fresh, locally grown food.

    And when panic buyers emptied supermarket shelves, it was a wakeup call.

    That’s not to say farmers are not struggling during the pandemic. In fact, some have had to destroy tens of thousands of pounds of fresh food because their usual customers – hotels, schools and restaurants – are doing less business or are shut down completely.

    But for others, like Pandora, who runs the Avondale-based Eden Urban Gardens, LLC, business is booming.

    “People have realized how fragile our food systems really are,” Pandora said. “People got scared. People realized the grocery store only has a two- to three-day supply of food.”

    Owner/farmer April Pandora checks soil around the orchard section at Eden Urban Gardens.

    ‘Running out of food’

    During World War I, the government called on Americans to grow whatever they could in their yards to help combat food scarcity. First called War Gardens and then Victory Gardens, the movement grew so popular during World War II that in 1944, community gardeners produced nearly 40% of all the fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S., according to the History channel.

    When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in 2020, gardening again rose to the fore, with seed companies telling The Enquirer in March they were doing 10 to 15 times their normal amount of business.

    It’s difficult to quantify the boom, but multiple local farmers told The Enquirer business is up as a result of the pandemic. Sharonville urban farmer Andy Gorman, who also manages the Deerfield Farmers’ Market, said every farmer he knows has experienced an uptick in business. If he had to guess, Gorman would say demand for his produce at Cincy Urban Farm is up about 30%.

    Gorman said he specifically got new customers after the first round of stimulus checks. People told him they were intentionally spending the money locally to help support all the small businesses they knew were struggling.

    Owner Andy Gorman looks out over his crops at Cincy Urban Farm in West Chester, Ohio, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

    Alex Otto, assistant farm manager for Our Harvest Cooperative, which has farms in College Hill and Morrow, Ohio, said he’s noticed a 10% or 15% increase in business over the past year or so, in part because people want control over their food supply and they want that personal connection that comes with shopping local.

    “It’s proved a lot of our theories correct,” Otto said, “that in a crisis, it’s the community that steps in to have your back. The idea that we should have relationships with the people that grow our food just makes so much sense. … If there’s ever issues with food shortage, you literally have the number of the person that’s growing your food.”

    Mary Hutten, who manages the Lettuce Eat Well farmers’ market in Cheviot, said that in 2020, demand was so high that some of her farmers ran out and had nothing left to sell at the market. Hutten attends national market meetings, and that story is common, she said.

    “We’re running out of food,” she said. “But I don’t want that to be alarming – I think this is a good thing to happen. People are doing what I’ve wanted them to do for years. I wanted them to take responsibility for their food supply.”

    Not your typical farm

    If you’re picturing a traditional farm with expansive fields, rolling hills, tractors, combines, grain silos and barns, you are way off. Eden Urban Gardens is set on a regular Cincinnati street, just like any other in the city. There are houses and apartments and then, on one plot of land, Eden Urban Gardens.

    On this plot, instead of a manicured front lawn with flowers and bushes, there are long garden beds with spearmint, oregano, lettuce and radishes.

    Instead of a house, there’s a high tunnel, a 30-foot by 48-foot enclosure that protects plants from the elements and helps extend the growing season.

    Part of the calling of urban farming is to turn otherwise-unwanted land into productive space. This plot of land was vacant until Pandora bought it at auction. Now, with this plot plus one other and a small garden at her house, Pandora is farming just over half an acre.

    In 2020, Eden Urban Gardens grew about 1,575 pounds of produce. And that was before the high tunnel, which was just installed in December and will allow an extra 2,000 pounds every year.

    For context, 2,000 pounds is one ton.

    “Are we going to feed 20,000 people with our farm? No, but we’re not trying to,” Pandora said. “We are partners and part of the local food system.”

    The USDA estimates that worldwide, about 15% of food is grown in urban areas. USDA service centers across the country are hearing from people who are starting to grow their own food because of the pandemic, according to a spokesperson, but it's unclear how many of those new growers are in urban areas. In general, the spokesperson said, the percentage of urban-grown food is expected to increase as most of the world's population resides in cities.

    April Pandora connects irrigation hoses with her daughter, Petra, inside the high tunnel at Eden Urban Gardens.

    The benefits of urban farming, according to local farmers, include more nutrient-rich food, more money circulating in the local economy and more stability in the local food system. If there’s a disruption in the national or global supply chains – a threat that came up during the coronavirus pandemic – local farmers would still be able to provide food for local residents.

    The ideal solution is to have a balance of local, national and international food sources, said Michaela Oldfield, director of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council for Green Umbrella. Green Umbrella is a collaborative organization focused on sustainability in the Cincinnati region.

    With a mix of sources, there’s plenty of variety in what’s available, Oldfield said, and if there’s a problem with any one source of food, the region will still be well supplied by the other sources.

    ‘Standard suburban kid’

    Gorman, the Sharonville farmer, said he didn’t even have a garden as a child. He grew up in Springdale and was a “standard suburban kid.”

    Then in 2012, he switched to a plant-based diet, and he started to get more interested in where his food was coming from. He built one raised garden bed in his front yard, then he built a couple more. Fast forward to today, and Gorman’s entire yard is covered with garden beds. He bought a small strip of empty land next to his house, and he uses two small patches of space at a local farm just up the road in West Chester.

    Gorman’s home/farm is right across the street from Sharonville Elementary School, and he loves that young students see him out working. He loves when they stop and ask him questions and he gets to teach them a little bit about gardening.

    He builds his beds right up to the edge of his property and lets people pick tomatoes from the sidewalk.

    “My whole thing is to inspire people, whether it’s just to grow one tomato plant or to add a raised bed to their landscaping,” he said. “I just want people to get their hands dirty. If I can inspire one person a year, I’m happy.”

    Pandora started her farm in 2016 with a spade, a trowel, a hoe and a 20-year-old truck, she said. It’s hard work, physically exhausting, and for as many as there are who support her mission, she also runs into opposition. There are people who don’t like the way it looks to have a farm in the middle of a residential street, she said, or who think the food should be free, like a community garden, even though the farm is how Pandora supports her family.

    More than once, Pandora said, people have called the city to report her for farming her land, thinking she’s breaking the law.

    But those troubles pale in comparison to the satisfaction Pandora gets from farming her land and providing fresh food for her family and her Cincinnati neighbors.

    And little by little, especially lately, Eden Urban Gardens and other farms like it are growing and gaining support.

    Interested in starting your own garden or farm?

    Cincinnati's city code allows gardens – less than 20,000 square feet of land – in all zoning districts.

    Farms – 20,000 square feet or more of cultivated land – are also allowed with "conditional use approval" according to the code. That approval is designed to address any potential adverse effects a farm might have on the immediate neighborhood.

    Raising farm animals is subject to different rules governing the number of animals and their various shelters.

    It's important to note this code only applies to the city of Cincinnati. If you live elsewhere, check the zoning rules for your specific jurisdiction. Urban farmers also have to follow any state/federal laws.

    The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati can be a starting point for new gardeners, with classes and a horticultural library. More information is available online at civicgardencenter.org.

    About the farms:

    Eden Urban Gardens, LLC is a certified organic farm with small plots in Avondale, North Avondale and Pleasant Ridge. The farm grows and sells herbs, shoots, vegetables and fruits.

    Eden Urban Gardens sells at local farmers’ markets and also has a subscription service for regular produce deliveries in select Cincinnati neighborhoods. For more information, visit the farm’s Facebook page.

    Cincy Urban Farm is based in Sharonville. The farm specializes in fruits and vegetables and also has a subscription service. Cincy Urban Farm is not certified organic, but owner/farmer Andy Gorman said he only uses organic methods, with no GMOs, toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizer.

    For more information or to sign up for Cincy Urban Farm's subscription service, visit cincyurbanfarm.com.

    Lettuce Eat Well is a year-round farmers’ market in Cheviot on Cincinnati’s West Side. The market is currently on its winter schedule, which means it is open the first and third Friday of each month. Lettuce Eat Well is pre-order only, which means buyers put in their order ahead of time via email and pick it up the day of the market. For more information, visit lewfm.org.

    Our Harvest Cooperative has two farms, one in College Hill and the other in Morrow, Ohio. It’s a worker-owned cooperative whose mission is to give people access to healthy, local food grown by fairly compensated workers.

    Our Harvest Cooperative has a food subscription service, with pickup sites throughout the city plus one in Newport. For more information, visit ourharvest.coop.


  • February 04, 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Journal-News
    By: Mike Rutledge

    Hamilton should become an easier place for bicycling and walking along sidewalks because of two actions the city took last week, officials said.

    City Council incorporated the city’s new Active Transportation Plan into the city’s overall strategic plan for improvement, called Plan Hamilton.

    “It’s focused on pedestrian and bike improvements, and especially with the streets levy and the increase in doing road-paving projects, it will serve as a road map, every time we identify a stretch of road, we have this very thoughtful document that was put together with the help of a really talented consulting firm,” said city Planning Director Liz Hayden.

    City staff and officials can ask themselves, “As we fix this road, should we also add a bike lane?”

    The plan is also expected to help the city win grants from the state and elsewhere, Hayden said.

    It was only because the city was working on the active transportation plan that Hamilton was eligible for the $367,000-plus Safe Routes to School grant that provided sidewalks for students who walk to Linden Elementary School.

    The plan also will help Hamilton win additional grants for the Beltline biking and walking path that will work its way through the city’s West Side, for the Miami-to-Miami biking trail that will link the Great Miami and Little Miami rivers.

    “We’re really chugging along with the Beltline,” Hayden said. “I feel that will come together sooner rather than later.”

    Work has started on the first segment of the Beltline, with grants awarded for two other sections of it, including along the Great Miami’s western shoreline, past the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex to Main Street.

    Although the city already knew where significant sidewalk gaps were, such as along Main Street in the large retail area near the western edge of the city, “this formalizes the need to complete our sidewalk system,” Hayden said.

    “We’ve been lucky enough to have positive development momentum in that area along the Chipotle, and so we have this opportunity to put sidewalks in, in the short-term,” she said. “Pretty soon, the sidewalks on the other side of the street from Kroger will be almost complete.”

    Better bicycling possibilities

    In another move, the council last week authorized an application for a $187,290.00 grant from Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Clean Ohio Trail Fund to help build 1½ miles of the Miami to Miami bike trail that will link the Great Miami River and its bike paths with those along the Little Miami River.

    “This is a vision to connect the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Warren County around the Mason-Lebanon area to the Great Miami River Trail in Hamilton,” said Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails, a bicycle-trail advocacy organization that has worked with governments and other organizations in a 10-county area.

    The Miami to Miami Action Plan, finished in 2018, prioritized a route that followed part of the old Miami & Erie Canal corridor. Following that, Hamilton and MetroParks of Butler County received a federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments that will pay up to $510,064 of the estimated $744,176 cost.

    The ODNR grant would reduce Hamilton’s local-share payment from $423,112, to $46,822.

    The trail ends now near Gilmore MetroPark, “and Hamilton and MetroParks are working to extend that trail west through that park, and that’ll get it closer to the city of Hamilton,” Johnston said. “The goal is to eventually link that all the way up into downtown Hamilton and connect to the Great Miami River Trail. One mile at a time, through.”

    The segment for which Hamilton is seeking more money would link into an existing 3 miles of trail and would be “the first step toward completing the connection between the Little Miami trail and the Great Miami trail,” Hayden said.


  • January 26, 2021 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By: Ann Thompson

    With nine years to go, Cincinnati's 2030 District reports its participating companies have reduced energy usage by 21%, just ahead of where they should be, according to the group's director.

    The national organization and its local affiliates have a goal of reducing energy-, water- and transportation-related emissions by 50% by 2030.

    Cincinnati's 2030 Director Elizabeth Rojas says this is all voluntary since there isn't a benchmarking ordinance.

    She realizes the energy consumption part can be complicated and expensive. "If you've done all the low-hanging fruit, such as changing your LED lighting, making sure that things are insulated well and that you are really buttoned up in your building, then you move to more aggressive measures."

    That could take the form of building automation systems.

    Some partners are already taking an extra step, outside of the 2030 goals, by committing to go to net zero. Here are links to their individual news releases: Fifth Third Bank, Procter and Gamble, the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo, Northern Kentucky University, and Xavier University.

    There are smaller partners, and Rojas says Our Lady of Grace, Sleepy Bee Cafe, the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Mercantile were awarded grants to go green.

    The next step is getting water data and surveying the companies on how to reduce transportation for building occupants.

    Cincinnati 2030 is also collaborating with The Health Collaborative and the International WELL Building Institute to make sure the buildings are healthy for employees.


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