Green Umbrella in the News

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  • April 07, 2021 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Local 12
    By: WKRC

    You can head down on the farm in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.

    Crews are building greenhouses on a two-acre plot of land in Camp Washington. The group "Common Orchard Project" is behind this.

    The plot of land will also include an orchard with fruit trees. The aim is to grow fresh food in communities that don't have stores, which are known as food deserts. Food deserts are linked to obesity and poor health.

    Organizers are also planting orchards in other city neighborhoods.

    Watch the video at https://local12.com/news/local/project-to-bring-fresh-produce-to-food-deserts-cincinnati


  • April 01, 2021 10:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Movers & Makers
    By: Grace Hill

    Winding through public parks, orchards, art walks and iconic landmarks, Cincinnati’s first urban trail loop looks to connect the city through a sustainable and equitable lens.

    As envisioned, The CROWN – Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network – will connect 356,000 residents in 54 communities to a 34mile trail.

    The CROWN is Greater Cincinnati’s first comprehensive trail plan, merging its several partners’ existing and planned trails into a cohesive vision and a shared mission: to provide a means of discovery, connection and wellness to all of Cincinnati.

    Wade Johnston, the director and only employee of Tri-State Trails, has established a coalition of advocates and stakeholders to advance work on the CROWN and has become an essential resource to local governments and nonprofit groups, helping them to “articulate a vision” for the trail, pursue funding, and promote its various sections when built. Tri-State Trails is an initiative of Green Umbrella, a collective impact organization whose goal is to convene partners across sectors to create a “resilient” and “sustainable” region.

    Todd Palmeter, the CEO of Great Parks of Hamilton County, said Cincinnati’s residents have always prioritized trail development, but the events of 2020 put their importance in greater perspective.

    “COVID taught us – even more so – how important trails were in people’s lives, not just for their physical well-being but their mental wellbeing,” Palmeter said.

    Today, in collaboration with TriState Trails, Great Parks is leading an effort to connect the Little Miami Scenic Trail to the existing CROWN loop with the half-mile Beechmont Bridge Connector. The connector is a complex section of trail that will tunnel under the Beechmont Avenue bridge and extend over the Little Miami River, through a “safe, shareduse trail” that is physically separated from the bridge’s traffic and will meet the Armleder Park and Lunken trails on the other side. Construction began in March and is scheduled for completion in 2022.

    But Great Parks’ connection with the CROWN doesn’t end there. Last year, Great Parks built the first leg of a connection stretching west from 50 West Brewing Company toward Mariemont. This year, Mariemont will pick up that project, extending the Murray Path about half a mile.

    All around the city, mile by mile, gaps are closing in the CROWN map.

    And according to Johnston, the CROWN has seen steady progress since 2019, when Tri-State Trails formed a partnership with the Ohio Riverway and Wasson Way nonprofit groups. Previously, Johnston said, the two groups competed for the same resources, but now, united by CROWN, the entities can work together to achieve funding.

    In 2020, Tri-State Trails applied for another federal grant through OKI and secured $3.76 million to complete that western connection and link Wasson Way to Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road in Avondale, where UC’s Uptown Innovation Corridor will create a development supporting its medical, research and innovation industries.

    The city has also planned and secured funding to extend Central Parkway’s protected bike lanes in what the CROWN refers to as the Canal Bikeway, which will follow the path of the former Miami and Erie Canal from Marshall Avenue to Ludlow Avenue. This progress will likely be seen by 2023.

    In terms of scope, Johnston said these connections would be a “game changer” for the CROWN. As the second largest employment hub in Cincinnati, he said the area around UC would greatly benefit from a safe pathway for bike commuters. And as a community partner of the CROWN project, UC recognizes that benefit.

    “We strive to provide a diversity of different transportation alternatives so that when folks are coming to UC, they have options besides just using a single occupancy car,” said Daniel Hart, UC’s sustainability coordinator.

    And while Johnston does see the trail as a means of recreation and exploration, the CROWN also works to promote transportation equity in an effort to counter “a car-centric culture.”

    “Frankly, it can be difficult to navigate the city if you don’t have access to a car,” Johnston said. So a goal remains to expand the trails into communities that could truly benefit from a safe and accessible mode of transportation.

    “Right now, where many of the trails are located are in our white, affluent communities,” Johnston said. If expanded to our more diverse neighborhoods, the CROWN could provide a means for residents to more easily access groceries or jobs.

    In the case of Avondale, which is classified as a food desert, Johnston said the trail could connect the community to the fresh and healthy food it deserves.

    Though he admits the trail won’t remedy underlying issues, Johnston believes it will help to better connect residents to resources and opportunities outside of their communities.

    And according to Johnston, it’s also a way to repair communities that have been historically devastated by the city’s transportation policies. Johnston refers to the over 25,000 people who lost their homes to the construction of I-75 in the West End, 97 percent of whom were non-white.

    “Through this project, we are trying to undo some of the really terrible negative impacts that the highways had on our city and specifically on the Black community,” Johnston said.

    Johnston believes connecting the CROWN to those communities is an important first step – but one that must be taken with intention and care.

    “There is definitely concern from the Black community in some of these neighborhoods that the trail is going to create gentrification or displacement. So we’re trying to be a step out in front of that in working with these communities and the city to try to really create affordable housing opportunities,” Johnston said. “It’s something we’re really diving into this year with a partnership with the Urban Land Institute in Cincinnati.”

    www.crowncincinnati.org


  • April 01, 2021 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By: Michael Monks

    At least 18 Greater Cincinnati pedestrians and cyclists were struck and killed by cars in 2020, a toll advocates say is indicative of the need for better safety infrastructure for walkers and bikers.

    Bicycle and pedestrian safety advocates will gather on the Newport Southbank Bridge April 7 to hold a day of remembrance for those lost, and to push for better safety measures to prevent future tragedies. Among those will be a dashboard that will show vital information about pedestrian and cyclist safety.

    Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about the day of remembrance and bicycle and pedestrian safety in general are Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston; Vision Zero NKY's Jody Robinson; and Shawna Rodriguez, whose daughter Gabby Rodriguez was hit and killed by cars in Westwood in 2018.

    Listen at https://www.wvxu.org/post/greater-cincinnati-groups-remember-cyclists-and-pedestrians-lost-2020#stream/0

  • March 31, 2021 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: CityBeat
    By: CityBeat staff

    Wasson Way is the area’s most recent railroad-turned-bike-trail. “Right now there’s about 1.5 miles between Madison Road and Montgomery Road,” Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston told CityBeat this past summer. “Tri-State Trails helped secure $6 million last year to extend the trail west to Avondale and east through Ault Park to the Murray Trail. Through our #CROWNcincinnati project, we are working to connect this to the Ohio River Trail and Mill Creek Greenway to create a 34-mile trail loop around the city.” The trail will begin construction on the Red Bank Road leg soon. And Great Parks just broke ground on the Beechmont Bridge Connector. The project will allow users to safely travel from the Little Miami Scenic Trail to the Ohio River Trail for the first time. The new connector will link the existing Little Miami Scenic Trail terminus near State Route 32 and Beechmont with the Otto Armleder Memorial Park to Lunken Trail and the future Elstun Road Connector. greenumbrella.org; wassonway.org.

  • March 27, 2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU
    By: Nick Swartsell

    Getting around uptown just got a little safer and easier for cyclists. City officials, neighborhood groups, and cycling advocates cut the ribbon Saturday on a one-mile stretch of bike lane along Clifton Ave. between the University of Cincinnati and Clifton's business district at Ludlow Ave.

    Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston says it's a big deal.

    "This is just the second protected bike lane in Cincinnati," Johnston says. "I interact with a lot of people who enjoy bikes and the feedback I hear overwhelmingly, from the avid cyclist and beginners alike, is that most people don't feel safe riding next to cars ... this is about making bicycling accessible for people of all ages and ability levels."

    The protected lane has both a northbound and southbound side, as well as protective cement parking curbs and plastic bollards to separate cyclists from traffic. Cars will be able to park outside the lane, providing added protection for cyclists.

    "Once we found out this was a safe way to ride bikes and connect these neighborhoods, city council unanimously approved it," and the mayor embraced it, City Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney said at the ribbon cutting. Kearney helped move the proposal through city hall.

    The area's community councils worked with City Hall to get the bike lane installed in a minimum amount of time. The Devou Good Foundation, which advocates for safer cycling and walking in Greater Cincinnati, funded the lane's $50,000 cost.

    "What this represents is a paradigm shift in how we think about bike infrastructure," Clifton Town Meeting Trustee Mark Jefferys said. "The old way we would do bike infrastructure, we would study it and take a couple years to implement it. This, idea to execution, took six months. Here, we're going to pilot it and welcome feedback so we can optimize the design before we build it permanently."

    For now, the bike lane is just a pilot program that will end August 1. Pending community feedback, the city manager has included $2 million the city's proposed budget to establish it permanently, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said at the ribbon cutting today.

    "This has been a long-term goal of Clifton and CUF to connect this two-way bike track that I think will be hugely popular," Cranley said, noting the lane could eventually connect with nearby bike paths like Wasson Way. "If this neighborhood still likes this idea, in a couple weeks they should tell city council to keep it in the budget."

  • 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.


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