Green Umbrella in the News

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  • September 24, 2018 1:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU Cincinnati, Dan Hurley

    Greater Cincinnati not only has a vibrant and growing arts, cultural and entertainment scene, it's also an amazing place to discover life in the great outdoors. And the 15th annual Great Outdoor Weekend, September 29 and 30, is the perfect opportunity to explore all our region has to offer.

    One of the largest outdoor samplers in the U.S., Great Outdoor Weekend features more than 100 free family-friendly events at more than 40 locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.

    Joining Cincinnati Edition for a preview of this year's Great Outdoor Weekend are Director of Tri-State Trails with Green Umbrella Wade Johnston; and Co-Chairs of Green Umbrella's Outdoor Action Team Chris Clements, executive director of Imago and Owen Nyswonger, Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market coordinator for REI

    Tune in to Cincinnati Edition September 24 at 1 p.m. to hear this segment.


    JENNIFER MERRITT / WVXU

    One of the largest outdoor samplers in the country features more than 100 free events throughout Greater Cincinnati, including Eden Park, pictured here.

  • September 20, 2018 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The River City News

    A site in Campbell County is among five newly named "Greenspace Gems" by Green Umbrella.

    The regional environmental sustainability alliance made the announcement on Thursday as part of the 25th anniversary of Public Lands Day on Saturday. The day celebrates the connections between people and greenspace, and promotes environmental stewardship.

    St. Anne Woods and Wetlands in Melbourne was among the sites selected by a team of experts from Green Umbrella's Greenspace Action Team, which aims to highlight natural areas in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana.


    Photo:  Hiking at St. Anne Woods and Wetlands, provided

    Other sites include Oxbow in Dearborn County, Fernald Preserve and Sharon Woods Gorge in Hamilton County, and Gilmore MetroPark in Butler County.

    Each of the sites represents the ecological diversity of Green Umbrella’s 10-county region and tells a story of public action to protect natural resources. ”We hope this series will raise awareness of our greatest places and the strategies being used to protect them,” says Bob Temple, a founding member and current board member of Green Umbrella. “Expanding urbanization threatens our quality of life and the essential services that greenspaces provide. With public support and smart planning, we can keep our metro area sustainable, healthy and equitable.”

    Several of the Gems will host events during the 15th annual Great Outdoor Weekend September 29-30. The largest outdoor recreation sampler event in the region, the weekend offers nearly 100 free, family-friendly outdoor events in nine counties including at several Gem sites.

    “Great Outdoor Weekend offers everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to those curious about the great outdoors opportunities to explore natural spaces throughout our region,” says Green Umbrella Outdoor Action Team Co-Chair and Director of Imago, Chris Clements. “There’s no better time to explore the Gems and learn about ways to protect our greenspaces for generations to come.” Many of the Great Outdoor Weekend events are accessible by public transportation.

  • September 18, 2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

    If 10 percent of consumers in our region shifted 10 percent of their food budget to purchasing foods grown within 100 miles of Cincinnati, it would infuse an estimated $56 million into our region’s economy. That’s about $12 a week for most families. That means a small behavioral shift by a small portion of our population could add up to some big economic wins for our communities. 

    For many people, buying local means shopping for in-season produce at farmers markets, where fruits and veggies are fresher, grown with minimal pesticides, and usually at or below the cost of equivalent produce at the grocery. For residents who live car-free, neighborhood markets such as Northside Farmers Market and the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market may be the most accessible source of quality fruits and veggies. If consumers are eligible for food assistance, Produce Perks Midwest will give them up to an additional $10/week to spend at a market for every $10 they spend on fresh produce.

    Shopping local does not mean having to shop at farmers markets, though. Community Supported Agriculture shares provide a weekly bag of fresh produce and other local products, and Local Food Connect allows consumers to shop online for local products and pick them up at locations across the region.

    While individual consumer practices can add up, there are also opportunities to effect bigger systems change. 

    For instance, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) serves more than 8 million meals per year. Thanks to efforts by their school food service staff, a portion of that money is spent purchasing foods from local companies such as Our Harvest, Local Food Connect and KHI Foods. These businesses exclusively employ local workers and source products from local farmers. CPS’s efforts translate into increased jobs and wealth in our region.

    In an era dominated by national and global supply chains, purchasing locally is not always easy for big institutions like CPS. But with funding from the USDA Local Food Promotion Program, Green Umbrella is working to change that. Our Local Food Advocate is helping institutions understand how to increase their purchasing from local farmers, working to improve our regional aggregation and distribution systems, and helping local farmers undergo the food safety training needed to be able to sell to large companies.

    Another small thing consumers can do to create bigger systems change is to act as citizens of our democracy by letting our senators and representatives know that they want to see more healthy food options, reliable jobs and a stronger local economy supported in the 2018 Farm Bill. 

    The Farm Bill is an historically bi-partisan piece of legislation that is rewritten every four to six years to set numerous food and agriculture policies for our nation. The 2014 Farm Bill will expire at the end of September, and conference committee meetings are under way to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill. In the Senate’s version this year is the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), which would permanently allocate $60 million to supporting activities like those described above that help expand access to fresh nutritious food for consumers, increase the customer base for small and mid-size farmers, and provide an economic boost to struggling rural economies.

    If you care about these things, I encourage you to call, write or tweet your senators and representatives and tell them you support LAMP in the Farm Bill. 

    Michaela Oldfield is Director of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, which is a cross-sector coalition advocating for an equitable, healthy, sustainable food system for all residents of the ten county region.

    Michaela Oldfield


  • August 27, 2018 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Fox 19 News

    The Ohio Valley Local Food Connection is announcing a new collaboration with Great Parks of Hamilton County. Families will be able to pick up custom orders of fresh locally-grown food at Parky's Farm!

    This collaboration is in support of Green Umbrella's 10% Shift Pledge, challenging households to shift 10% of their purchases to local food.

    VIDEO LINK

    To order fresh local food, click here.

  • August 21, 2018 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO, Cincy Lifestyle

    Watch what you put in the curbside recycling bin! Those little triangles aren't always accurate. We talk to the experts at Green Umbrella to get recycling sorted out.

    VIDEO LINK


  • August 06, 2018 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: NKY Tribune

    Green Umbrella’s Local Food Action Team joins markets across the region in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 5-11.

    Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles had declared the week “Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week” and asks Kentuckians to celebrate all month long by visiting their local farmer’s market and posting photos to Instagram for a prize.

    The week will mark a revitalization of Green Umbrella’s 10% Shift: Eat Local Campaign, which encourages families and individuals to shift 10% of their food budget towards the purchasing of local foods produced within 100 miles of Cincinnati.
     
    Members of the Local Food Action Team, which develops strategies to increase production and consumption of local foods, will assist shoppers in taking the 10% Shift pledge at farmers’ markets throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. The campaign provides a simple way for consumers to make a big impact on the local economy and regional food system.

    Click to go to website

    For a family of four spending $200 a week on groceries, a ten percent shift in dollars would mean committing to spend $20 a week on locally grown foods. If 10% of the regional population shifts 10% of their food dollars to local food, $56 million would be infused into our local economy.

    According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches across the county.

    Locally, the team has focused their efforts on increasing access points for local food purchase, seeing local points of consumption grow from just 45 in 2010 to 189 in 2017. The number of farmers markets in the region has also seen tremendous growth, increasing by nearly two-thirds since 2010.
     
    “Every dollar spent at a tristate farmers’ market strengthens our regional economy while conserving natural resources,” says Liz Stites, general manager of Hyde Park Farmers’ Market. “The best-tasting food in the world comes from local farmers, and National Farmers Market Week is the perfect time to commit to a 10 percent shift. Area markets are brimming with fresh, seasonal produce. It’s all about pampering your taste buds, supporting your neighbors and caring for Mother Earth.”

    Those interested in learning more about the 10% Shift Campaign can visit the website. To find a farmers’market, visit the 2018 CORV Local Food Guide (click image below).

    Click to see the whole guide


  • July 27, 2018 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, Briana Rice

    For the second year in a row, Greater Cincinnati has been ranked the most sustainable metro area in the nation by Site Selection Magazine.

    The 2018 ranking was based on corporate practices, as well as their contribution to people, communities and the planet.

    Green Umbrella, Cincinnati's region sustainability alliance, has begun work to help keep this top ranking by leading the creation of a 2030 district within the city.

    What are 2030 Districts?

    There are 20 active 2030 Districts across the US with the goal to create a model for urban sustainability by getting property owners within the district to reduce their building's energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.

    “These shared goals (energy, water, transportation and health) will help attract and retain top talent, advance us toward achieving shared goals and help each member save money in the process,” said Chad Edwards, founding member of the 2030 Working Group and architect at emersion DESIGN.

    While the immediate plans are for the Downtown business district, in the future, 2030 Districts are plotted for Clifton/Corryville, Covington, Newport and Bellevue.

    How much will this cost?

    Green Umbrella is initiating this movement completely separate from local government.

    Currently, the organization is seeking sponsors and outside funding, but once the program is implemented, the involved businesses will pay an annual membership fee to the bill.

    What will it take for Cincinnati to get a 2030 District?

    "The planning process started seven months ago with interested folks to discuss if this would work in Cincinnati, if it would have an impact. We were promoted to Prospective 2030 District status in June now we're in the mode of official recruitment status," said Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Executive Director of Green Umbrella.

    In order to establish an official and national recognized 2030 District, 10 property owners, or 10 million square feet of commercial space or 10 percent of the total commercial square footage within property boundaries must commit to being a part of the district.

    "Just as a point of reference, there is over 12 million square feet of lease-able commercial space in just the 25 largest commercial properties downtown," Mooney-Bullock said.

    Green Umbrella hopes to have a nationally recognized 2030 District by the end of 2018.


  • July 25, 2018 8:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The River City News, Staff Report

    For the second year in a row, the Cincinnati metro area is ranked as the most sustainable metro area in the nation by Site Selection magazine.
     
    The magazine examined corporate sustainability practices, characteristics of the commercial building stock, and community efforts that positively affect the environment and residents, a news release said.
     
    Green Umbrella, a locally-based sustainability alliance, said in a news release that it wants to see Cincinnati maintain the top rating for years to come. The organization is leading the development of the Cincinnati 2030 District.
     
    2030 Districts  - a national model for urban sustainability - are made up of property owners who make a collective commitment to reduce their building’s energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.
     
    The Cincinnati 2030 District will be a high-performance building district in downtown Cincinnati that aims to dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations through education and collaboration across every sector of the built environment. The City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan ranks the creation of a 2030 District as one of the largest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city’s built environment.
     “The Cincinnati metro region is taking its national leadership role very seriously by creating a fourth category of 2030 goals centered on health and wellness in the built environment. Once created, we encourage all the remaining twenty 2030 Districts to include their own region-specific health related goal,” said Chad Edwards, founding member of the 2030 Working Group and architect at emersion DESIGN. “These shared goals of energy, water, transportation and health will help attract and retain top talent, advance us toward achieving shared goals and help each member save money in the process. It is a triple bottom line - people, planet, profit - win.”
     
    There are 20 active 2030 Districts in the US, with Cincinnati seeking to become the 21st. The next step in forming the Cincinnati 2030 District is getting commitments from founding members who are ready to use their property to advance bold sustainability goals.
     
    “The Cincinnati 2030 District is an opportunity for the region’s corporations to translate their impressive social responsibility initiatives into the way they design and use their buildings,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, executive director of Green Umbrella. “By working collectively, we continue to build the case that Cincinnati is a place where talented professionals want to work and innovative companies want to locate.”  
     
    Filmmakers from Newsy are documenting the process of getting the Cincinnati 2030 District off the ground. You can view the trailer online.
     
    -Staff report

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  • June 20, 2018 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: NKY Tribune

    Is the Greater Cincinnati region prepared to respond to a changing climate? How are other cities making sure they are resilient in the face of extreme weather events? At the 4th annual Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, 350 attendees explored how local municipalities, businesses and peer regions are adapting to climate change and other environmental challenges.

    Participants discussed how to work towards shared goals by advancing regional agendas like Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s The Connected Region, the City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan and Green Umbrella’s 2020 Goals. Nine breakout sessions dove into topics such as extreme weather preparedness, green jobs, reducing food waste, local food systems, and sustainable business practices.

    To underscore the theme of resilience, the keynote speaker was Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Hayhoe’s current focus is on modeling regional to local impacts of climate change, and how we can fix this together using many of the solutions already in our backyards.

    She shared best practices on communicating around complicated and polarizing issues like climate change.

    “Climate change is not simply an environmental issue. Climate change is a threat multiplier,” said Hayhoe.

    “It’s an economics issue, a jobs issue, a health issue. The reality is that it’s a human issue. And the last time I checked, we’re all humans.”

    Chief Resilience Officers from Pittsburgh and Louisville joined Dr. Hayhoe for a plenary panel to discuss how the cities and businesses in our region can best adapt to climate change. These cities are part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, which helps urban municipalities prepare for a variety of shocks and stresses.

    One breakout session, “A Sustainability District in Downtown Cincinnati,” announced the launch of a 2030 District, which will set targets for reduced environmental impacts from downtown buildings in energy, transportation and water. The team debuted a trailer for a documentary that is chronicling the collaborative process to develop the Cincinnati 2030 District.

    “The Summit is about bringing the region’s sustainability advocates together to share best practices, celebrate accomplishments and identify areas for future collaboration,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Executive Director of Green Umbrella.

    The event also featured a lunchtime awards ceremony honoring leaders in regional sustainability. Winners were:
    • 2018 Largest Solar Power Installation: Duke Energy Kentucky
    • 2018 Top Transit-Friendly Destination: Nielsen
    • 2018 Local Food Purchasing Hero – Education: Dayton Independent School District
    • 2018 Local Food Purchasing Hero – Business: Spectra at the Duke Energy Convention Center
    • 2018 Sustainability Advocate of the Year: Carla Walker – think BIG strategies, llc

    The Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit was presented by Green Umbrella in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University.


  • June 13, 2018 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati, Emily Dillingham

    Green Umbrella, the City of Cincinnati, and Xavier University have partnered to host the fourth Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit on June 15 at the Schiff Conference Center on Xavier’s campus.

    The summit brings together members from all sides of the environmental and sustainability community in Greater Cincinnati and all over the Midwest. The day will feature speakers, a discussion panel, and breakout sessions.

    Katharine Hayhoe, Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit keynote speaker

    Keynote speaker, Katharine Hayhoe, director of climate science center at Texas Tech University is well respected in her field. She will discuss environmental issues, sustainability, and resilience; consider how other regions are adapting to climate change, and address some misconceptions on climate change and global warming.

    Resilience officers from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Program will also speak.

    Breakout sessions give the opportunity to discuss issues and “Some breakout sessions are seen as opportunities for discussion and planning,” explains Ryan Mooney-Bullock, communications and program manager of Green Umbrella.

    Breakout sessions topics include extreme weather preparedness—a relevant topic as Cincinnati and the Midwest continues to experience extreme weather events such as major flooding and storms, and intense summer temperatures; the Green Cincinnati Plan which was recently officially adopted by the City; and growing sustainable jobs and infrastructures in a green world, which will include current jobs and potential jobs; and one focused on creating a sustainable business.

    When asked how the summit came about, Mooney-Bullock replies, it’s “Driven through Cincinnati based organizations.”

    The need to adapt and become more resilient to a changing climate in Cincinnati grows more urgent and gains attention.

    While most attendees will be Cincinnatians, environmental and sustainability experts from all over the Midwest will be in attendance. It’s “Relevant to a greater region” says Mooney-Bullock.

    “The only complaint we’ve had is about the number of breakout sessions,” attendees want to visit them all.

    The summit will bring together diverse backgrounds including environmental and sustainability professionals, students, sustainable directors from large businesses as well as small business owners, and individuals active in the environmental community.

    Last year, the summit sold out with around 450 attendees. This year, they are expecting 350-400 attendees; tickets will be available online until June 12 and on the day of the summit, if still available.

    For more information and the full program, visit the website.

    “All levels are welcome,” says Mooney-Bullock, “You don’t have to be a sustainability expert to attend.”

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