Green Umbrella in the News

  • October 22, 2020 12:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: NKY Thrives

    By: David Holthaus

    Gunpowder Creek in Boone County.

    Two Northern Kentucky sites have been named “Greenspace Gems” by a regional environmental group.

    Green Umbrella has recognized Gunpowder Creek Nature Park in Boone County and Battery Bates Woodland in Kenton County with the honor, which spotlights the region’s protected landscapes.

    Three Ohio sites were also recognized: Buttercup Valley Preserve in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood; Riverside Natural Area in Butler County; and Kelley Nature Preserve in Clermont County.

    Launched in 2018, the Greenspace Gems program has recognized 30 local properties for their scenic value, biodiversity, scientific importance, or historic interest. The sites are selected by a team of volunteer conservation experts to showcase the region’s variety of natural sites.

    Green Umbrella says the program aims to tell the stories of these places to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations leading this work.

    “Greater Cincinnati has a wealth of diverse natural environments,” says Green Umbrella executive director, Ryan Mooney-Bullock. “Residents and visitors have access to grassy knolls, forested wetlands, and breathtaking riversides all within a relatively short distance from our city center. We’re excited to share the stories behind these beautiful spaces.”

    Boone County’s Gunpowder Park encompasses 122 wooded acres. It features an unpaved, upgraded 1800’s logging trail that travels from an elevation of 830 feet to 620 feet and ends near Gunpowder Creek at a stone seating area. The park also has a stand of mature oaks on the northern hillside that is considered one of the best remaining undisturbed areas of woodland in the region.

    The Battery Bates site in Devou Park is considered the best preserved of Northern Kentucky’s two dozen or so Civil War fortification sites. Many have since been destroyed by development. The Battery Bates earthwork built by Union soldiers during the war is clearly visible and still stands up to four feet tall in places. Rifle trenches are still visible as is a section of a military road.

    Green Umbrella has also launched an interactive story map featuring pictures of each Greenspace Gem and facts about them.

  • October 20, 2020 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati

    As a 2030 district, the city is committed to creating greener businesses.

    A new six-part documentary, “Modern Metropolis,” tells the story of how Cincinnati formed its own sustainability district, designed to make healthier buildings and communities. Part three focuses on the Latin phrase inscribed on the city’s official insignia: “juncta juvant,” or “strength in unity.”

    The focus is on Cincinnati’s work to become more sustainable, which started in 2008 as the Green Cincinnati Plan and was updated in 2018, the same year that Cincinnati became a 2030 district. It lays out two main ambitions: an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and for Cincinnati to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2035. Guided by local businesses, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and government leaders, the plan was built on three central pillars: sustainability, equity, and resilience.

  • October 14, 2020 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Press Release                     

    For Immediate Release                                                             

    Rashida Manuel, Director of Public Engagement, Green Umbrella

    Five regional greenspaces are now Greenspace Gems thanks to recognition by Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati’s regional sustainability alliance. Scattered across the tri-state area, the gems make up the sixth round of the Greenspace Gems program, which highlights Greater Cincinnati’s abundance of quality protected  landscape.

    The sites named in the current round of Greenspace Gems are: 

    ·       Buttercup Valley Preserve, Hamilton County, OH

    ·       Gunpowder Creek Nature Park, Boone County, KY

    ·       Riverside Natural Area, Butler County, OH

    ·       Batter Bates Woodland, Kenton County, KY

    ·       Kelley Nature Preserve, Clermont County, OH

    “Greater Cincinnati has a wealth of diverse natural environments,” said Green Umbrella executive director, Ryan Mooney-Bullock, “Residents and visitors have access to grassy knolls, forested wetlands and breathtaking riversides all within a relatively short distance from our city center. We’re excited to share the stories behind these beautiful spaces. We encourage our community to get outside and explore some Greenspace Gems this fall and winter, as a safe and fun way to connect with friends and family.”

    Launched in 2018, Greenspace Gems has recognized thirty local properties for their outstanding scenic value, biodiversity, scientific importance or historic interest. Gems are selected by a team of volunteer conservation experts to showcase the region’s variety of unique natural sites. The program strives to tell the stories of these protected places to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region. 

    To aid in storytelling, Green Umbrella is excited to launch a new interactive story map featuring pictures of each designated Greenspace Gem and important facts that make them each truly unique. Visit www.greenumbrella.org/greenspace-gems to learn more about the program, explore the story map and find your next adventure. 

    ###

    Celebrating over 20 years as Greater Cincinnati’s hub for environmental sustainability. Act locally with Green Umbrella and make a difference. Learn more or become a member at www.greenumbrella.org.



  • October 07, 2020 7:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

    By: Jeanne Houck

    Community leaders recently celebrated the opening of a new half-mile stretch of the Columbia Connector multi-use trail, which links Columbia Township to the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

    “It’s amazing to see it finally open and it couldn’t have come at a better time when everybody is looking for outdoor activities,” David Kubicki, president of the Columbia Township Board of Trustees, said in an email to The Enquirer.

    “Columbia Township worked closely with (Great Parks of Hamilton County) and made a significant financial commitment to the Connector. This will improve the quality of life for our residents and also help the businesses nearby. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

    The newly opened stretch of the Columbia Connector runs west from the Little Miami Scenic Trail at the northern end of the Newtown Road bridge.

    It continues behind the 50 West Brewing Co., May We Help and Carriage House Car Wash, all on Wooster Pike, to Walton Creek Road.

    Great Parks of Hamilton County said in a press release that it is planning the next phase of the Connector, which is to cross Walton Creek Road and eventually turn north toward an intersection with Wooster Pike.

    After that, the release said, Great Parks will coordinate with the Ohio Department of Transportation to extend the Connector further west to the Mariemont branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library.

    The eastern end of the Columbia Connector reaches the Little Miami Scenic Trail near trail access points at Avoca Park and trailhead on Wooster Pike and at the Bass Island Park and trailhead and the Little Miami Golf Center, both on Newtown Road.

    Columbia Connector part of CROWN network

     The Connector is also part of CROWN (Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network) a planned 34-mile urban trail loop around Cincinnati.

    When it is complete, CROWN will connect the Columbia Connector to the Murray Path and Wasson Way, as well as the Ohio River Trail from Lunken Airport to Downtown Cincinnati.

    “Great Parks is committed to leading in the development of our regional trails as we see…with the opening of the first phase of the Columbia Connector,” Great Parks CEO Todd Palmeter said in the Great Parks press release.

    “This extension will further expand the CROWN network, which connects the Little Miami Scenic Trail and communities such as the village of Mariemont. The trail also allows easier access to all that Fifty West Brewing has to offer along Wooster Pike.

    “It is dedicated partnerships with Tri-State Trails, Columbia Township, Ohio Department of Transportation, among others, that make great community projects such as this possible,” Palmeter said.

    Marcus Thompson, president of Great Parks’ Board of Commissioners, said in the release that providing trails for the public is important.

    “Since 2019, trail usage has increased 68 percent,” Thompson said.

    “That’s almost half a million extra visitors since 2019. That shows the importance of trails like this and trails throughout the rest of Great Parks.”

  • October 06, 2020 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Sustainable Brands

    By: Andy Brownell and Joey Maiocco

    A systems mindset illustrates how we're better together, how we're all connected, how a rising tide lifts all boats. That shift in thinking became evident as we documented the City of Cincinnati’s work to transform itself into a sustainable, "Modern Metropolis."

    Over the course of 18 months, the Brand Studio from Newsy documented the formation of a 2030 District in Cincinnati, Ohio. We interviewed industry professionals, particle physicists, authors and architects. We also closely followed a number of sustainability experts and non-profit organizations from our own community, who were on the ground rallying behind the same big goal: Form a 2030 District in Cincinnati; and in doing so, make it a healthier place to live, work and play.

    This story is not just about Cincinnati, however — it's about how science, technology, storytelling and unlikely partnerships can help drive meaningful change. Understanding those connections and how they work together is critical. It's obvious to see that we live in a stakeholder-driven world and reimagining the future is no small task. Buy-in from the public and private sector is not only important, it's really the only way to get everyone on board. That's how one organization, at least, has been able to turn those visions into reality. 

    The 2030 District Model: Healthy buildings = healthy cities

    By the year 2030, 8.5 billion people will call Earth home, with more than two-thirds living in cities. This growth represents a fundamental shift in how we must design, plan, build and govern our urban areas. Because the fact remains, cities account for up to 70 percent of GHG emissions worldwide

    2030 Districts are a collection of building owners and property managers, normally in a city's downtown core. Members commit to reducing their building's energy, water, and transportation-related GHG emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030; as well as sharing their data with the District, which is normally its own non-profit or part of a larger one. There are currently 22 of these "sustainability districts" across the US and Canada

    In Cincinnati, what started with a few conversations overtime spawned into a fully funded 501c3 — with member buildings including 3 Fortune 500 companies, the City, 2 major universities, and a myriad of other local organizations. In total, 34 member organizations have committed 357 buildings and close to 26 million sq. ft, all geared towards the goals of the District. These reduction goals are met through a combination of education, awareness and helping connect the dots across multiple different sectors of industry. 

    Across the 22 Districts here in the US and Canada, dozens of Fortune 500 companies are active members committed to the collective goals — some are even members of Sustainable Brands™. According to their latest data, from 2018: Districts showed an aggregate reduction of 24 percent in energy, 17 percent in water and 25 percent in transportation-related GHG emissions. 

    Nudges, behavior change and systems thinking 

    At the most fundamental level, collective efforts such as these require a shift in how organizations think about addressing some of our biggest problems. Knowing where to start can be daunting, though. Fortunately, early on, we learned about an emerging field of science called the science of cities. It presents a new way of framing cause and effect, in addition to the growth and decline of nearly everything — from our biggest cities to the natural world. Most importantly, it lays the foundation for a systems-based approach to viewing the world.

    Systems thinking relies on a non-linear way of addressing the "big" geo-political questions of the 21st century — such as climate change, poverty, global economics; or any other large, interconnected system binding us to each other and the planet. This way of thinking also comes in handy when confronted with the limitations of our own minds. A systems-based mindset can help counteract our cognitive evolutionary handicap associated with long-term planning, and can make us better collaborators in the process. 

    From recognizing our shifting baselines to how we respond to threats — confronting each will require fundamental behavior change. It also requires a new story about human potential, adaptation and the collective buy-in needed if we are to change our current trajectory. There's a true strength in unity when we adopt a systems mindset. It can illustrate how we're better together, how we're all connected, how a rising tide lifts all boats — an old idea, with a new twist. That shift in thinking became evident as we documented our own City of Cincinnati’s work to transform itself into a "Modern Metropolis."

    Part 1: The Science of Cities

    What makes up a city? Is it the roads, the buildings, its people? Or is it an interconnected system, just like any other living organism? In this first installment of “Modern Metropolis,” we learn about an emerging field of science that seeks to understand how we are all interconnected. 

    Part 2: The 2030 Districts

    Watch as the Cincinnati 2030 District starts to get off the ground. And learn why this national model for urban sustainability has caught on from one of its early pioneers, the Cleveland 2030 District.

    Part 3: Strength in Unity

    The City of Cincinnati was one of the first 10 founding members of the Cincinnati 2030 District. Learn how the city is working to make its 150-year-old City Hall more "green," and get a tour of the world's first "net-zero" police station. 

    Stay tuned for future episodes in the “Modern Metropolis” documentary series.

    Documentary credits:

    Joey Maiocco - Exec. Producer, Editing & Visual Effects

    Andy Brownell - Writer, Producer

    Matt Boylson - Graphic Designer

    Borne Content - Visual Effects

    Sarah Hume - Copy Editor

    Martin Moran - Copy Editor

    Kristin Forte - Voice Over

  • October 04, 2020 1:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

    By: Julia Fair

    This is an installment of reporter Julia Fair's series "By the way, NKY." Here, you'll find what's going on in Northern Kentucky.  

    The leaves are changing, people are adding pumpkin flavors to recipes and you probably swapped out your t-shirts for cozy sweaters. 

    As the season changed, a ton of things are happening in Northern Kentucky. The city of Covington is working to expand internet access to its residents and organizations are promoting voter participation.   

    In this series, By the way, NKY – we focus on some of the good news happening in the region and to fill you in on what's going on in your neighborhoods. 

    If there's something you think should be included, email reporter Julia Fair at jfair@enquirer.com

    By the way, here's what's going on in Northern Kentucky:

    Wifi hotspot hosts needed in Covington 

    The city of Covington is on a mission to place 116 WiFi hotspots throughout the city to give internet access to school kids. 

    The $2.5 million project, called Covington Connect, aims to "smash the digital divide," in the city, according to a press release from the city. The Covington Connect initiative will expand internet access by installing Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city and giving out free computers to families. The city said it will fund the initiative with up to $1.25 million in CARES Act funding. 

    The city partnered with property owners to install a volleyball-sized device on the outside of their house to create a WiFi hotspot in that area. 

    Now, anyone can volunteer their home or business to host the device.

    If you're interested, email Pete Bales, a consultant hired to coordinate the Covington Connect initiative, at petebales@icloud.com. He can also answer questions.

    Bike or walk with local candidates on the Purple People Bridge 

    Running a political campaign is already stressful. Adding a global pandemic to the mix made it even more difficult for local candidates in Northern Kentucky to connect with neighborhoods. 

    On Oct. 17, candidates vying for positions for a spot on a city council or a mayoral title will get the chance to walk and talk with constituents along the Purple People Bridge. Tri-State Trails will host the event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to a Facebook event.

    Lance Montanez and his daughter, Willow, 4, of Fort Mitchell, walk across the Purple People Bridge from Newport, Ky., to Cincinnati on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

    Tri-State Trails asked participants to support its Active Transportation Policy Platform which can be found on its website. 

    The Facebook event did not include which candidates agreed to attend. 

    Voter turnout effort got a boost with a grant

    In 2019, The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce launched an initiative to increase voter turnout. 

    That effort got a boost with a $10,000 grant from the Murray and Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation, according to a press release from the chamber. 

    The Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky will manage the funds for the chamber to improve voter turnout. It plans to do that by engaging with infrequent voters and people without internet access.

    Since 2011, voter registration in Northern Kentucky increased by 25 percent. During the 2019 gubernatorial election, voter turnout increased by double digits compared to the 2015 gubernatorial election.  

    COVID-19 Resources for NKY residents 

    Need a COVID-19 test? Here are some helpful links to resources in Northern Kentucky. 

    That's it for this installment of By the way, NKY. Let us know if there's something you think we should include in the next. In the meantime, here are some other ways to keep up with your community:

    • Keep an eye on your local government with us and subscribe to the free daily newsletter that gets sent directly to your inbox every morning. 
    • Download the NKY news app and sign up for alerts to be the first to know about news in your neighborhood

    Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter through the Report For America program. Anonymous donors pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with The Enquirer. If you want to support Julia's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at this website or email her editor Carl Weiser at cweiser@cincinna.gannett.com to find out how you can help fund her work. 


  • October 04, 2020 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The River City News

    The Devou Good Foundation of Northern Kentucky announced a donation of one thousand bike racks and five repair stations to the City of Cincinnati.

    "Until now, cyclists have gotten used to locking their bikes up to whatever they can find,” said Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails, an alliance of community advocates pushing to expand three region’s trails bike networks. “Thanks to the Devou Good Foundation, our region is setting a new standard that you can expect to find secure bike parking at your destination in the urban core."

    The donation will allow for the placement of bicycle racks near local businesses and activity centers, much like Devou Good's previous donation of six hundred bike racks in Covington and Newport.

    "In these times of COVID-19, we're seeing a growing desire from people here in Cincinnati to be outside and riding bikes,” said Derek Bauman, founder of Vision Zero, a strategy adopted by Cincinnati to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. “This generous donation from the Devou Good Foundation will go a long way toward supporting bike infrastructure in our city and helping provide easier access to a safe and healthy alternative to car trips."

    Devou Good has also installed a bike repair station at the Kenton County Public Library's Covington branch and another at the foot of the Purple People Bridge in Newport.

    The public is encouraged to submit requests for a bike rack in their neighborhood through local community councils and by completing a brief survey here.


  • October 02, 2020 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Northern Kentucky Tribune

    October is National Farm to School Month, an annual campaign that celebrates the connections happening across the country between kids, families and their community food systems. This year’s theme is “It Takes A Community to Feed A Community.”

    Green Umbrella’s Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council (GCRFPC) is celebrating by announcing the launch of Feed Our Future, a Farm to School community health program in our region. Campbell County School District will be part of the initial program.

    The program’s mission is to inspire young minds to make healthy choices about what they eat. Initially created by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in 2016, Feed Our Future connects schools, homes and communities by providing practical information about sourcing and eating local foods that nourish young students.

    “Over the last year, we have been working with four school districts and numerous community partners to understand what the highest needs are to accelerate the health, education and economic benefits of Farm to School,” said GCRFPC Director, Michaela Oldfield. “The comprehensive Feed our Future program simultaneously addresses many of their needs, and we are excited and grateful for this opportunity to partner with Cuyahoga County to replicate their successes in our region.”

    Thanks to federal funding from the USDA, the Feed Our Future program pilot will initially be available to Green Umbrella’s Farm to School partners including the Campbell County School District, Cincinnati Public Schools, Mount Healthy City School District and West Clermont Local School District and to members of the Unified Purchasing Cooperative of the Ohio River Valley.

    Take the Feed Our Future Pledge and learn more here.

  • October 01, 2020 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Press Release                                                                                                 

    For Immediate Release  

    For more information contact:

    Anne Schneider

    Local Food Consultant, Green Umbrella

    Anne@greenumbrella.org

    October is National Farm to School Month

    Cincinnati -- October is National Farm to School Month, an annual campaign that celebrates the connections happening across the country between kids, families and their community food systems. This year’s theme is “It Takes A Community to Feed A Community”. To celebrate, on Thursday, October 8 at noon, Green Umbrella, along with farm to school partner organizations in Ohio and Indiana, will bite into local apples for the 2020 Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. Schools and co-curricular organizations are invited to join in and can download supplemental crunch guides to help find local apples and plan coordinating activities. Registration is available at: https://www.cias.wisc.edu/applecrunch/.

    The simple act of purchasing and crunching into local apples can be done at both home and community settings and demonstrates your appreciation for the community food system,” says Tony Staubach, Educator, 4-H Youth Development at Ohio State University Extension. “The event highlights the many nodes within the food system - such as farmers, harvesters, food hub distributors, school nutrition professionals, educators, garden coordinators, bus drivers and more - responsible for getting food from farm to cafeteria.”

    Green Umbrella’s Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council (GCRFPC) is celebrating by announcing the launch of Feed Our Future, a Farm to School community health program in our region. The program’s mission is to inspire young minds to make healthy choices about what they eat. Initially created by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in 2016, Feed Our Future connects schools, homes and communities by providing practical information about sourcing and eating local foods that nourish young students.

    “Over the last year, we have been working with four school districts and numerous community partners to understand what the highest needs are to accelerate the health, education and economic benefits of Farm to School,” said GCRFPC Director, Michaela Oldfield. “The comprehensive Feed our Future program simultaneously addresses many of their needs, and we are excited and grateful for this opportunity to partner with Cuyahoga County to replicate their successes in our region.”

    Thanks to federal funding from the USDA, the Feed Our Future program pilot will initially be available to Green Umbrella’s Farm to School partners including Campbell County School District, Cincinnati Public Schools, Mount Healthy City School District and West Clermont Local School District and to members of the Unified Purchasing Cooperative of the Ohio River Valley. Take the Feed Our Future Pledge and learn more at feedourfuture.org.

    ###

    Celebrating 20 years as Greater Cincinnati’s hub for environmental sustainability. Act locally with Green Umbrella and make a difference. Learn more or become a member at www.greenumbrella.org.


  • October 01, 2020 1:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: CityBeat

    The Devou Good Foundation — which "partners with local nonprofits to assess the unique needs of communities within Greater Cincinnati" — has donated 1,000 new bike racks and five bike repair stations to the City of Cincinnati to help encourage cycling by providing more parking and DIY repairs. 

    "Until now, cyclists have gotten used to locking their bikes up to whatever they can find,” said Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails cycling and trails advocacy group. “Thanks to the Devou Good Foundation, our region is setting a new standard that you can expect to find secure bike parking at your destination in the urban core."

    The Devou Foundation is committed to making sure the public has the access and infrastructure to use biking as a means of both transportation and recreation. They have previously donated 600 bike racks to Covington and Newport and placed two bike repair stations in Northern Kentucky — one at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Public Library and one at the Purple People Bridge.

    If you want to request a bike rack in your neighborhood, complete a survey at cincinnati-oh.gov/bikes/contact-us/request-bike-parking/.


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