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  • August 15, 2018 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) recently re-evaluated its Pollution Control Standards (PCS), and is proposing to eliminate the Water Quality Criteria it enforces for the Ohio River. ORSANCO has served as an inter-state regulator of effluent into the Ohio River since it was established 70 years ago, well before the founding of the EPA and Clean Water Act. ORSANCO is a member of Green Umbrella, and we highly value its role in maintaining the integrity of the Ohio River. 

    After careful consideration, and under the advice of the Watershed Action Team, Green Umbrella recommends that ORSANCO continue to monitor and enforce its Pollution Control Standards. ORSANCO has the unique role of ensuring that all states (and polluters) in the Ohio River watershed are held to the same standards. The elimination of the water quality criteria developed for the Ohio River by ORSANCO could be detrimental to the river and the watershed as a whole. If the three-year Pollution Control Standard review cycle poses a financial strain for the organization, we encourage ORSANCO to move to a five year cycle to reduce the burden. ORSANCO is accepting public comments until midnight on August 20. Learn more about how to submit a comment on its website.


    Green Umbrella's Watershed Action Team brings together representatives from non-profits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities working to improve water quality and watershed management in our region. Our 2020 Goal is to protect, enhance and celebrate all streams, rivers and other water resources by making a measurable improvement in 75% of them. Find out more at GreenUmbrella.org/Watershed-Action-Team.

  • August 01, 2018 10:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Green Umbrella’s Local Food Action Team joins markets across the region in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 5-11, 2018. 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. For a family of four spending $200 a week on groceries, a ten percent shift in dollars would mean committing to spend $20.00 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 www.greenumbrella.org/10shift. To find a farmers’market, visit the 2018 CORV Local Food Guide.


    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.

  • July 25, 2018 12:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For the second year in a row Greater Cincinnati has been ranked as the most sustainable metro area in the nation by Site Selection Magazine. Using a diverse, data-rich index, the magazine looks at corporate sustainability practices, characteristics of the commercial building stock and community efforts that positively affect both the planet and residents’ well-being. The 2018 ranking by Site Selection’s Sustainable Sites index draws attention to the value that corporations place on investing in communities that prioritize the well-being of people and planet. Green Umbrella, the region’s sustainability alliance, is working to make sure Cincinnati keeps this top rating for many years to come by 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% 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,” says Chad Edwards, founding member of the 2030 Working Group and architect at emersion DESIGN. “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. 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.”  

    Interested real estate owners, managers, developers, industry professionals, and community stakeholders in the downtown core (see map) should visit cincy2030.orgor email cincy2030@greenumbrella.org to learn more about the benefits of 2030 membership and how to get involved. The 7th Annual Pedco High Performance Buildings Seminar on October 4 will feature a panel made up of 2030 leaders from Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and a presentation about the Cincinnati 2030 District. Filmmakers from Newsy are documenting the process of getting the Cincinnati 2030 District off the ground; you can view the trailer online.


    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.

  • June 20, 2018 2:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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? On June 15, 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 this year 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. “Each year, we seek to bring more people into our region’s environmental sustainability work. We’re encouraged by the huge business and community interest in exploring this year’s theme of public-private partnerships for a resilient future.”

    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. Presenting sponsors were The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University, Louis and Louise Nippert Charitable Foundation and Fifth Third Bank.

    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 

  • May 07, 2018 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While national environmental headlines focus on scandals surrounding the EPA administrator, good local sustainability news is all around us. Just in the last couple of months, Fortune 500 companies based in Cincinnati have announced major sustainability goals: from 5/3 Bank’s shift to 100% renewable energy to Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste campaign to P&G’s Ambition 2030 goals. Each of these companies is a member of Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance working to make sure Cincinnati stays one of the 10 most sustainable metro areas in the country. Today, Green Umbrella’s Board of Directors has more good news to share: it has appointed Cincinnati-native Ryan Mooney-Bullock as the organization’s next Executive Director.

    Mooney-Bullock first got involved in Green Umbrella’s collective impact work in 2011, and is currently the organization’s Communications & Program Manager. A life-long advocate for environmental sustainability, Ryan earned a BA in Environmental Studies at the University of Chicago and an MS in Environmental Science from Antioch University New England. Her career has included research at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, an urban sustainability think tank in Chicago, teaching science at Princeton High School, and developing and managing the Civic Garden Center's Green Learning Station. 

    “Ryan's support of Green Umbrella’s Action Teams over the last seven months has helped them strategically advance their progress on our 2020 sustainability goals. I am looking forward to working with her as we take Green Umbrella to its next level," said Bill Scheyer, Green Umbrella Board President. Mooney-Bullock is known for her infectious passion for environmental sustainability and connecting people and organizations with shared interests. She was the board’s unanimous choice when it came time to name a new Executive Director. “Ryan has the right skill set to continue the exceptional growth Green Umbrella has experienced in recent years,” said Andy Holzhauser, Green Umbrella Board Vice-President. “She brings new ideas and possesses the drive and determination to see them through.” 

    Ryan follows outgoing Executive Director, Kristin Weiss. Under Weiss' leadership, Green Umbrella:

    • Awarded $200,000 to organizations working to advance  regional  environmental  sustainability  goals  related  to  local  food  distribution, food  waste reduction,  fresh  food  access,  and  energy-efficiency;
    • Saw Cincinnati recognized as the #1 metro area in sustainability by Site Selection Magazine;
    • Led three of its Action Teams to exceed their 2020 goals early, resulting in 116,000 acres of protected greenspace, over 2 million visits to outdoor venues in 2017, and a quadrupling of the number of places to purchase local fruits and vegetables since 2010.

     “Green Umbrella’s members, Action Teams and initiatives are working every day to make the tri-state a better place to live, work, eat and play,” says Mooney-Bullock. “I look forward to making sure sustainability resonates with everyone: whether it is through employment opportunities, access to greenspace to get outside, viable transportation options, clean water, affordable energy, healthy food that supports our local economy, or creative solutions to waste.” Ryan will be stepping into the Executive Director role effective June 25. You can meet her and the rest of the Green Umbrella community at the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit on June 15

    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.

  • May 01, 2018 10:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Spring has finally arrived in the tri-state, just in time for Bike Month! Join the bicycling community in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to celebrate throughout the month of May.

    Bike Month is a collection of nearly fifty events to celebrate all things bicycling in Greater Cincinnati.  There are all kinds of themed group rides to participate in—for beginners and avid riders alike—whether you’re an enthusiast for donuts or beer or historic preservation. There are numerous events to do off your bike too, like a bicycle-themed board game night, a live recording of The Gravel Lot podcast, and a special screening of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Check out the event calendar at CincyBikeMonth.com to view a full listing of events.

    Pictured below: Tri-State Trail's 2017 Canal Bikeway Ride

    “The purpose of Bike Month is to celebrate Greater Cincinnati as a bicycle friendly region and demonstrate how accessible bicycling is here,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails at Green Umbrella.  “Biking is a fun way to experience life from a different perspective, both for recreation and transportation.”

    A newly featured ride this year is “100 Blacks on Bikes,” hosted by the Cincinnati chapter of Red, Bike, & Green.  This event is part of their monthly community ride series and is intended specifically for people who identify as Black. “I’m proud to cultivate a space where Black people can be healthy, care-free, and experience their culture together at the same time,” said local organizer, Jasmine C. Humphries.  “Our hope for Red, Bike, & Green is to be an entry point to increase the number of bike riders and advocates connected to the Cincinnati bike community.  We want to amplify the voices of marginalized bike riders and broaden the image of who is a cyclist.”

    Red Bike, the local bike share system, is partnering on several group rides to make bikes available to individuals who may not have access to one. “All months are great for biking, but there is one month we celebrate the most fun way to get around,” said Jason Barron, Executive Director of Red Bike. “Every Tuesday in May we invite you to put a smile on your face by taking a ride on a Red Bike for only $2, with Two Dollar Tuesday.”

    Bike Month is a national event organized by the League of American Bicyclists.  Tri-State Trails and Queen City Bike are partnering to celebrate locally in Greater Cincinnati.  Bike Month is made possible with support from Great Parks of Hamilton County, Ohio‘s Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, AAA, and Reser Bicycle Outfitters.  Additional sponsors include Red Bike, Cincinnati Cycle Club, Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance, Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Family Magazine, Metro, TANK, and Spun Bicycles.

    About Tri-State Trails
    An initiative of Green Umbrella with funding from Interact for Health, Tri-State Trails is an alliance of trail advocates advancing a vision to connect and expand our region's trail network. Our mission is to connect people and places with a regional trails network that enhances vibrancy and equity in our community. For more information, visit www.tristatetrails.org.
  • April 11, 2018 4:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mark Your Calendar for Earth Day Events

    There are plenty of great events happening in Cincinnati this Earth Day. Mark your calendars, get outside, and join us in celebrating our planet! Visit our full event calendar for a complete list of all the great things our members are up to.

    Saturday, April 21

    Sunday, April 22

    We hope to see you at these events!

  • April 11, 2018 4:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to a USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant awarded to Green Umbrella last October, Cincinnati's local food hubs - Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection - have been actively working with regional schools to bring more local fresh produce to the area's school children. The first public school system to start purchasing is Dayton Independent Schools in Dayton KY. In this district, 68% of the students are in National School Lunch Program, 32% are in School Breakfast Program. 

    Food Service Director Stacie Pabst is thrilled with the quality of the local apples, greens, blueberries, and other products they have already purchased and plans to continue sourcing locally over the summer and for the next school year. In addition they will be piloting a school grocery pick-up service for school employees that want to buy local farm products, that could one day be open to school parents as well, giving them the opportunity to have the same quality locally grown food at home.

  • April 04, 2018 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy Earth Month!

    It is the season for cleaning up all of the detritus that has collected in our greenspaces over the winter. Join a Green Umbrella member for an April Clean-up event.

    April 7
    April 14 
    April 20:
    April 21:
    April 26: 
    April 28:
    Participating in a clean-up or tree planting event is a great way to do your part for Earth Month!

  • March 13, 2018 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cincinnati’s parks already rank top 10 among the largest 100 U.S. cities by The Trust for Public Land’s Parkscore index. Now the region seeks to be known for its extraordinary 116,000 acres of protected greenspace. A new initiative called “Greenspace Gems” recognizes and celebrates natural areas in the Tri-State area for their outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance, or historic interest. By telling the stories of these protected places, Green Umbrella – Greater Cincinnati’s hub for environmental sustainability – seeks to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region.
    Right: Rowe Woods, courtesy of Cincinnati Nature Center

    Greenspace Gems are selected by a team of conservation experts from Green Umbrella’s Greenspace Action Team. “These acres of conserved greenspace help preserve the quality of our air, water and soil. Embedded within the protected landscape are geologic, topographic and historic places that often support species with declining populations. These sites not only provide valuable field study opportunities for scientists and students, but also allow visitors to observe the natural, pre-settlement communities that once covered the Tri-State region,” says Stan Hedeen, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Xavier University.

    The first five Greenspace Gems were just released:

    20 years ago, Green Umbrella was originally organized to conserve greenspace and unite citizens and groups concerned about preserving and restoring the abundant diversity of wildlife and plants that thrive in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area. Launching this initiative now, two decades later, highlights the region’s great achievement in having protected over 116,000 acres of greenspace to date.

    Caldwell Nature Preserve, courtesy of Cincinnati Parks

    “Greenspace protection is another way our region is staying on the leading edge of sustainability,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Communications and Program Manager for Green Umbrella. Last year, Greater Cincinnati was recognized as being the nation’s #1 metro area for sustainability by Site Selection magazine, an important resource for economic development professionals and corporate leaders looking for where to expand and locate their businesses. 

    Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, courtesy of Kentucky State Parks

    Cities around the world are setting sustainability goals related to greenspace. For example, Vancouver, which seeks to be the world’s Greenest City, has a goal that every resident lives within a 5 minute walk of a park, greenway, or other greenspace by 2020. Vancouver’s latest progress report indicates that 92.7% of their city land area is within a 5 minute walk to greenspace. “Cincinnati can tout its greenspace stats too," says Margaret Minzner, member of Green Umbrella's Greenspace Action Team and senior environmental planner for OKI Regional Council of Governments. "In the City of Cincinnati, 94% of the land area is within a half mile or about 10 minute walk to greenspace,” says Minzner, "and 96% of our Tri-State population lives within 2 miles of protected greenspace."

    To learn more, visit www.greenumbrella.org/greenspace-gems. Gems will be considered for addition several times a year on a rolling basis. To recommend a site as a Greenspace Gem, send a description of what makes the site unique, who manages it, and how it was protected to communications@greenumbrella.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

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