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  • 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


  • February 26, 2018 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Green Umbrella just awarded $125,000 in funding that will benefit food insecure residents in Cincinnati’s low-income neighborhoods, small farms, local food entrepreneurs and processors, a neighborhood grocery coop, schools, and regional food pantries.


    These grants will advance regional environmental sustainability goals related to local food distribution, food waste reduction, fresh food access, and energy-efficiency. Through these grants - the largest amount ever distributed by the regional sustainability alliance - Green Umbrella seeks to serve as a steward of environmental funding and accelerate progress on Greater Cincinnati’s 2020 sustainability goals as well as recommendations in the draft Green Cincinnati Plan. Funding requests received totaled nearly $300,000.

    Several funders have entrusted Green Umbrella in this effort, including the Duke Class Benefit Fund and Partners for Places – a project of the Funders Network for Smart and Livable Communities, with local matching grants provided by Interact for Health, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

    Locally, 25% of residents are food insecure, yet so much good food is wasted that it’s the #1 material in landfills today. Nationally, the EPA and USDA have set joint goals for 50% food waste reduction by 2030. According to the ReFed Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, strategies that focus on food waste prevention and food recovery are the most impactful and cost-effective. “Part of the funding will support innovative, scalable food recovery efforts that rescue good food and distribute it to hungry people, rather than sending it to landfills where it produces a harmful greenhouse gas. These projects are good for our community and our environment,” says Kristin Weiss, executive director of Green Umbrella.

    “Additional funding will help grow our local food economy, supporting the production and consumption of food grown within our region, while conserving energy and reducing waste along the supply chain,” she says. Green Umbrella’s Local Food Action Team encourages residents to shift 10% of their food budget to locally grown food. If just 10% of the regional population did that, it would mean an infusion of $56 million into our local economy. Greater Cincinnati has increasingly received recognition for its commitment to local food, as the region boasts many vibrant farmers’ markets and restaurants that source locally, as well as food hubs that help drive sales of locally/regionally produced food.

    Award recipients include Incubator Kitchen Collective, Apple Street Market Cooperative, Gabriel’s Place, KHI Foods, Ohio Valley Food Connection, Our Harvest Cooperative, Soup Cycle Cincy, La Soupe, Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village, Lincoln Heights Outreach, Reach Out Lakota, and Wyoming City Schools.


    2018 Funded Projects

    Incubator Kitchen Collective – This hub for local food entrepreneurs and home to our region's two food hubs provides critical infrastructure to the region's local food economy. This grant will fund an energy-efficient cooling system to benefit all tenants, their networks of growers/suppliers and buyers, while reducing product loss by 30%.

    Apple Street Market Cooperative
     – This worker-owned grocery coop is dedicated to providing healthy food at affordable prices and family sustaining employment, with plans to purchase $498,000 in food from local producers in its first year. This grant will fund energy-efficient refrigeration for their first grocery store planned to open in 2019 in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, currently a food desert.

    Gabriel’s Place
     – This grant will allow Gabriel’s Place to provide meaningful and affordable access to the local food system through its urban farm, produce marketplace, community meals and nutrition education in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood, currently a food desert.

    KHI Foods – This local food processer prioritizes the regional farming economy, sources primarily from small scale and family owned farms in Kentucky, and turns “ugly” tomatoes or “wrong color” peppers from local farmers into delicious marinara or low sodium hot sauce for schools and retail grocery. This grant will help them expand by 20% their processing capacity, currently at 120,000 lbs. per year.

    Ohio Valley Food Connection
     – This grant will support the development of a regional, rescued food "after-market” based on FoodMaven's reseller model piloted in Colorado. The project will provide a two-stream revenue model to food hubs and local farmers, a simple ordering process for institutions, and redistribution of all unsold but edible product to local pantries.

    Our Harvest Cooperative
     – This grant will support a farm gleaning pilot based on the Gleaning Network’s model and endorsed by the USDA. The project will utilize local volunteer networks and deliver thousands of lbs. of fruits and vegetables from local farms to low-income families and individuals in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills, South Cumminsville, Millvale, and North Fairmont neighborhoods.

    Soup Cycle Cincy – This organization rescues food from farm stands and grocery stores to provide heathy soups and raw vegetables to rec centers in food deserts (Price Hill, Avondale, Evanston, OTR). This grant will help them expand by hiring youth chefs to work with volunteer professional chefs and college mentors.

    La Soupe
     – This organization bridges the gap between food waste and hunger and rescued 275,000 lbs. of food in 2017, turning it into over 250,000 servings of healthy meals with 2,000 food insecure people served weekly through 75 community partners. This grant will support their efforts to increase impact by 15% in the next year with a new location.

    Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village – This grant will support the expansion of their urban farm, CSA (community-supported agriculture) program and farm market stand with energy-efficient refrigeration to store and display produce in Cincinnati’s East Price Hill neighborhood, currently a food desert.

    Lincoln Heights Outreach –This grant would help expand fresh food access for over 2,000 people in need in Lincoln Heights through a food pantry, snacks and meals for students and seniors, community meals, block parties and holiday dinners

    Reach Out Lakota
     – This grant would help expand fresh food access including mobile outreach for 2,800 clients in need in West Chester, Liberty Township and Lakota School District, to more than 18,000 lbs. of food monthly.

    Wyoming City Schools – Schools can be large food waste generators, with EPA estimates of 1.3 lbs. per student per day. This grant will support the parent and student Green Team’s efforts to reduce food waste. 

    We are 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/membership.

  • February 06, 2018 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Green Umbrella is a Collective Impact backbone organization, which facilitates seven Action Teams, each focused on a different area of regional sustainability. The Action Teams are gatherings of key stakeholders and committed individuals who work collaboratively to make measurable improvements on shared, mutually beneficial goals. You can learn more about each of our Action Teams on their websites: EnergyGreenspaceLocal Food,OutdoorTransportationWaste ReductionWatershed. Individual members and representatives of Member Organizations are invited to participate in Green Umbrella Action Teams. Find out which one is relevant to your work and attend a meeting in February or March to get involved (the dates are on our events calendar).


  • January 24, 2018 1:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year’s keynote speaker for the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit on June 15 will be renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

    Hayhoe is not only at the forefront of research related to modeling regional to local impacts of climate change, but is a climate communicator experienced in untangling the complex science and tackling many long-held misconceptions about global warming. Check out her PBS series, "Global Weirding" for a fun look at what climate change is and isn't.

    Her address will set the stage for the theme of the Summit: “Resilience: Public-Private Partnerships for a Dynamic Future.” We will examine how our region can prepare for and respond to potential impacts of climate change, including learning from the 100 Resilient Cities model developed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Early Bird registration is now open, sponsorships and exhibitor booths are available.


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