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Southwest Ohio Updates from the Field – January

Letter from the Regional Director:

OEC Southwest Ohio: January 2023 Updates


It’s already shaping up to be an action-packed year for environmental work in Southwest Ohio. In this newsletter, you’ll find a number of ways to take action and participate locally — like commenting on the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan, attending the 10th anniversary of the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, becoming a member of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Climate Collaborative, and more. 

As I work with my colleagues to develop OEC’s 2023 statewide and regional plans, I’m particularly excited about the ideas forming in collaboration with partners to address environmental and social justice issues in Southwest Ohio. Are there environmental issues in your community that you hope we will address this year? I invite you to reach out to me with your ideas as we form our 2023 regional plan. 

Thank you for your continued support and feedback. We couldn’t do this work without you!

With gratitude,

Kylie Johnson
Southwest Ohio Regional Director

Regional Events & Opportunities:

Greater Dayton Partner’s for the Environment All-Member Spring Meeting

March 1, 2023 | 8:30am-11:00am

Aullwood Farms (9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton, OH 45414)

Join environmental colleagues for coffee and bagels while learning about Partner’s mission, programs, and plans for the future. Don’t forget your walking shoes for an optional self-guided tour to see the Trolls! Register here to take part in this event.

Green Cincinnati Plan Public Comment Period Open

January 17-February 8, 2023

After months of hard work on the part of many, a draft of the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) is ready for Public Comment! As a Steering Committee member of this effort, I’m excited to share these drafts with you. Please take some time to download the Draft Plans and complete the survey for consideration. We are building toward the release of the 2023 GCP this spring. Thanks so much for considering taking part in Public Comment before February 8th!

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Friday, April 21, 2023

Woodward Theater (1404 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202)

The Ohio River Foundation (ORF) will again bring one of the largest environmental film festivals in North America to Cincinnati this spring. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival will be on Friday, April 21 at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine. The goal of the festival is to inspire environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Find more info.

Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit 

Friday, May 12, 2023 | 8am-5pm

Duke Energy Convention Center (525 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202)

Early registration is now open for the 2023 Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Friday, May 12. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, this year’s theme is Imagine What’s Possible, inviting attendees to come together in collective hope and renewed resilience amidst the climate crisis.

The Ripple Effect – Online Course

April 24 – June 5, 2023

The Cincinnati Nature Center invites you to move from being a “nature lover” to a “nature do-er” in this free self-paced online course that guides you to use your voice to create positive change for people and nature. OEC’s Managing Director of Democracy Policy, Chris Tavenor, is featured in one of the course videos to discuss the democratic process and citizen engagement! Pre-registration is required by April 17. Details and registration link here.

Annual State of the Mill Creek Address

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 6-8:30 PM

Gorman Heritage Farm (10052 Reading Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45241) or Virtual

Professor Emeritus Dr. Mike Miller presents the State of the Mill Creek Address to share results from the water quality monitoring season. Each year, citizen scientists collect and analyze water samples from Mill Creek main stem and tributaries. The address will compare lab results from 2022 to results from 2011-2021 and highlight both water quality improvements and areas of concern. The event is free and everyone is welcome. Register today!

Greater Dayton Partners for the Environment All Members Meeting

March 1, 2023 | 8:30am

Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton, OH

Partners’, which is comprised of organizations sharing the common goal of protecting the environmental and agricultural resources of the Great Miami River and Little Miami River Watershed, will share their mission and future plans, as well as an update on saving the Paul Knoop Prairie. More info and registration.

Regional Climate Collaborative 

Green Umbrella’s Regional Climate Collaborative (RCC) is accepting membership applications. The RCC serves as a network for public agencies to better understand regional climate impacts on their communities and advance adaptation solutions. The RCC will facilitate peer sharing, highlight best practices among local governments, develop opportunities for program implementation, and help secure funding and technical assistance. 

Regional Updates:

Cincinnati Partnership Invests in Biochar for Climate Resiliency

The Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners and Great Parks of Hamilton County are leveraging grant funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies and committing additional funds to create a biochar production facility. Biochar is a lightweight black residue created from burning plant waste in an oxygen-limited environment. The material can be used for carbon sequestration and amending soil. Cincinnati will be one of the first US cities to adopt the technology for climate resiliency. Read more here.

ClimateView – City of Cincinnati Office of Environment & Sustainability

Cincinnati is the first city in the U.S. to utilize ClimateView, an innovative tool that helps cities understand the role different actions have on emissions reduction. The tool provides a visual depiction of the City’s historic emissions and will track the impacts of the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP). An initial version of the City’s ClimateView dashboard based on the 2018 GCP is currently available for the public to review. An updated version will be released later this year in conjunction with the 2023 GCP. 

Groundwork Ohio River Valley & Residents Make Climate Safe Neighborhoods

In November, alongside Cincinnati Parks and Madtree Brewing, 74 street trees were planted in Lower Price Hill (which has one of the city’s smallest tree canopies). Groundwork Ohio River Valley’s Green Workforce continues to execute resident-designed climate resilience projects around the city as identified by their plans through the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Program.

PCFO Clean Energy Champion Awards

On December 16, Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO) and the Ohio Mayor’s Alliance hosted the first Clean Energy Champions Awards ceremony, celebrating Ohio leaders for their commitment to clean energy and climate action. A few notable awards in Southwest Ohio included the City of Dayton (Energy Justice Champion Award), Meg Maloney, City of Dayton Sustainability Specialist (Clean Energy Staff Champion), and Cincinnati, Dayton, and Silverton (Clean Energy Community Award). Read the press release for a full list of recipients and watch the full event on the PCFO Facebook page.

City of Dayton – 2022 Sustainability Office Accomplishments

OEC Updates:

Continuing the push for accountability to end energy bribery

This month marked the beginning of the trial against former Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. He is accused of accepting bribes from FirstEnergy to pass House Bill 6, a coal power plant bailout that made it harder to increase clean energy and energy efficiency in Ohio. This trial started right after news was breaking that dark money funded the passage of House Bill 507. We fought this bill, which wrongly classifies natural gas as “green energy” and opens our state parks to more oil and gas drilling, but the Ohio legislature passed and Governor DeWine signed it into law at the beginning of this year. 

The fossil fuel industry has a lot of money moving here in Ohio, and it’s clear we need more transparency and accountability. With the power of your voices and the strength of our coalitions, the OEC is pushing for policy that puts Ohioans’ interests over the interests of industry insiders.

Gaining historic protections for an important Ohio creek

We are seeking to gain Ohio’s first-ever Outstanding National Resource Waters designation—the highest level of protections afforded under the Clean Water Act—for an Ohio creek that is home to important endangered aquatic species under threat by rapid development. Take action today to speak up for the Big and Little Darby Creeks!

Join us to cut methane emissions

Working to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is one of the quickest, most cost effective ways to slow the rate of climate change happening now and protect communities’ health. That is why we are holding President Biden and the U.S. EPA accountable in their most recent methane regulations. Hundreds of Ohioans have joined us by sending comments to the U.S. EPA. Can we count on your voice?

Check out current openings at the OEC and our partner organizations.