Cincinnati: The new emerald city

It may be the amount of moss-hued recycling dumpsters in the parking lots. It could be the acreage of green space zoned in the area. But a group of Price Hill residents has claimed their community to be the greenest in the Queen City and is challenging other Cincinnati communities to hose them.

The Price Hill Challenge has teamed up with the City of Cincinnati, headed by Vice Mayor, David Crowley to influence and motivate Cincinnatians to exercise their green card. “We’re glad to be having a contest to see who is the greenest and to promote green living throughout all of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods. I think the whole city will benefit,” said Crowley.

The “Green Triathlon” will be kicking off next week through a video presentation, which was originally planned as a rally at the Mt. Echo Park Pavilion on Thursday, October 9; the event was cancelled due to the attention on the city’s visit from Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama and planners also felt that a video guide would be more green, as it would save community members from using gas to attend the event.

This battle of the cleanest and greenest will include tallying “green pledges” from community members, an assessment of existing green infrastructure by the Office of Environmental Quality, which can include the number of rain gardens and tree canopy percentage, making it sound like Cincinnati’s new jungle is growing on the west side. The challenge also includes the promotion of new recyclers through Rumpke’s Green Bin Challenge, piggybacking off Mayor Mallory’s current dare to increase recycling across the city.

By expanding the ecological vision of the city, the Price Hill Will hopes to make good headway in making Cincinnati greener by combating the environmental problems the world is experiencing. “We’re thinking globally and acting locally and asking everyone else to come along for the ride,” said Matt Strauss, Director of the Price Hill Housing Resource Center.

“It’s an easy message to get out there these days,” explained Strauss. “We have such a great initiative and community members understand the problem; when you let people know how they can spend a little now to save a lot later on weatherizing and fuel efficiency, there isn’t a whole lot that can stand in the way.”

But what is it that makes Price Hill the Emerald City of Cincinnati? The biggest factor could be Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village, a sustainable neighborhood in East Price Hill focused on preserving the planet through initiatives promoting healthy, social and economic lifestyles. Boasting over 200 acres of woods equipped with hiking trails and organic gardens that grace the green traces of the village which is also home to the Cincinnati Zen Center, Enright has most definitely got it right in proving that sustainable life is attainable in a major metropolitan city.

The contest continues through January 6 and the winner will be decided by the City’s Office of Environmental Quality. To get involved, contact your community council or access pledge forms on line at, and perhaps your community could rise to the forefront of the green scene in Cincinnati.

By Rene' Brunelle

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