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Reforest Northern Kentucky celebrates 10 years of planting trees, educating community


It’s been 10 years since the Northern Kentucky Urban & Community Forestry Council started its annual tree planting event, Reforest NKY, and it doesn’t look like there are plans to stop anytime soon.

In the last decade, the volunteer-based project has planted more than 36 acres of trees all across Northern Kentucky. On March 25, Reforest NKY will head just north of Big Bone Lick State Park in Boone County to the Piner property to continue to restore Kentucky's landscape.  

“Reforest NKY has become a stepping stone to restoring trees, and ultimately forests, into the landscape,” says Tara Sturgill, Reforest NKY secretary and public relations subcommittee chair. “Reforest NKY is increasing public awareness of the importance of trees, which will ultimately improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.”

The area where volunteers will be planting is on a stream restoration project site, which is being completed by Northern Kentucky University's Center for Environmental Restoration.

“At the source, this event is about the trees, but we are also hoping to create an atmosphere of awareness and education around reforestation and what it means to our communities, and to us as individuals," Sturgill says. "Cultivating a spirit of stewardship for our native forests amongst those that we influence through this event is paramount to our program.”
 
Do Good: 

•    Look out for Reforest NKY's 2017 volunteer registration, which will open in February.

•    Want to help in the planning process? Visit the website for committee meeting dates and times. 

•    For more information on Reforest NKY and how you can help, contact Sturgill at 859-409-0791 or reforestnky@gmail.com.
 

Reduce food insecurity at free Farm to School Workshop

Nationwide, 12.7 percent of households face food insecurity, but for those living in Ohio, the number is even higher.
 
Tony Staubach, program manager of 4-H Youth Development at Pleasant Hill Academy, aims to reduce the number of households within the local community by offering a Farm to School Workshop Thursday, Nov. 10.
 
“Youth spend much of their time in school, so there has become a duty for schools to provide adequate facilities and instruments necessary to meet the social, emotional, educational, nutritional, and psychological needs of the students.
 
Educators, administrators, food producers, community members, and families will join together for Thursday’s three-hour workshop, which is made possible by the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences within The Ohio State University Extension program.
 
It’s a way to network, learn from one another, see what’s already being done, and brainstorm ideas for future initiatives.
 
“School districts have done amazing work stepping up to the challenges of producing 21st century learners who are ready to take on a plethora of challenges that are yet to be seen or understood,” Staubach said. “Ohio State University Extension has been an ally, helping school districts achieve these unforeseen challenges. Through the 4-H [Agri-Science in the City] program, thousands of children have experienced the power of self-directed exploration and project-based learning.” 

Do Good: 

•    Attend Thursday's free workshop from 3-6 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Academy. 

•    Learn more about the OSU Extension program.

•    Can't make Thursday's workshop? Check out Staubach's 4-H Agri-Science in the City blog to learn more about the activities in which students engage.

 

Celebrate Make a Difference Day Oct. 22 in Covington


National Make a Difference Day is Oct. 22, and Covington residents can choose from three organized neighborhood projects.
 
Pitch in to landscape, weed and mulch, or paint at Latonia’s Barb Cook Park or head over to the Goebel Pool Paint Party — the continued work of Make Goebel Great.
 
On Covington’s Westside 18 trees along Holman Avenue that were vandalized in July will be replanted, along with 50 new trees, throughout the neighborhood. A city arborist will join community members in Orchard Park to demonstrate urban environment techniques.
 
Across the nation, thousands of projects will take place on what is one of the largest single days of service.
 
“Covington’s residents want to see the city thrive,” said Shannon Ratterman, program manager for community development at The Center for Great Neighborhoods. “And these projects are one way to make that happen. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community and meet neighbors in the process.”
 
Do Good: 

•    Want to help Perk Up The Park in Latonia? Sign up here.

•    Make Goebel Great by helping paint. Invite your friends, and learn more here.

•    Help beautify Covington's Westside, and learn to properly plant trees in urban areas. Learn more here.

Brand Old Productions, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful collaborate to launch PSA


In an imperfect world with a multitude of causes worth advocating for and working to remedy, it’s sometimes difficult for a nonprofit to relay its message in an effective and concise way — most importantly — in a way that prompts collective action.
 
That’s why Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB) is doing its part to launch a new public awareness and fundraising campaign. Thanks to the talent and volunteer work of Brand Old Productions, KCB has a new public service announcement that speaks to something we all have in common — the desire to live in a neighborhood, and in a city, that’s free of blight and vacancy.
 
“In order to engage people to volunteer or donate, the message needs to be short,” said Brand Old Productions’ Sahil Sharma, who directed the PSA titled "The Philanthrop". “KCB does so much; the challenge was, ‘How do we capture it all in two minutes?’”
 
Throughout Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods, KCB’s efforts are trifold — educational outreach, urban revitalization, and its annual Great American Cleanup, which occurs every weekend from March through November.
 
The results? A decrease in crime by up to 13 percent, a decrease in blight by 15 percent, and an increase in economic development by 27 percent.
 
“You could easily do an hour documentary with all they do,” Sharma said.
 
The goal of the PSA, which premiered this past week, is to encourage individuals to do something — whether it’s spreading the word by raising awareness, volunteering, or donating money to make a difference — so we can all live in a clean, safe community that thrives.

The PSA launch comes in conjunction with a 10-day, 10 for $10 challenge in which participants are encouraged to donate at least $10 to KCB, then post a photo or video to social media, encouraging 10 friends to do the same. 
 
“It’s been a real privilege doing this for KCB because we’ve learned so much about just what it takes to keep a city clean,” Sharma said. 

Do Good: 

•    Check out "The Philanthrop," and share a link to the video with your friends. 

•    Help KCB take its 10 for $10 campaign, which runs through October 17, viral. Take a photo or video with a sign that says "I'm a 10...#KCB4US," then challenge your friends to do the same. 

•    Get a group of friends together, and participate in the Great American Cleanup
 

Midwest Sustainability Summit brings experts together to reverse climate change


Regional leaders and international experts will join together June 10 for the second annual Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit. This year’s event — a collaboration among local organizations from within a variety of sectors — is aimed at figuring out ways we can work together to reduce carbon emissions.
 
Green Umbrella’s vision is to have the Greater Cincinnati region recognized as one of the top-10 most sustainable metro areas in the nation by 2020,” says Kristin Weiss, Executive Director of the nonprofit. “To do that, we need to be on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability and embrace the leap over incremental improvements. This Summit helps us achieve that.”
 
Keynote speaker for this year’s event is Paul Hawken, whose latest book Project Drawdown provides readers with 100 existing solutions to reverse climate change. Not only are the solutions credible, but they’re scalable on a global level and, regardless of their impact on the climate, are intrinsically beneficial to local communities and economies.
 
Hawken’s talk fits well into this year’s theme of “Innovation and Collaboration.”

One way Cincinnati can take an existing solution and work together to implement it in a unique way, for example, is through electric vehicles. The presenting organizations and sponsors for this year’s event have arranged for attendees to be able to test drive electric cars and access savings toward the purchase of one.
 
“Electric vehicle adoption will help us reach our 2020 regional sustainability goal to reduce the consumption of gasoline and diesel as motor fuels by 20 percent,” Weiss says. “Our region is ripe for this, too, as we now have a comprehensive network of charging stations for electric vehicles, whereas at the beginning of last year we had zero fast charging stations.”
 
An added perk for those with electric vehicles, according to Weiss, is free parking.
 
“City of Cincinnati residents who are owners of electric vehicles will be able to park for free through the city’s All-Electric Vehicle Incentive Program,” she says. “It’s a model for other municipalities.”

Do Good: 

Register for the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit at Xavier University, which is open to the public. Admission includes both breakfast and lunch. 

Learn more about this year's Summit, including the speakers who will compose the day's panel discussion. 

Support Green Umbrella and its goals for our region.
 

Cincy YP and Metro team up to promote public transit to the bar crowd


For the third straight year, Metro and Cincy YP, a Give Back Cincinnati programs aimed specifically at young professionals, have partnered to promote public transportation in a fun and engaging way.
 
The Late Night Test Ride is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 and will run a route through a multitude of Cincinnati neighborhoods that YPs frequent. Over-the-Rhine, the Central Business District, East Walnut Hills, Clifton (near UC’s main campus), Oakley, Hyde Park and O’Bryonville are among the stopping points, while more than 17 popular venues like Hang Over Easy and Below Zero Lounge will offer riders food and drink specials.
 
“Transportation is so important among the millennial generation,” says Kaitlyn Kappesser, Cincy YP Events Director and Metro liaison. “We're the generation that doesn't want to be dependent on cars, but we also like to be social late at night. This is where Metro creating a late night route comes into play — we get the best of both worlds.”
 
The Metro will run 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Participants can take unlimited rides for as little as $5, and event passes that include unlimited rides in addition to drink specials at participating venues are available for $8. 
 
“Cincinnati’s YP leaders truly get how important public transit is to our community, and their commitment to encouraging their peers to use Metro is inspiring,” says Kim Lahman, Metro’s Outreach and Sustainability Manager. “The Late Night Test Ride provides us with a safe, fun and adventurous way of introducing young professionals to Metro’s service, while allowing them to get to know our community and one another better.”

Do Good: 

• Purchase your $8 event pass, which includes unlimited rides and drink specials the night of April 23, here

• Volunteers are needed to staff designated stops along the route from 8-10 p.m. Sign up here. Once your shift is finished, you can join the fun for free.

• Learn more about Cincy YP by connecting on Facebook.
 

Boost local economy by shifting your buying habits


Green Umbrella’s Local Food Action Team, the Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide and Northside Farmers Market have teamed up to inspire individuals to eat local, an idea the community will both promote and celebrate at “Eat, Shift, Party LOCAL” April 20.
 
Green Umbrella will launch a campaign at the free event encouraging individuals to pledge a 10 percent shift in their food budgets.
 
“If 10 percent of our Greater Cincinnati population pledges to shift just 10 percent of their food budget to locally produced food, it will infuse over $52 million into our local economy,” Green Umbrella Executive Director Kristin Weiss says.
 
In addition to building the local economy, eating local promotes good health, tastes better, allows local families to feel and be supported and preserves open green space, according to Green Umbrella’s Top 5 Reasons to Eat Local. It’s also affordable and more doable than you might think.
 
“For the average family, taking the shift means spending only $12 a week on local food,” says Marian Dickinson, local food advocate with Green Umbrella.
 
The Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide will release its 2016 publication of local food directories at the event, educating eaters and growers on how to promote a more vibrant local food economy, and festivities will take place within the setting of the Northside Famers Market at North Presbyterian Church, so individuals know of at least one place to return to for local products after pledging their 10 percent shifts.
 
In 2016, specifically, the Farmers Market — a year-round effort — is promoting its Get Local Food Challenge, which features a different local item each month. Cooking classes for both children and adults are also offered throughout the year to encourage patrons to buy local but to also feel empowered when preparing food.
 
All parties involved are working collectively to direct people’s attention toward locally sourced products, and Green Umbrella is making it easy to follow-through after pledging by distributing a monthly newsletter with tips, recipes and updates on the local scene.
 
“It’s a decision you can feel good about,” Dickinson says. 

Do Good: 

• Plan to attend Eat, Shift, Party, LOCAL at 5-7 p.m. April 20 at North Presbyterian Church

• Make the pledge.

• Check out other available resources for eating local
 

Tri-State Trails preps launch of Opening Day on the Trails Challenge


With temperatures currently below freezing, it can sometimes be difficult to envision Spring.

Green Umbrella's Tri-State Trails, however, is already gearing up for the region’s first Opening Day on the Trails Challenge, set for April 16.
 
The Trails Challenge — part of a national welcoming of Spring organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy — will take place over seven weeks and encourage families and individuals alike to explore trails and collect prizes upon completion.
 
“We believe the Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will motivate people to explore our region’s trails and incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives,” says Megan Folkerth, program officer of physical activity environments at Interact for Health, which is making the Trails Challenge a financial possibility thanks to a $25,000 grant for implementation. “Interact’s vision is to make Cincinnati the healthiest region in the country.”
 
The Trails Challenge extends through May, National Bike Month, and allows the region to continue gathering momentum when it comes to bicycling, says Frank Henson, chair of Tri-State Trails and president of Queen City Bike.
 
“In addition to current trail users, we’re using this challenge as an opportunity to engage new users for trails,” Henson says.
 
Tri-State Trails will publish details regarding the Challenge as well as an online interactive trail finder map this spring.

Do Good:

• Check Meet Me Outdoors! for details as the Trails Challenge approaches, but in the meantime allow the website to serve as a resource for your current outdoor recreational needs.

• Connect with Tri-State Trails on Facebook

• Become a Tri-State Trails member.
 

Boone County volunteers prepare to get their hands dirty at Reforest NKY 2016


More than 2,200 volunteers have planted 33 acres of trees over the past nine years in an effort to restore Northern Kentucky’s woodlands. Reforest NKY will travel to England-Idlewild Park in Boone County April 2 to continue its effort in expanding Kentucky’s landscape.

The volunteer-based reforestation event is headed by the Northern Kentucky Urban and Community Forestry Council (NKUCFC) and relies on help from local organizations and commissions to keep going.

Reforest partnered with The Boone Conservancy, Boone County Parks, Boone County Arboretum, Boone County Urban Forest Commission and Newport Aquarium for this year’s event, says Tara Sturgill, Reforest NKY secretary and public relations subcommittee chair.

Volunteers who attend will break into groups of 10 people with an accompanying Reforest leader, who will demonstrate proper planting technique and answer relevant questions from the group. But the event is more than just about planting trees.

Reforest is also about education and outreach. Reforest wants to educate the community on how planting trees provides benefits not only the environment but our quality of life. A focus is also placed on why trees are planted and the importance of planting a tree in the right place.

“I’m really proud of the work we do,” Sturgill says. “Even if you plant one tree, that tree will make a difference.”

Do Good:

• Register as a volunteer for Reforest NKY 2016, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.-12:30p.m. April 2 at England-Idlewild Park, 5550 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky.

• Watch a video from the Reforest NKY 2014 event, sponsored by Mad Tree Brewery.

• For more information on the event and how you can help, contact Tara Sturgill at 859-409-0791 or reforestnky@gmail.com.
 

Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition raising money for Earth Day 2016


The Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration isn’t typically celebrated until April, but the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition (GCEC) is raising money now for next year’s event. The fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 9 at City Barbeque locations in Blue Ash and Florence.

Not only will 25 percent of purchases go toward the April event, but customers will be educated on what Earth Day is really about and how to have a better impact on the environment.

“There are different approaches to ‘being green,'” says event chair Standish Fortin. “We want to educate people on what they can do to be a better steward for the Earth. They can come and learn about what they can do and what others are doing.”

Do Good:

• Visit City Barbeque in Blue Ash (10375 Kenwood Road) or Florence (8026 Burlington Pike) on Friday, Oct. 9 and help raise money for Earth Day 2016.

• Check out the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition’s Facebook page to learn more about how you can help the environment.  

• The 2016 Earth Day event is looking for sponsors. There are a few different levels of sponsorship to choose from. 
 

Park + Vine paying it forward to help those in need


Customers can pay it forward at Over-the-Rhine shop Park + Vine by pre-purchasing meals for those in need, specifically the homeless.

Owner Danny Korman was inspired this summer while visiting one of his favorite restaurants, Rosetta’s Kitchen, in Asheville, N.C., and noticing they offered a similar program.
 
Here’s how it works at Park + Vine: Customers order something off the menu for themselves and add any dollar amount to their ticket, then fill out a post-it note with that dollar amount and tape it on the wall next to the lunch counter. Each note can be redeemed by someone who really needs it, regardless of his or her financial situation.
 
“One thing I love is that for a moment in time it removes our own ego,” Korman says. “We get so caught in our own head and worries that it separates us from what’s happening around us and with others.”
 
Tabs can pay for a beans-and-rice dish priced on a sliding scale of $2 to $7, but customers can purchase any menu item for a stranger in need.
 
The act of kindness movement at Park + Vine is only two weeks old, but it’s already resonating with customers.
 
“Last week, we had a woman who was having lunch with some folks take two of the tabs on the wall to put toward her purchase,” Korman says. “She charged the remaining amount on her card and then added $3 to pay it forward to someone else.”
 
The contagious pay-it-forward movement is happening all across the country. A recent NPR segment highlighted a pizza shop in Philadelphia, where 10 percent of sales come from paying it forward by the slice.
 
The Park + Vine lunch counter is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday for brunch.
 
Do Good:

• Buy a meal for a stranger at the lunch/brunch counter at Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine.

• Follow owner Danny Korman's blog on Park + Vine's website.

• Find ways to pay it forward within your own community.
 

Athletes, outdoor enthusiasts excited for annual Great Ohio River Swim (moved to Oct. 10)


UPDATE: The event, originally scheduled for Sept. 27, has been moved back to Oct. 10 at the same time and locations. A statement on the event website says: The algae is not clearing from the Ohio River as fast as expected. With no rain forecast and algae as far upriver as Huntington, it is hard to predict if it will clear by September 27. Rather than make a last minute call, the Great Ohio River Swim has elected to proactively postpone the swim to Saturday, October 10.

Over the past seven years more than 850 people — as young as 10 and as experienced as 85 — have completed the Great Ohio River Swim. Oct. 10 marks the eighth annual year for the event, and it’s expected to be a record-breaking year for the timed 900-meter venture across the Ohio and back.
 
"We are anticipating record participation this year by area high school, college and club swim teams," says Jonathan Grinder, President and CEO of Tuscon Racing Inc., which manages the event. "It’s a great way to highlight Greater Cincinnati's national reputation as a center of excellence for competitive swimming."
 
While the River Swim does draw participation from triathletes and conditioned swimmers, it’s also open to anyone who can swim and wants to engage in a unique and fun opportunity to take advantage of the last remaining weeks of warm weather.
 
Proceeds benefit Green Umbrella, a nonprofit alliance that promotes environmental sustainability in our region. Specifically, the Great Ohio River Swim will benefit the nonprofit’s Meet Me Outdoors website, which highlights recreational outings around town.

Event organizers are monitoring the recent "algae bloom" reports about the Ohio River that would make conditions unsafe to swim but say on the event website that "the weather has changed dramatically with cooler temperatures and recent rain, making the likelihood of a health threatening algae bloom increasingly remote. Nevertheless, the Great Ohio River Swim is committed to swimmer safety. We are working closely with ORSANCO and the Cincinnati Health Department to monitor all conditions that might affect swimmer safety."

"This is a fun and safe opportunity for people of all ages to swim across the Ohio," says Brewster Rhoads, Swim Chair and volunteer with Green Umbrella. "Swimmers are invariably impressed with the cleanliness and beauty of the Ohio, and they become more committed to protecting it." 

Do Good: 

Register for the Great Ohio River Swim, which takes place Sunday, Oct. 10 at 8:15 a.m., beginning and ending at the Serpentine Wall/Public Landing in downtown Cincinnati.

• Check out Meet Me Outdoors and find an event to attend with your friends or families. 

• If you're interested in supporting Green Umbrella, find out how you can get involved.
 

Businesses, residents, community groups transform vacant Walnut Hills lot into community garden


Keep Cincinnati Beautiful kicked off a transformative project last week to turn a vacant Walnut Hills lot into a community garden, thanks to help from more than 20 Lowe’s Heroes and volunteers from the Health & Wellness Walnut Hills initiative.
 
The endeavor includes plans for raised vegetable beds, an art and journaling area and a walking meditation pathway and will be completed in three to four weeks, with measures in place to ensure sustainability for years to come.
 
“We are continuing to build a strong team of dedicated neighborhood volunteers,” says Gary Dangel, community activist and co-founder of Elevate Walnut Hills. “With the ongoing support of local businesses and organizations such as Lowe’s and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, we will create a fun, interactive place that encourages kids to explore and discover the wonders of nature.”
 
Dangel led the creative process for the garden’s design on Park Avenue, just one project in the neighborhood’s push for community health and wellness.

Longtime residents like Cecil Evans, who has lived in Walnut Hills for nearly 40 years, are excited to witness the transformation and to put the renovated space to use.
 
“It’s been a nuisance. I can’t understand why people litter the Earth,” Evans says. “I lived off a farm most of my life and plan to grow vegetables here next year.”

Do Good:

• Support Keep Cincinnati Beautiful by donating.

• Learn about ways you can get involved with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful by volunteering.

• Join Keep Cincinnati Beautiful as the organization launches a crowdfunding campaign for Over-the-Rhine's Grant Park at the Christian Moerlein Brewery Taproom 5-7 p.m. Aug. 19.
 

Rescheduled Paddlefest hosts three float events and downtown festival


The 14th annual Ohio River Paddlefest, whose original June dates were swamped by heavy rain and high river levels, is set for Aug. 2. Online pre-registration is closed, but on-site registration is available both Aug. 1 and 2.
 
According to Brewster Rhoads, Paddlefest Chair and former executive director of Green Umbrella — sponsor of the event — the thrill kayakers will experience on Aug. 2 is the same one that will prompt future generations of people to become invested in the Ohio River and all it has to offer as a natural resource.
 
“Sitting just inches above the water line in a canoe or kayak lets one feel the power of the Ohio as it conveys rainfall from seven upriver states to the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. “If you close your eyes, you can just imagine how Lewis and Clark felt as they made their way downriver in 1803.”

Paddlefest offers three opportunities to get in the water Aug. 2: a five-mile stand-up paddleboard (SUP) race, an 11-mile canoe and kayak race and the 8.2-mile paddle. The races begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the paddle start. All boats put in at Coney Island and finish at the Public Landing downtown. Shuttle buses will take participants from downtown to Coney Island before the events (6-8 a.m.) and after (10 a.m.-1:45 p.m.).

The Gold Star Chili Finish Line Festival at Yeatman’s Cove will run 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., featuring live music, racer awards, Global Water Dancers, food, beer and exhibitors.
 
Kayaking between the downtown bridges with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop will undoubtedly be a unique experience and a scene to be remembered. It’s the largest paddling event in the country and one Rhoads says should not be missed.
 
“It is hard to love something you don't know. That's why Paddlefest is so effective in changing attitudes about the Ohio,” Rhoads says. “By giving 2,000 adults and children each year an opportunity to get an up-close and personal experience with the beauty and majesty of the Ohio, Paddlefest is helping to grow the next generation of environmental stewards.” 

Do Good: 

• Interested in paddling the Ohio? Register on-site at Coney Island Saturday, Aug. 1 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) or Sunday, Aug. 2 (starting at 6:30 a.m.). Check here for prices and details.

• If you're feeling competitive, join one of the two races Aug. 2.

• Become an environmental steward by getting involved with Green Umbrella and its other initiatives year-round.
 

Metro offers free Fan Shuttle in downtown, OTR to connect All Star Game weekend activities


If you’re worried about downtown traffic and parking during All Star Game weekend, look no further than Metro, which is offering free shuttle service for related festivities.
 
The Metro Fan Shuttle will run 7-10 p.m. Friday, July 10; 12-10 p.m. Saturday, July 11; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, July 12; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. as well as 6-9 p.m. Monday, July 13. Buses will run a loop from Fountain Square to Government Square to Duke Energy Convention Center to Washington Park every 10-12 minutes.
 
“Metro is running the free Fan Shuttle as a courtesy to the community to help ease traffic congestion and allow easier access for visitors and residents to enjoy the dozens of events and activities scheduled during All Star weekend in downtown and Over-the-Rhine,” says Brandy Jones, Metro’s public relations manager.
 
According to Jones, an estimated 200,000 visitors are expected in town during the weekend, so there’s no better time to leave your car behind. Metro offers 21 different Park & Ride locations to bring you downtown, in addition to 50 routes throughout the region.
 
“It's a great way to introduce new riders to our service and remind the community just how easy and convenient it is to take Metro every day,” Jones says. “And once they're in town, the free Metro Fan Shuttle allows riders to hop on and off along the route connecting them to dozens of events at the Duke Energy Center, Fountain Square and Washington Park.” 

The Duke Energy Center is hosting the T-Mobile All Star FanFest Friday-Tuesday, and there are free events every day at Fountain Square and Washington Park. Soapbox has the full schedule of All Star Game events and festivities here.

Do Good: 

• Hop aboard Metro's Fan Shuttle. Hours of operation and details regarding pick-up and drop-off sites can be found here.

• Take part in All Star Game festivities, and attend free events around town.

• New rider? Learn everything you need to know about riding Metro here.
 
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