Green Umbrella

Green Umbrella

Green Umbrella has a passionate team that is committed to improving equity, quality of life, health outcomes and environmental quality across a 10-county region.  
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Company Information

Green Umbrella serves as the regional sustainability alliance of Greater Cincinnati, with hundreds of member organizations and individuals passionate about enhancing the environmental health and vitality of our region.

Our Mission: We lead collaboration, incubate ideas and catalyze solutions that create a resilient, sustainable region for all.

Our Vision: A vibrant community where sustainability is woven into our ways of life.

10-County Regional Footprint: Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren (in Ohio); Boone, Campbell, Grant, and Kenton (in Kentucky); and Dearborn and Franklin (in Indiana).

Our Core Values:

  • Environmental Stewardship: We believe in being a good steward of the environment and its resources.
  • Collective Impact: We believe in serving as an inclusive community convener that unites passionate people and organizations around actions that generate a transformational impact.
  • Ideation: We believe in bold ideas that propel our community forward and make it a more environmentally sustainable space for all.
  • Equity: We encourage participation by all types of entities representing the full diversity of our region.

We serve as the backbone organization for collective impact.

Green Umbrella facilitates collaboration among non-profits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities to meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of today while preserving the ability of future generations to thrive.

We have united around the Collective Impact model, which has produced remarkable results for the STRIVE Partnership, the collaborative that promotes innovation in our local education system. The model teaches that success requires having a common agenda, using a shared measurement system, supporting mutually reinforcing activities and maintaining continuous communication.

Green Umbrella is the “backbone organization” that helps all member organizations work better together to promote a more environmentally sustainable region.

Company History

The organization that became Green Umbrella began in 1998. It was a response to diminishing natural areas and biodiversity in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana region. Citizens and organizations came together to find ways to preserve and restore greenspace. The fledgling organization developed the first strategic plan to guide efforts and help environmental groups work together more effectively.

Recognizing the importance of raising awareness and encouraging the enjoyment of natural areas, Green Umbrella began hosting Great Outdoor Weekend in 2010. This annual showcase of outdoor recreation and education allows our member organizations to present hundreds of free events, attracting thousands of participants.

In 2011, Green Umbrella significantly expanded its mission. In partnership with Agenda 360 and Vision 2015 (now Skyward), Cincinnati’s leading planning initiatives, we became the sustainability alliance for the region. We hired our first executive director, adopted the Collective Impact model, and created Action Teams focused on key issue areas. The Teams built strategic partnerships to improve economic vitality and quality of life by maximizing environmental sustainability.

Green Umbrella found that we were able to add significant value by aiding nonprofit start-ups. Their successes show how Collective Impact and a strong backbone organization can support aligned activities. Organizations we have “incubated” include Red Bike, Taking Root, Outdoor Adventure Clubs (now Adventure Crew), and Sidestreams Foundation. We also found success in coordinating grant applications, distributing funds to our member organizations. The results have exceeded what individual organizations could achieve individually.

In 2014, Green Umbrella hosted the first Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit. This annual conference now brings together hundreds of participants and dozens of exhibitors to share the latest ideas and best practices in environmental sustainability.

In 2015, Green Umbrella launched our first staffed initiatives, Tri-State Trails and the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council. Tri-State Trails was born out of work led by the Outdoor Action Team, which created a Regional Trails Alliance in 2012, hosted a Regional Trails Forum in 2013, and developed a Regional Trails Plan in 2014. The Food Policy Council resulted from work by the Local Food Action Team, which developed a Strategic Plan and the region’s first State of Local Food Report.

In 2018, Green Umbrella launched our third staffed initiative, the Cincinnati 2030 District, joining an international network of cities committed to transforming the built environment. This was the result of work by members of the Energy Action Team.

In 2019, Green Umbrella developed its new strategic plan, mission, and vision. A new set of Impact Teams replaced the Action Teams. These new groups are more focused on specific, measurable, achievable goals. We look forward to greater results as development of strategies and action steps progresses.

In 2020, Green Umbrella launched a new Climate Policy area of focus to support local governments in their sustainability, resilience and equity efforts, and foster regional collaboration.

In 2021, Green Umbrella adopted The Common Orchard Project under a new incubator model, to help it grow and expand.

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