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Tri-State Trails celebrates decade, to be nonprofit organization, independent of Green Umbrella

After a decade of transformational progress for Greater Cincinnati’s trail and bikeway network, Tri-State Trails is announcing plans to become a new nonprofit organization, separate from its current parent organization, Green Umbrella. This decision has been in the making for more than a year and received the full support of the Green Umbrella board of trustees.

“Our region is seeing a significantly increased demand from communities to connect and expand our trail and bikeway infrastructure. For the last ten years, Green Umbrella has provided the support Tri-State Trails needed to get started, grow, and thrive. We’ve reached a point in our maturity as an organization where it makes sense for us to become a separate entity. This will allow us to continue to increase our capacity, reach, and impact, as we advocate for the growth and connectivity of our region’s active transportation network,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails.

Tri-State Trails’ was initially organized in 2012 by Green Umbrella, then under the direction of former Executive Director Brewster Rhoads, with the purpose of convening a Regional Trails Summit in March 2013. The momentum generated through the summit led to the creation of a 10-county Regional Trails Plan, which has inspired many local government partners to work on multi-jurisdictional trail and bikeway projects. One noteworthy example is the CROWN, a signature project of Tri-State Trails to connect the Wasson Way, Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio River Trail, and Mill Creek Greenway to form a 34-mile urban trail loop. Tri-State Trails aims to make the CROWN (Cincinnati Riding Or Walking Network) a regional “hub” for trails around the City of Cincinnati that catalyzes future “spokes” spurring into surrounding communities.

Since its inception, Tri-State Trails has grown into the leading organization advocating for trail and bikeway projects in Greater Cincinnati. Its staff of four provides technical assistance and expertise to many local governments looking to build or expand their pathways for people-powered movement.

“Green Umbrella has been an incubator for many projects over the years, and Tri-State Trails is yet another success story,” said Ryan Mooney-Bullock, Executive Director of Green Umbrella.  “This move will enable Tri-State Trails to expand its reach and impact, under the leadership of a focused board and staff, while also freeing up capacity at Green Umbrella for the other environmental priorities we lead on. Green Umbrella and Tri-State Trails will continue to collaborate and partner on the complex regional effort of decreasing the car-dependency of our region.”

The other programs currently housed within Green Umbrella are the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, Cincinnati 2030 District, Common Orchard Project, and the recently launched Regional Climate Collaborative. Green Umbrella also facilitates Impact Teams and other collaborative efforts, including CPS Outside. The regional sustainability alliance has served as the fiscal agent or sponsor for other projects including Red Bike, Taking Root, Adventure Crew, and Produce Perks Midwest, all of which are now independent nonprofit organizations.

The biennial summit that initiated Tri-State Trails returns this year on November 10 at Northern Kentucky University and will focus on envisioning a connected trail and bikeway network in Campbell, Kenton, and Boone County that mirrors the CROWN in Ohio. To learn more about this upcoming event, to get involved, or to help position Tri-State Trails for success in the next decade by making a donation, visit tristatetrails.org.

Tri-State Trails is an alliance of community advocates advancing a vision to connect and expand our region’s trail network. Their mission is to connect people and places with a regional trail and bikeway network that enhances the vibrancy, equity and health of our communities.

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