Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky environmental projects awarded more than $275,000 from Duke Energy

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  • Grants to support 16 initiatives focused on clean water, clean air and conservation

CINCINNATI -- Duke Energy today awarded $276,600 for 16 projects designed to aid clean water, clean air and conservation initiatives across Greater Cincinnati.

"We're proud to support organizations implementing impactful programs that aim to protect, improve or restore natural resources," said Lynn Good, Duke Energy's chairman, president and CEO. "From expanding land restoration to protecting habitats to educating future leaders on environmental stewardship, these projects will make a positive difference on the environment and the community."

Good joined the grantees for a ceremony at Smale Riverfront Park's Anderson Pavilion earlier today. Each year, the Duke Energy Foundation funds programs across southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky that emphasize land and wildlife habitat conservation efforts; protection of water quality, water-related resources and air quality; and environmental education for local teachers and students.

"Duke Energy continues to invest in cleaner energy, reducing our environmental footprint and employing groundbreaking technologies that offer customers more convenience and control over their energy use," said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. "We also continually invest in community programs and projects that directly benefit this region and everyone who lives here."

The following are summaries of each of the 16 local projects that were awarded a combined $276,600 during this morning's ceremony.

  • Boy Scouts of America
    $10,000 for ecology and conservation programs

The Dan Beard Council, the local administrative body of the Boy Scouts of America, will apply its Duke Energy grant toward the hands-on ecology and conservation programs offered at Camp Friedlander in Loveland, Ohio. The programs help scouts build a better connection to nature through exposure, education and practical experience.

  • Cardinal Land Conservancy
    $25,000 for Rinsky Woods Nature Preserve

Cardinal Land Conservancy, a regional land trust across seven southwest Ohio counties, will put its Duke Energy grant toward matching other funding to purchase a globally endangered habitat type in northeast Clermont County, Ohio. The new nature preserve will serve the surrounding communities by providing a hiking trail for passive recreation for all to enjoy.

  • Children Inc.
    $10,000 for Service Learning Program

Since 2005, the Children Inc. Service Learning Program has facilitated more than 5,000 projects with 220,000 students at more than 80 schools in our region. This Duke Energy grant will help enable Children Inc. to partner with Cincinnati Natural Center as well as expand its "service learning" strategy, which integrates meaningful community service with preparation and reflection to enrich students' learning experiences, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.

  • Cincinnati Parks Foundation
    $10,000 for increasing Cincinnati's tree canopy

Cincinnati Parks' ReLeaf program aims to increase the planting of trees – and develop the tree canopy – across Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods. The Duke Energy grant will be used to purchase hundreds of trees for residents to plant on their properties along streets where Cincinnati Parks cannot plant because of narrow rights of way. The benefits are clear: Trees remove pollutant elements from the air and help reduce energy use by providing shade.

  • Cincy Red Bike
    $25,000 to expand bike share system

Cincy Red Bike, which launched in 2014, will use its grant toward making bike share available to more neighborhoods and residents of Greater Cincinnati and, as a result, decrease single-occupancy vehicle trips. The expansion project will add 25 new bike share stations and 300 more bicycles, predominantly electric assist bicycles, which will aid users in traveling longer distances and mitigating the region's topographical challenges.

  • Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati
    $10,000 for community garden hubs

The Civic Garden Center is a regional horticultural resource whose mission is to build community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship. Duke Energy's grant will allow the Civic Garden Center to expand the reach of its Community Gardens program by helping the organization establish three garden hubs, implement conservation techniques and make hands-on conservation instruction available to all nearby community gardeners.

  • East Row Garden Club
    $10,000 for Newport Tree Revitalize program

East Row Garden Club will use its Duke Energy grant to partner with the city of Newport, Ky., and property owners to increase the overall tree canopy in the city. In turn, the new trees will improve public health, lower energy costs for residents and continue to revitalize the community for years to come. The need to improve the canopy in Newport comes on the heels of a recent assessment conducted by a local urban forestry council. In addition, the city recently removed about 120 trees lost to emerald ash borer.

  • Foundation for Ohio River Education
    $20,000 for river and urban stream research and education

Foundation for Ohio River Education teaches people of all ages to become environmental stewards through hands-on programs. The Duke Energy grant will fund programs on the Ohio River for students to learn about water quality monitoring, habitat assessments and studies of aquatic organisms. In addition, the organization will use some of its grant money for a pilot program that provides training and materials for schools to conduct monitoring and cleanup activities at urban streams near their campuses.

  • Green Umbrella
    $14,600 for green infrastructure at schools

Green Umbrella's Watershed Action Team will use the lessons learned from a pilot project at Gamble Montessori to help four more schools take important first steps toward building green infrastructure on their campuses. This includes installing rain gardens and trees to manage stormwater, which is the leading cause of water pollution in our region. 

  • Lincoln Heights Comprehensive Development Corp.
    $20,000 for a green, sustainable and resilient eco district

Launched in 2016, the nonprofit Lincoln Heights Comprehensive Development Corp. aims to transform Cincinnati's Lincoln Heights neighborhood, a historical African-American community, into a sought-after, safe, walkable, livable and sustainable "net zero" village. The organization will use the 2018 Duke Energy grant to continue what they started with its 2017 grant – training young adults as environmental champions, upgrading its bioswale, improving tree cover and more. 

  • Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
    $25,000 for Little Duck Creek Trail improvement project

The Little Duck Creek Trail improvement project is a community-driven environmental restoration initiative at the Little Duck Creek Nature Preserve in Cincinnati's Madisonville neighborhood. The local redevelopment nonprofit will use the Duke Energy grant money for the targeted removal of invasive vegetation and hire an expert to provide grant consulting services that aim to secure state funding for additional environmental and conservation education programs for the Madisonville community.

  • Miami University
    $15,000 for student energy case competition

Founded in 2012, this annual case competition brings together students from all majors to learn how to understand, analyze and solve interdisciplinary business challenges in the energy sector. This year's case will focus on attracting and retaining young talent to the energy industry given the aging workforce. Specifically, the industry's transformation to a smart grid and the demand for innovative solutions related to sustainability are critical for achieving this goal.

  • Mill Creek Alliance
    $15,000 for environmental education and service programs

The Mill Creek, which was once designated the "most endangered urban river in North America," and its tributaries touch 37 political jurisdictions and more than 450,000 residents across Greater Cincinnati. The Duke Energy grant will support Mill Creek Alliance's efforts to provide environmental education and service programs to more than 1,000 students in schools in and around the watershed. It will also help fund environmental workforce development programs as well as a summer youth program for students interested in pursuing careers in a variety of environmental fields.

  • Thomas More College
    $20,000 for water quality research

The Duke Energy grant will allow Thomas More College to fund undergraduate research in water quality at the college's 25-acre teaching and research field station along the Ohio River in Campbell County, Ky. Students will study the No. 1 threat to our region's aquatic resources: nonpoint source pollution – namely runoff from agricultural and urban areas. This work will ultimately lead to insights and solutions that reduce the adverse impacts of stormwater runoff.

  • University of Cincinnati Foundation
    $25,000 for research training program for teachers

Duke Energy will once again support for the Summer Environmental Research Training program that provides funds for K-12 teachers to team with UC researchers for six weeks of hands-on scientific research and instruction in air and water quality, biodiversity, waste management and other topics. The summer program aims to inspire teachers, enhance their scientific understanding, and help them develop curriculum modules and ideas to use in their classrooms.

  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
    $22,000 for pollinator-friendly habitats

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will put its Duke Energy grant toward initiatives aimed at increasing the number and size of pollinator-friendly habitats in urban landscapes across Greater Cincinnati. The project will include finding and growing the best plants for pollinators, educating homeowners and landscape professionals through a best practices workshop and handbook, and creating two large pollinator gardens at key community sites.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts.

The foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career – particularly science, technology, engineering and math – as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky's operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 533,000 customers.

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Contact: Lee Freedman
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