The Zoo was busy in the community this past August. Not only did we help with the Green Your Home Contest, but we also partnered with local organizations for “Avondale in Action: Weatherization 101”. On Saturday, August 27, over 40 volunteers from all over the community gathered in the Zoo’s Dury Parking lot for a morning of home weatherization to improve the safety, comfort and affordability of 6 pre-selected Avondale homes. “Avondale in Action” was a team effort by the Cincinnati Zoo, People Working Cooperatively (PWC), the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Chase Bank. PWC was able to organize 6 low income homes in the Avondale community that were in major need of home weatherization. PWC’s crew leaders, along with a team of AmeriCorps NCCC members from the GCEA, led the 40+ volunteers in hands on training at each of these homes.
Volunteers learned how to seal ducts, replace dryer vents, install weather stripping, wrap water heaters, add insulation, replace showerheads and faucets, and the list continues. All of these measures will ensure the Avondale home to be much safer, healthier and comfortable for the homeowner, as well as decreasing their utility bills. After a morning of hard work, the volunteers received a ticket to the Zoo and were invited back for an after party which included a pizza lunch, animal demonstrations, and a walking tour of the Zoo’s green initiatives. It was a great event for everyone – the homeowners, the volunteers and the community partners. It was a perfect program for the Zoo to continue to educate the community in going green, being environmentally and economically conscious as well as strengthen our relationships with local organizations.