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Avondale in Action

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.

Check out the Avondale in Action News Release from the event, as well as photographs that can be found on Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and People Working Cooperatively Facebook pages.

September 9, 2011   No Comments

Green Your Home Contest

Back in the spring, the Zoo hosted a continuing education session on energy efficiency for our volunteers. Lilah Glick, Marketing & Community Outreach Director for the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) gave the presentation. Afterwards, the two of us spoke and I brought up the idea of doing a workshop or some kind of contest that would bring energy efficiency to the homes of Avondale. She loved the idea of a contest, and we invited Uptown Consortium to join the conversation and the 2011 “Green Your Home Contest” was born! Together, these 3 organizations worked with other community partners to offer a chance for a homeowner to win up to $7,500 worth of home energy improvements, including new windows.

The contest was open to any single family residence in one of the five Uptown neighborhoods (Mt. Auburn, Avondale, Corryville, Clifton and CUF). There were no income requirements. All contestants had to do was sign up through the GCEA website, enter in some information about their energy usage and bills as well as answer a few questions about why they feel they should win the contest.

Congratulations to Vesta Cox, of Corryville, who was selected as the contest winner. Ms. Cox will have her 1930 home improved for free with energy efficiency upgrades including attic, basement and roof insulation; air and duct sealing; and $1,000 in energy efficient windows – totaling over $7,500 in home energy improvements.  She started saving money as soon as the work began on her home, and will enjoy improved comfort and safety at home. She is committed to maintaining the energy efficiency in her home once the major upgrades have been made, and will make smaller changes herself. Ms. Cox was selected based on her submitted essay answers, as well as the results of her home energy assessment, which showed great potential for energy savings.  Read more about Ms. Cox and the contest in our press release.

Ms. Cox was one of 5 contest semifinalists that received a free home energy assessment. The other semifinalists were: Ozie Davis III of Avondale, Michael Elovitz of Clifton, Cindy Lewis of CUF, and Sharon Morgan of Mt. Auburn. Thanks again to each of our 54 contest applicants. Applicants are still eligible to take advantage of our reduced cost energy assessment, as well as our low interest loan and 35% incentives towards home energy improvements.

The Green Your Home Contest was made possible thanks to the Energy Alliance’s partnership with Uptown Consortium, Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies, The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Bill Groh Construction. These organizations are proud supporters of the contest and hope that other residents can take advantage of the sustainable resources available in the community.

September 2, 2011   No Comments

Zoo Green Class: Energy Efficiency

Tired of expensive electric bills? Sick of being uncomfortable in your own home because it is too hot or too cold? Interested in learning more about energy efficiency for your home? Then come to our free, Zoo Green Class! Join the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and learn all about energy efficiency for your home. This program will cover the basics of energy in your home and discuss low-cost/no-cost ways to reduce energy consumption while increasing home comfort and saving money.  Information about home energy audits will also be covered.

Class is open to any Zoo guest with paid admission or membership, as well as for our volutneers and employees. Details for the class are as follows:

Monday, June 20, 2011


Location: Tree Tops

Please RSVP by Sunday night to Fia Cifuentes at [email protected] if you are able to attend!



June 13, 2011   No Comments