CROWN Capital Campaign raises $10 million to connect urban trails
The CROWN Capital Campaign announced today that they have raised $10 million in private funding to support the first phase of a 34-mile urban trail loop around Cincinnati. P&G joins Kroger Health and UDF as “CROWN Jewel” partners in the nonprofit fundraising effort to link the Wasson Way, Little Miami Scenic Trail, and Ohio River Trail. Each company will be represented on the trail as “CROWN Jewels,” a prestigious distinction reserved for Cincinnati’s most purpose-driven donors. In addition, over 450 businesses, foundations, and individuals have contributed to the CROWN’s fundraising success.
“Improving physical connections in our neighborhoods is foundational to improving the health, wealth, and future success of our region,” said Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer for P&G. “An important part of P&G’s efforts to be a force for good and a force for growth is improving the quality of life where we live and work and doing so equitably. The CROWN helps deliver on that mission as it connects disparate communities across Cincinnati with a focus on equitable access to the many health, recreation, and transportation options the region has to offer.”
The CROWN will offer Cincinnati residents and visitors an accessible outdoor venue for activity and exercise, which has been shown to improve quality of life and health outcomes. In addition, by linking 54 unique communities around Cincinnati with major destinations like employment centers, universities, business districts, parks, and attractions, the CROWN will provide a safe transportation option and a means to discover the best the region has to offer.
“Not only do trails offer a safe recreation and transportation opportunity for families in nearby neighborhoods, they also enhance the quality of life by creating stronger and more connected communities,” said Jan Portman, Co-Chair of the CROWN Campaign Cabinet. “We believe the CROWN will be a ribbon of positive energy surrounding our Queen City.”
As Jewel donors, P&G, Kroger Health, and UDF have each committed $1 million to the fundraising effort. A fourth Jewel-level gift was contributed by the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation.
In December 2021, the City of Cincinnati opened the most recent phase of Wasson Way, routing through Ault Park over a former rail trestle and connecting to the Murray Path at Old Red Bank Road. The trail corridor now spans 5.6 miles from Xavier University to Mariemont. Over the next two years, Wasson Way will extend two miles westward through Xavier’s campus, connecting to Avondale and linking to the Uptown Innovation Corridor at MLK Jr. Drive. Additional federal and state grant funding is being pursued to finish the Ohio River Trail from Lunken Airport to Downtown and to connect the Murray Path from Mariemont to the Little Miami Scenic Trail at Newtown Road.
The CROWN is led by a nonprofit partnership of Tri-State Trails, Wasson Way, and Ohio River Way, and is supported by a public-private partnership that includes the City of Cincinnati, Great Parks of Hamilton County, and SORTA. The project will leverage $44 million in public funding in addition to $10 million in private donations to bring the vision for Cincinnati’s first-ever urban trail loop to fruition by connecting several key regional trails that are currently noncontiguous – Ohio River Trail, Little Miami Scenic Trail, Wasson Way, and Murray Path. By constructing key connectors between these trails, the CROWN Capital Campaign will complete the eastern 24-mile portion of the planned CROWN loop.
To learn more or donate, visit www.crowncincinnati.org.