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The CROWN Partners with Kroger Health and UDF to Create First-Ever Urban Trail Loop in Cincinnati

Thursday, June 3, 2021 by Wade Johnston

The two companies will be named as “Crown Jewel” partners of the nonprofit effort to raise $8 million in private funding to build a 34-mile trail around the city

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The CROWN (Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network) today announced that they have raised $6 million in private funding to connect several key regional trails across the greater Cincinnati area, including major donations from two iconic local companies – Kroger Health and United Dairy Farmers (UDF). UDF has been part of the Cincinnati community since 1940. Kroger Health is the healthcare division of the Kroger Co., which has been headquartered in Cincinnati for 138 years. 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 150 other leading area corporations and foundations have committed their support for The Crown.

“Our Kroger Health team is honored to serve as one of the Jewels on the CROWN,” said Colleen Lindholz, President of Kroger Health. “Our vision is to help people live healthier lives, and we believe this project will do just that. Just as healthy eating and community health care are vital to improving physical and mental wellness, so is maintaining an active lifestyle.”

The CROWN will offer Cincinnatians a safe outdoor venue for activity and exercise, which has been shown to reduce healthcare costs and increase the quality of life across communities. In addition, by weaving together 54 unique Cincinnati neighborhoods and major destinations like parks, colleges, museums, bridges, murals, and places of employment, the CROWN supports transportation equity and a means of discovery among new and longtime residents alike.

In addition to the core 34-mile urban loop, the CROWN trail network will also serve as a hub for more than 600 miles of adjacent trails spanning Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

“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, Kroger Health and UDF have each committed $1M to the project. The CROWN is reserving space for two additional Jewel partners to be recognized on the trail. Jewel partners will be invited to construct a custom art installation on the CROWN and will have the opportunity to host on-trail activations throughout their sponsorship. The Jewel partners will also advocate for future fundraising efforts as the CROWN project moves towards completion.

“United Dairy Farmers is proud to call Cincinnati home, and we’re committed to projects that enhance the quality of life of residents in our hometown,” said Brad Lindner, CEO of United Dairy Farmers. “The CROWN is a critical step to making Cincinnati a leading destination for cycling and outdoor activity, on par with many of the large-scale biking and walking infrastructure projects we’ve seen in other parts of the country.”

UDF plans to construct a diamond-themed monument along Wasson Way, just steps from where the family business first opened its doors.

The CROWN is led by Tri-State Trails, an initiative of Green Umbrella, 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, Cincinnati Parks, and SORTA. The project will leverage $42 million in public funding in addition to $8 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 disparate – Ohio River Trail, Little Miami Scenic Trail, Wasson Way, and Murray Path. By constructing key connectors between these trails, the current capital campaign will complete the eastern portion of the CROWN loop.

To learn more or donate, visit www.crowncincinnati.org.

About The CROWN

The CROWN is a vision for Cincinnati’s first-ever urban trail loop, which will connect more than 356,000 citizens in 54 communities via 34 miles of multi-use trails. The CROWN project is decades in the making, beginning with the construction of Cincinnati’s robust public park system in the early 1800s, and is championed by many passionate civil leaders, volunteers, and elected officials. Based on data from cities around the country, the completion of the CROWN will help enhance Cincinnati’s real estate values, accessibility to essential services, and overall economic metrics of the city. Learn more at www.crowncincinnati.org.

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