Progress To Date

Light Up Avondale was launched in January 2017. Since then, much progress has been made with collaboration, outreach, awareness, and planning. The Zoo has made tremendous strides to continue to upgrade lights on its campus to LEDs, including our parking lots.

Within the community, we have partnered with Donovan Energy to conduct lighting audits and upgrade the following non-profits, churches, and small business to 100% LED:

  • Gabriel’s Place
  • Urban League
  • Wesley Education Center
  • Greater New Hope Baptist Church
  • Greater New Light Baptist Church
  • Cincinnati Christian College
  • Zion Baptist Church
  • Peace Baptist Church
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Manifested Glory Ministries
  • Second Corinthians Church
  • New Beginnings Church
  • Progressive Baptist Church
  • Avondale Food Mart
  • Nanny’s Day Care
  • JC Battle Funeral Home
  • Corinthian Baptist Church
  • John AME Zion Church
  • Carmel Presbyterian Church
  • Stagg’s Barbershop
  • Civic Garden Center
  • Emanuel Baptized Believers
  • Renfro Funeral Home
  • Southern Baptist Church
  • Prince Hall Masons
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • The Maple

Residents have also been made aware of the project through our Summer Street Team in June and July of 2017, as well as our current Install Team made up of the Green Corps from the Groundwork Ohio River Valley. To date, at least 65 residents have been upgraded to LED, saving them each $200-$400 a year on their energy bills. The Team will also be upgrading residential units in apartment buildings like The Maple before the end of the year.

Avondale is home to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. A strong community means a strong Zoo, and vice versa. The fourth pillar of our mission, “Serving Community,” was added in 2005 – recognizing our desire and responsibility to build a strong relationship with our Avondale, and collaborate with neighborhood organizations, schools, and residents to build a safe, strong, healthy community.  Avondale is predominately low-income, high-unemployment, high-crime, and underserved. With the support of the Duke Class Benefit Fund, we can share our experience with energy efficiency and environmental sustainability to benefit neighboring home and business owners.

This project has the potential to impact the estimated 8,048 individuals who call Avondale home, as well as those who visit Avondale churches and businesses that were selected for the project. Through the installation of LED bulbs, which are more efficient and long-lasting than CFL or incandescent bulbs, homeowners, business owners, and churches will have lower energy bills every month, won’t have to buy replacement bulbs as often, and will enjoy safer lighting and increased comfort levels indoors. These savings will put money back into homeowners’ and renters’ pockets and cut expenses for community organizations so they can invest more in their core missions.

The entire Avondale community, as well as anyone visiting Avondale, benefits by outdoor lighting in “trouble spots”—areas that have seen a high number of crime-related activities. This makes Avondale more accessible and residents can feel safer walking at night.  Additionally, this partnership continues to strengthen our relationship with Avondale, community partners, and the city of Cincinnati.

A big focus of the project is to get local students and youth involved through work experience.

Light Up Avondale Street Team

The Street Team is a group of local high schoolers who go door-to-door with flyers, attend community events and meetings, and make calls to get residents signed up for bulb retrofits. The students are not only getting involved in their own community, but also learning valuable communication, leadership, and responsibility skills. They are our “boots on the ground” team that have been spreading the word about the Light Up Avondale Project. For many of these young teens, this is their first job.

Light Up Avondale Install Team

Part of this project is to support workforce development. The Install Team is designed to support and give opportunity to youth and young adults who need to build experience and skills. The Install Team is made up of the Green Corps and the Green Team from the Groundwork Ohio River Valley. These teenagers and young adults have gone through training with Cincinnati State to learn all about lighting, bulb types, fixtures, and more. Since June 2018, they have been applying their new knowledge and upgrading lightbulbs in residents’ homes. Through Light Up Avondale, these individuals are strengthening their skills in energy efficiency, sustainability, communication, data tracking, customer service skills, inventory, and team building.

The Light Up Avondale Project is made possible not only through the Duke CBF, but also through the many partners that are helping to spread education and awareness, sharing their programs and resources, providing individuals for the street and install teams, providing space for trainings and meetings, conducting energy audits, and assisting with the identification and installation process.

  • Easterseals
  • Cincinnati State
  • AmeriCorps
  • Gabriel’s Place
  • Donovan Energy
  • Avondale Community Council
  • Avondale Development Corporation
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Cincinnati Police Department (District 4)
  • Groundwork Ohio River Valley
  • Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)