Year: 2022

22 Dec 2022
small white mushrooms on moss log

Ecology and Environment Research Grants

Greenacres researchers setting up plots to measure invasive species.

Research Grants Available

Supporting Ecology and the Environment

A Cincinnati based non-profit, Greenacres Foundation, is awarding up to $200,000 in grants for research focused on ecology and the environment. The foundation was established in 1988 with the intent of preserving the land for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

small white mushrooms on moss log

Greenacres Foundation seeks proposals for research that addresses one or more of the following outcomes:

    • Improved practices in woodland restoration and/or preservation
    • Improved invasive species mitigation and management
    • Improved forest ecosystem health
    • Improved practices in prairie establishment and prairie ecosystem health

    Qualified organizations have through January 13th, 2023 to submit their letters of intent for this year’s grant cycle.

    Applicants must have an interest in sharing knowledge about what they learn with land owners and land managers. Translational research projects that include both researchers and practitioners will be prioritized. Projects are expected to be completed within 48 months of funding date.

      22 Dec 2022
      Bench in shade next to large tree, with cow pastures in background

      Nippert Legacy Expands Support in 2022

      Bench in shade next to large tree, with cow pastures in background

      Nippert Legacy Expands Support in 2022

      The Nippert charitable endeavors, which include the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation, the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, and Greenacres Foundation have collectively donated more than $13 million to grant recipients throughout 2022. Their contributions will support more than 90 nonprofits and research endeavors in 2023 and beyond.

      “The impact of the Nippert legacy on Cincinnati can be felt in everything from medical and social services to the arts and education. The funds and foundations reflect the Nippert’s commitment to supporting worthy causes while honoring interests they held during their lifetimes. They believed in doing the most good and we enjoy carrying on this tradition.”

      Carter Randolph, Greenacres President

      The L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation was established in 1981 to provide grant opportunities for any qualified non-profits located in the Greater Cincinnati region. In 2022 it awarded $4,367,879 in grant money to 69 nonprofits with causes ranging from providing youth services, supporting recycling, hospice care, and so much more.     

      The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund is managed by Greenacres Foundation and was set up to support musical arts initiatives in the area. It is a proud annual supporter of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, and May Festival. In addition to supporting these organizations the Fund provides grant opportunities for non-profits who support local musical arts initiatives. In 2022 it awarded $7,217,160 in grant money to Cincinnati based organizations. 

      “We are thrilled to have our grant selection process completed for the year and looking forward to the recipients receiving their funds before the holidays. These funds make a real difference in the ability of these organizations to tackle the challenges facing our communities.”

      Meredith Leslie, Greenacres Executive Director and board member

      Greenacres Foundation preserves over a thousand acres in the region for the education and enjoyment of school children, families, and adult visitors. In 2022 Greenacres expanded their support of the community by offering new grant opportunities for organizations who focus on researching generative agriculture or ecology and environmental programs. It awarded $503,969 to these research endeavors while continuing its focus on charitable activities providing educational programming to school children. It also is providing four special one-time grants of $400,000 each to the Cincinnati Zoo, Museum Center, Freestore Foodbank, and Easter Seals. 

      “The vast majority of funds available for agriculture research is disproportionately distributed to continue to promote large scale, commodity-driven, food production systems that come with a host of unintended consequences. The commitment that Greenacres has made to funding research in the areas of regenerative agriculture and ecology will potentially have an exponential return on investment through enhanced ecosystem services – leading to improved soil and water quality, beneficial habitats, and healthier consumers.”

      Chad Bitler, Greenacres Research Director

      Nonprofits based in the Greater Cincinnati area can apply for these grants through the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation and Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund between June 1st and August 1st, while Greenacres research grants are available at various points throughout the year. Visit lnlcharitable.org or green-acres.org for more information.   

      2022 L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation Grant Recipients:

          •       4C For Children
          •       Adventure Crew
          •       American Red Cross
          •       Beech Acres Parenting Center
          •       Beechwood Home
          •       Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County
          •       Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati
          •       Brighton Center Inc.
          •       Camp Joy Foundation
          •       Canine Companions
          •       Catholic Innercity Schools Education Fund (CISE)
          •       Center for Respite Care, Inc.
          •       CET Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation
          •       Childhood Food Solutions
          •       Children’s Hunger Alliance
          •       Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
          •       Cincinnati Art Museum
          •       Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation
          •       Cincinnati Museum Center
          •       Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
          •       Cincinnati Public Radio (dba 90.9 WGUC, 91.7 WVXU, 88.5 WMUB)
          •       Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub
          •       Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship
          •       Cincinnati Works, Inc.
          •       Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
          •       Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (Zoological Society of Cincinnati)
          •       Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
          •       Crayons to Computers
          •       DePaul Cristo Rey High School
          •       Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
          •       East End Adult Education Center
          •       Episcopal Retirement Service Affordable Living
          •       Fernside: A Center for Grieving Children
          •       Freestore Foodbank, Inc.
          •       Holistic Management International
          •       Hospice of Cincinnati, Inc.
          •       Inner City Youth Opportunities
          •       Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, Inc.
          •       Ken Anderson Alliance
          •       La Soupe, Inc.
          •       Last Mile Food Rescue
          •       Lighthouse Youth Services, Inc., dba: Lighthouse Youth & Family Services
          •       Little Miami Conservancy
          •       Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc.
          •       Mill Creek Alliance
          •       Nature Conservancy in Ohio
          •       New Life Furniture, Inc. dba New Life Furniture Bank
          •       Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, Inc. (OFIC)
          •       Ohio River Foundation
          •       Ohio Valley Voices
          •       OptimALL Services
          •       Our Daily Bread
          •       Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region
          •       Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio
          •       ProKids
          •       Salk Institute for Biological Studies
          •       Salvation Army
          •       Shelterhouse Volunteer Group, dba: Shelterhouse
          •       St. Rita School for the Deaf
          •       St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy
          •       Stepping Stones Inc.
          •       Taft Museum of Art
          •       Talbert House
          •       Teach For America Southwest Ohio
          •       The Healing Center
          •       University of the Cumberlands
          •       WAVE Foundation, Inc.
          •       Women Helping Women
          •       YWCA Greater Cincinnati

      2022 Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund Grant Recipients:

          •       Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
          •       Cincinnati Ballet
          •       Cincinnati Opera
          •       The May Festival
          •       Cincinnati Boychoir Inc.
          •       School House Symphony
          •       Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati
          •       4-Way String Quartet LLC
          •       Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra
          •       Church of our Savior/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador
          •       Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra Inc.
          •       Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble Inc.
          •       Linton Incorporated
          •       St. Thomas Episcopal Church
          •       School for Creative and Performing Arts
          •       Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
          •       Mam-Luft and Company Dance, Inc.
          •       Cincinnati Sound Chapter
          •       Queen City Chamber Opera
          •       Xavier University
          •       Kennedy Heights Art Center
          •       A Mindful Moment
      07 Dec 2022
      Green and red holly with winter trees out of focus in background

      A Message from our Executive Director

      Green and red holly with winter trees out of focus in background

      A Message from our Executive Director

      In 2022 Greenacres Foundation proudly welcomed a new executive director, Meredith Randolph Leslie. Please read on for her words on her first year at Greenacres:

      As the year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the wonderful experiences it held and looking forward to new opportunities and challenges in 2023. Carter Randolph has led the operations at Greenacres with grace, passion, and humor for the last 34 years. He is looking forward to semi-retirement, where he will maintain his role as President and Chairman of the Board. He will continue to mentor, coach, and guide myself and the rest of our leadership team for many years to come. While I am new to employment at Greenacres, I am not new to the foundation. I grew up here; my school came to Greenacres for field trips and as I got older, I would work on the farm in the summers and volunteer as a chaperone for school groups. In 2018, I joined the Greenacres Foundation Board and am honored to now be employed by the best workplace in Cincinnati.  

      Over the last twelve months, we’ve started returning to pre-pandemic levels of operation and we’ve launched new programs to support our community. We’ve developed a solid strategic goal and vision for the next five years, within the mission of honoring our founders intent. Our site in Brown County, Ohio experienced the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in our meadow, and we started to hear the laughter of children enjoying environment based field trips for the first time. Celebrations of marriage filled the rooms of the Arts Center again. The Pops, Opera, Ballet, and May Festival created the most beautiful and collaborative Celebration Concert, honoring the history of Ohio. We educated local farmers on how to grow native warm season grasses, and continued our war on Honeysuckle and other invasive plants. We provided nearly 500 families with generatively-raised turkeys for their Thanksgiving table. We have been inspired by the life of Grace Lewis, a young woman who had a passion for outdoor educational opportunities. In partnership with her family, we launched Exploring with Grace to provide youth in under-resourced communities the Greenacres experience. Internally, we were able to bring back employee favorites like the Turkey Week Potluck and other family oriented holiday celebrations. 2022 has been an incredible year at Greenacres, and we cannot wait to see where 2023 takes us.

      We’ve also faced challenges this year. While the pandemic is getting smaller in the rearview mirror, we can still see it. Illnesses and staffing shortages across our community have led to last minute cancellations of field trips and postponed or delayed projects. Our farming friends in Ukraine have lost everything, but we were fortunate to partner with Matthew 25: Ministries to help provide some relief through a wonderful fundraising gala put on by our events team and community partners. Our livestock and garden teams faced challenges from mother nature and worked tirelessly to overcome them.

      Our team faced these challenges, and more, with grace as we stretched ourselves to new heights! I’m honored to be a part of a team of so many dedicated people. 

      Thank you for being on this journey with us as we continue to offer unique and powerful experiences to members of our community, and live out the vision of Louis & Louise Nippert.

      Cheers to 2023 and beyond,

      Meredith Randolph Leslie
      Executive Director

      24 Oct 2022
      turkeys in a green pasture with fall foliage in background

      Fall 2022 Update

      turkeys in a green pasture with fall foliage in background

      Fall 2022 Update

      Raising Better Turkeys

      Our livestock team is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for the animals we raise at Greenacres. Whether it’s shade structures for our cattle or improved chicken tractors for our broilers, no detail large or small is overlooked in the process. Although turkeys are only on our farm for a short period of time, we treat them with the same care and respect that we give to all of our animals. Every year after Thanksgiving, our team sits down and reviews what we can do to improve our ability to raise turkeys. “Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost,” says our Livestock Manager, Leevi Stump. Two years ago, we looked at our options and decided we could come up with a solution to this challenge using resources we had on the farm. The livestock team partnered with some of the master welders on our estate crew and designed a custom roosting system. This was the second year using these roosts and they have signficantly improved the quality of life for our turkeys. 

      During their first weeks at Greenacres, our turkeys have access to pasture, but are confined to the poultry tractors for their safety. Our livestock team moves the tractors daily to ensure the turkeys always have access to fresh pasture. Once the turkeys are large enough, the poultry tractors doors are opened and the turkeys are given access to fresh open pasture along with the roosting facilities. “These roosting structures have gone a long way in making our turkeys more comfortable” says Stump, “it’s helping protect them from ground predators and lets them exercise that natural instinct to be in trees.” These structures have improved our final turkey harvest weights and we are optimistic that they will continue to have a positive impact.

      turkeys on green pasture with three turkeys on wooden and sheet-metal roosting structure

      Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost. These new roosting structures are going a long way to making our turkeys more comfortable. It’s helping protect them from ground predators and lets them exercise that natural instinct to be in trees.”

      -Leevi Stump, Livestock Manager

      Education Center Coming Soon to Michaela Farm

      A new education facility is coming soon to Greenacres Michaela Farms in Oldenburg, Indiana. The building is scheduled for completion in 2023. Our Director of Buildings and Grounds, Alex Saurber, tells us, “this new facility will be a replica of our Lewis Township education building with a few upgrades including a 70,000 gallon cistern and a gray-water system. Just like our Lewis Township classroom, this new building will be equipped with an abundance of green features including geothermal heating and cooling as well as automated solar tubes. We look forward to breaking ground soon!“.

      Until then, any school or homeschool group is welcome to register their interest in field trip programs. Parents, teachers, and school administrators are encouraged to reach out to bring your students here for a field trip .All programming is customized to your specific needs. To learn more, contact Katie Brown at kbrown@green-acres.org or call (513) 898-3262.

      Rendering of an white, green, and stone education building

      This new facility will be a replica of our Lewis Township education building with a few upgrades including a 70,000 gallon cistern and a gray-water system. Just like our Lewis Township classroom, this new building will be equipped with an abundance of green features including geothermal heating and cooling as well as automated solar tubes. We look forward to breaking ground soon!

      -Alex Saurber, Buildings and Grounds Director

      Native Grasslands

      Preserving the integrity of farmland is a key part of Greenacres’ mission. One way this is achieved is by strategically using livestock to manage our pastures. For example, the cattle are put into smaller sections in the pastures and moved frequently. This allows for a more even distribution of the manure and reduces over grazing. To ensure our practices are in line with our mission, the Research Team routinely monitors the pastures for key ecological indicators (i.e. plant and soil health, bare ground, insects and other invertebrates, and water infiltration). Monitoring takes place annually using a scorecard and a quick walkthrough, and every five years a more intensive protocol is used to measure long term changes. Combined, these parameters provide insight into pasture health. The information is then presented to the livestock team to guide future management of the land and animals.

      “Monitoring our pastures is a crucial part of land management. The data collected show how past management has affected pasture health, but also allows the livestock team to adapt their strategies to continuously generate healthy soils and ecosystems,” says Senior Research Assistant and Pasture Monitoring Coordinator Chad Gibson

      three research employees in pasture, collecting samples

      “Monitoring our pastures is a crucial part of land management. The data collected show how past management has affected pasture health, but also allows the livestock team to adapt their strategies to continuously generate healthy soils and ecosystems.”

      -Chad Gibson, Senior Research Assistant and Pasture Monitoring Coordinator

      Celebration Concert

      In September, our events team hosted the annual Celebration Concert. The Celebration Concert started as a way to celebrate Mrs. Louise Nippert’s birthday, and is the one time a year that the Cincinnati Ballet, Orchestra, May Festival, and Opera all perform together. Over the years, the event has grown and this magical performance night is a beautiful way to remember Mrs. Nippert and her legacy. The two mornings preceding the event, school groups, including students from the Saint Rita School for the Deaf, were invited to Greenacres to experience the performing arts first hand. “Looking around the room, there were so many smiling faces, beaming with joy! It’s so nice to know that Mrs. Nippert’s love of children and the performing arts lives on, especially through experiences like these.”

      grand tent with music concert inside during twilight hour

      Looking around the room, there were so many smiling faces, beaming with joy! It’s so nice to know that Mrs. Nippert’s love of children and the performing arts lives on, especially through experiences like these.” 

      -Meredith Leslie, Executive Director

      A Taste of Summer

      For the last three seasons, our Garden team has planted a plot of paste tomatoes in our Ley Field, which provide an amazing visual asset for our agriculture education programs and summer camp participants. When the tomatoes are finished growing they become the primary ingredient for marinara sauce. The marinara sauce has a very simple ingredient list, and preserves fresh, peak-season tomato flavor. The practices we follow in the Ley Field ensure healthy soil, healthy plants and top-quality tomatoes – click here to learn more about our Ley Field.

      Shortly after harvest, we clean and freeze the tomatoes at their peak of ripeness, storing them frozen at -15º until we have gathered the full harvest for the season. We also clean and freeze our own garlic and onions, allowing us to utilize root vegetables that may not be perfect for Farm Store sales, but will make a delicious sauce.

      Once all our ingredients are gathered, we transport them to KHI Food Brands in Burlington, KY. KHI is a “value-added food producer” who started their small business in order to help local farmers capture their harvests into shelf-stable retail products. They use our recipe to cook the sauce in their 500 gallon kettle, then hot-fill the jars on their automated packing line. Our in-house designed labels are the finishing touch. We’re proud to be able to offer you this delicious reminder of summer, all year long!

      Fall Equine Lessons

      Our equine department has completed another busy Fall Session. Our students have enjoyed utilizing the new cross country jumps and new show jump course throughout the session. We enroll riders between the ages of 8-18. Our lessons are English only with a focus in Eventing. We still have an active waitlist, so if you are interested in enrolling your children in the lesson program we invite you to join our waitlist.

      Four young riders on horseback looking out onto jump field

      School Horse Spotlight

      Pictured here are Moose (left) and Dozer (right), two of our lesson horses.

      Moose is a 13-year-old bay Quarter Horse who is very playful and loves to play with his Jolly Ball in his stall. He primarily teaches the walk/trot students, but will sometimes teach the intro to canter students. His favorite part of the day is being groomed by all of the students. His friend Dozer is a 19-year-old gray Percheron Cross. He is our gentle giant as he is the biggest in the barn standing at 16.3 hands. He is learning to enjoy jumping, but primarily teaches the lower level walk/trot- walk/trot/canter classes. Dozer loves being fed treats from the equine staff and students. His favorite treats are apples and carrots.