Partnership Spotlight: MadTree Brewing & Rothenberg Rooftop Garden
20 Volunteers x 4 Hrs. = 1 Beautiful Rooftop Garden
1% for the Planet partners Madtree Brewing and The Rothenberg Rooftop Garden have a shared purpose of connecting people to nature. This year, they collaborated to offer an ambitious and extensive spring tune-up to the Rothenberg Rooftop Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio. The garden is well-loved by the students and community members of the Rothenberg Academy who will be ecstatic to see the garden just as they left it.
When 1% for the Planet partners set out to make change, big things happen. Restoring the garden means that the space can keep fostering community, accessibility and sustainability education.
Brian Hennigan, Vice President of the Board of Rothenberg Rooftop Garden shares the work that was done, and just how impactful their partnership is:
MadTree Volunteers Get Dirty to Spring Clean Rothenberg Rooftop Garden
It's an early spring morning in late March. A band of strong, young volunteers have gathered to fulfill every gardener's dream: weeding, raking, pruning and soil-turning to renew a rooftop garden to its summer glow. In a few short hours, everything will look fresh and beautiful again. The benches will be sanded and stained, the flowers freshened and the soil rejuvenated to create an outdoor escape from the bustling downtown of Cincinnati that is five stories below. Welcome to the Rothenburg Rooftop Garden.
“We like to say it is certainly the most interesting and probably the most beautiful garden in Cincinnati’s urban core.”
-Stacy Barnes, President of the RRG Board
The Rothenburg Rooftop Garden is an independent nonprofit organization and 1% for the Planet partner of MadTree Brewing. The Garden serves as an outside learning platform for students within the Cincinnati Public School system to facilitate hands-on connection with the growing cycles of the natural world while integrating education on science, math, literature, cooking and nutrition. It is also a sacred space for students, faculty and the school staff to visit during the day. The Garden is both intimate and dramatic with a commanding view of Cincinnati’s riverfront skyline.
Connectivity Fuels Productivity
The same sentiment can also be applied to MadTree Brewing. For the past 8 years, MadTree has been a corporate leader in supporting several nonprofit partners in the Ohio Valley region. When Madtree isn't crafting high-quality beer, they are working to celebrate and protect the nature that makes their business possible. Whether it's planting trees, improving local parks or conserving natural spaces—all environmental action is centered around their purpose: to connect people to nature and each other.
The workday began with a brief history of the garden and its origin story. It was originally the idea of one of Cincinnati's unsung civic and environmental leaders, Pope Coleman, whose vision was simple: connect inner-city children deeply and intuitively to nature by growing vegetables that can be brought home to eat and share with their families. This was Pope’s final civic project after a multitude of environmental endeavors and its success serves as a reminder that there is nothing more fragile or more powerful than a new idea.
“The ability to influence a cohort of children at Rothenberg Academy and the influence that this engagement will have on a cohort of our staff is an opportunity we choose to embrace."
Director of Strategic Impact at MadTree Brewing
Connecting people to nature, and subsequently one another, is the double helix of the Rooftop Garden and MadTree Brewing’s partnership. “When we look at non-profit Partnership, we look for opportunities where we can have a scalable impact that not only helps the non-profit in immediate direct ways but also helps us in the more long-term indirect way of building our culture. The ability to influence a cohort of children at Rothenberg Academy and the influence that this engagement will have on a cohort of our staff is an opportunity we choose to embrace”, explains Rhiannon Hoeweler, Director of Strategic Impact at MadTree Brewing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the school year in ways that were completely unimaginable less than 18 months ago. Madtree Brewing and The Rothenberg Rooftop Garden worked to ensure that after their long COVID absence the children would be greeted by their special garden—renovated, fresh and green, where they can enjoy nature in an environment that fosters inclusion, curiosity and sustainability.
All photos by MadTree Brewing.
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