Cincinnati Biorefining Division earns United Way Corporate Heroes Award

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Cincinnati Biofuels Division, Garden Five, Mulching Pathways

Cincinnati Biofuels Division (CBD) Manager Jon Herlevich stays on the lookout for ways the CBD can support and enhance its surrounding communities. He recently discovered an initiative practically in the CBD’s own backyard.

“I was taking a different route to the office and came across the Spring Grove Village Community Garden, within walking distance from our offices,” recalls Herlevich. “As part of the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, aspects of its mission align with ours – building community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship.”

The garden features 20 raised beds and is a vital source of fresh produce and flowers for area residents. Teaming up with a local youth center, the facility also coordinates summer youth gardening projects.

Herlevich submitted the garden idea to the CBD’s volunteer team, and HR Advanced Administrative Assistant Linda Wylie took the lead on the project. “Everyone was excited about our interest, and we are happy to have a neighborhood volunteer opportunity to pursue,” she says.

Wylie says they are currently planning a garden party, which will be much more than a social event. “With co-op gardeners, neighbors and special guests attending, there will be new relationships formed,” she notes. “Volunteers from the CBD Maintenance department, headed up by Foreman Danny Warwavesyn, will be making a trip over beforehand to install much-needed tool organizers in the garden shed and to giveit a new coat of paint.”

On the last week in June, a volunteer team met up at the garden for some manual labor. Over the next few hours, they cleared years of overgrowth from a fence line, weeded, mulched pathways, and repaired a fence.

“The fact that the garden is in our back yard means we’re able to make things look nicer right next to the plant. Neighborhood beautification helps instill pride in the community,” notes Shelly Adam, a CBD accounting analyst and coordinator of the Volunteerism Committee. “We’re now pursuing adoption of the garden to establish an ongoing relationship and further demonstrate our community commitment.”