Bikes Belong Awards 150th Grant
August 29, 2007
Bikes Belong is pleased to announce six summer grant awards, totaling $46,935. Our investment in these paths, trails, parks, and advocacy initiatives will help create, enhance, and protect great places to ride in communities across the country. This stellar round of grants brings our total to 150 projects supported by Bikes Belong members to date.
Aboite New Trails—Central Loop (IN)
Aboite New Trails will receive $2,500 to help complete their Central Loop, effectively connecting all the major bike paths in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This path project, which has also received funding from two hospitals, a school, and several businesses along the route, will enable people to safely commute to work and school by bike.
Since 2005, Aboite New Trails has been working to connect the community of Fort Wayne through a system of multi-use paths. When this vision is complete, bicyclists and pedestrians will enjoy 52 miles of linked path facilities.
Bay Area Bicycle Coalition—RTP Advocacy Initiative (CA)
A $5,000 grant will support the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) in their efforts to secure and increase funding for bicycling projects through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Some of their key funding initiatives include expanded Safe Route to School and Safe Routes to Transit programs.
A 2004 Bikes Belong grant helped this group secure $200 million over 20 years for a Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Program in the RTP. However, there is risk of losing this critical funding program if advocacy efforts aren't bolstered. BABC will bring the interests of all the Bay Area bicycle-advocacy groups to the table to insure that bicycling continues to play an important role in the transportation plan.
Cape Fear Cyclists—Blue Clay Bike Park (NC)
The Cape Fear Cyclists will use their $9,435 grant to complete a mountain bike trail and begin building a BMX track at the Blue Clay Bike Park in Wilmington, North Carolina. This new facility includes the only legal trails for mountain bikers in the area, and is one of the few places where young people can ride in a car-free environment. When complete, the bike park will also include a skills area and pump track.
The Cape Fear Cyclists work to create great opportunities for everyone who rides a bicycle in southeastern NC—from recreational cyclists, bike commuters, and road racers, to mountain bikers and BMX riders. As part of the Blue Clay project, CFC is pushing for bike lanes that will connect the park with the community college, downtown Wilmington, and other parks.
Chicago Area Mountain Bikers—Plainfield Bike Park (IL)
A $10,000 grant will help the western chapter of the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr West) to construct the Plainfield Bike Park. The recent closure of a private bike park and BMX bans at several skateparks motivated CAMBr West to seek a legal place for BMX riders, mountain bikers, and freeriders to ride in the Chicago Metro area.
The bike park will be part of the Plainfield Park District, which plans to hold bicycling events and youth programs at the facility once it is built. The Park District is also constructing a bike path that will link to the regional path network and make the bike park a "destination facility" along the route. The park's location will provide great exposure for bicycling and encourage new people to get out and ride!
Friends of the Wissahickon—Sustainable Trails Initiative (PA)
Philadelphia's Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will receive $10,000 to put toward their Sustainable Trails Initiative. The 57-mile trail network in the city's Fairmount Park is a haven for Philly's mountain bikers. FOW's effort to create an ecologically, physically, and socially sustainable trail system will reduce user conflict and erosion problems while preserving well-loved singletrack.
FOW have been stewards of the Wissahickon Valley since 1924 and traditionally worked with local equestrians, hikers, and birdwatchers to preserve habitat in the 1800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park. More recently, mountain bikers have emerged as important local partners in FOW's efforts to restore and enhance the park's exceptional urban trails.
Johnson County Trails Association—Laurel Trail (TN)
A $10,000 grant award will help the Johnson County Trails Association break ground on their ambitious Laurel Creek Trail project in northeastern Tennessee. Our funding will help build a bicycle bridge at the beginning of what will be an 87-mile crushed-stone bike path through spectacular Appalachian countryside.
The Laurel Creek Trail will link to the popular Virginia Creeper Trail, just across the namesake state's border to the north. Together, these two trails will provide touring cyclists and local riders with more than 120 miles of continuous bike paths to explore.
About the Bikes Belong Grants Program
Since Bikes Belong's Grants Program began in 1999, we have funded 150 grant proposals in 42 states and the District of Columbia, awarding more than $1.2 million in cash and leveraging more than $450 million in federal, state, and private funding. Our facilities grants alone have helped finance nearly 1,400 miles of bike paths and trails that link close to 6,000 miles of trail facilities.