Bikes Belong Awards $37,850 in Grants
February 05, 2006
Bikes Belong will award $37,850 in grants this month to five bicycling projects. The trails and bicycle advocacy supported by these grants will connect community paths, expand opportunities for mountain biking and, as always, put more people on bicycles more often.
Outdoor Chattanooga—Raccoon Mountain Trail System (TN)
Outdoor Chattanooga, an organization dedicated to the recreational use, education, and stewardship of the region's natural areas, will receive $9,850 to help build the first of many new trails on Raccoon Mountain. This urban mountain bike facility will enable Chattanoogans to ride singletrack just five miles from their city's center. The planned mountain bike facility at Raccoon Mountain represents an unprecedented partnership among Outdoor Chattanooga, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), and the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal land-management agency. The first 10 miles of trail here will help SORBA reach its goal of building 100 miles of singletrack in the Chattanooga area during the next 10 years. More about Outdoor Chattanooga. More about SORBA.
City of Billings, Montana—Big Ditch Trail
The City of Billings will receive $5,000 towards construction of the Big Ditch Trail, a multi-use path that will provide a crucial north-south connector in the city's Heritage Trail Plan, linking 11 miles of existing paths. The trail will also provide a safe route for children to ride their bikes and walk to school. Billings has partnered with BikeNet, its local advocacy group, on this project, which will utilize Community Transportation Enhancement (CTEP) funding as well as money raised through BikeNet's grassroots effort for trail planning and construction. More about the Big Ditch Trail.
City of Gresham, Oregon—Gresham/Fairview Trail
The City of Gresham, just east of Portland, will receive $7,500 to help construct phase II of the Gresham/Fairview Trail. This multi-use path will provide a north-south route for bike commuters and recreation riders as well as pedestrians. It will also link two existing paths and two proposed trails in Gresham. Bikes Belong's grant will leverage SAFETEA-LU money for this phase of the trail, classified as a linear park, which will be designed and maintained by the city's parks and recreation department. The Gresham/Fairview will link to Portland's 40-Mile Loop, a connected system of parks and parkways designed more than a century ago. More about the Gresham/Fairview Trail.
Friends of the Cheat—Preston Rail Trail (Kingwood, WV)
The Friends of the Cheat will receive $7,500 to help develop an abandoned rail corridor into the multi-use Preston Rail Trail. The 10-mile segment will link the town of Kingwood with neighboring Tunnelton, West Virginia, providing a safe route for commuters, families, and new cyclists. With subsequent funding, this project could be completed by the summer of 2006. Friends of the Cheat has identified the Preston Rail Trail—and bicycling in general—as an important solution to the health problems faced by the Cheat Watershed community. The grassroots group anticipates new trail facilities will inspire people to walk, run, and bicycle more often, encouraging them to lead healthy, active lifestyles. More about Friends of the Cheat.
Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists—Organizational Development
Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) will receive $8,000 to expand their organization, enabling them to take their important bike advocacy work to the next level. The Bikes Belong grant will enable MORC to pursue more sponsorship and advertising opportunities, coordinate grant writing efforts, and focus on community building. MORC works with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and sits on the advisory board of the Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association. The group's influence and partnerships have been integral to creating and developing new opportunities for mountain biking in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. More about MORC. :view/grants/awarded:Search all our grants.]