BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Bikes Belong has awarded funding to six great projects in its Spring 2010 grant cycle.
These grants—reaching from Alaska to Florida, and California to Pennsylvania, with Kentucky and South Dakota in between—will help create better places to ride, while leveraging federal funding and building momentum for bicycling nationwide.
Below are the grant recipients:
CicLAvia (Los Angeles, CA)
CicLAvia, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, will use a $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong to launch LA's first Ciclovia this September, transforming city streets to park-like places for Angelenos to walk and roll and setting the stage for recurring events in 2011's warm-weather months. The route will connect communities, existing bike facilities, green spaces, and transit networks, making it easy for people throughout the city to participate. On a broader level, CicLAvia will promote sustainable transportation, encourage greater physical activity, and increase public health in Los Angeles, while emphasizing the need for permanent bike and pedestrian facilities. The City of Los Angeles' Mayor's Office is fully committed to the pilot event, and other grant applications and corporate contributions are pending. More than 50,000 people are expected to attend—80 percent of them on two wheels.
Town of Bethlehem—Bethlehem Skateplaza (Bethlehem, PA)
The Town of Bethlehem Parks & Recreation Department will use our $10,000 grant to help build a world-class BMX/skatepark in downtown Bethlehem. The facility will be a destination area for riders and skaters as well as a venue for events, competitions, and clinics. Park planners in Bethlehem identified the need for skaters and riders to have a safe, legal place to play—similar to the fields local baseball and soccer players enjoy—and the community has prioritized this project through support letters and fundraising efforts. The plaza will be part of an ambitious greenway project currently under development in Bethlehem's urban core, enabling people to ride to the facility and providing great exposure for both skating and BMX. The town has received a Community Development Block Grant as well as state and local-government grants for the project.
21st Century Parks—Floyds Fork Greenway Singletrack (Louisville, KY)
A $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong will help 21st Century Parks to build a stacked mountain-bike loop in the Floyds Fork Greenway, a multi-million-dollar, 4,000-acre system of four parks currently under development in Louisville, Kentucky. The singletrack will be part of an extensive network of biking, hiking, and equestrian trails in the greenway, which will directly access surrounding neighborhoods and link to the Louisville Loop—a non-motorized route that will circumnavigate the city when complete. 21st Century Parks has partnered with representatives from the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association to insure the 50 miles of dirt trails in the greenway are professionally built and provide exciting opportunities for riders of all abilities. Funding for the Floyds Fork Greenway project is a mix of federal transportation and local government grants, as well as generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations in Louisville.
Ocala Mountain Bike Association—Ross Prairie Singletrack (Ocala, FL)
The Ocala Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) will use our $10,000 grant to help build 2.5 miles of singletrack that will provide western access, via the Ross Prairie Trailhead, to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. Once on the greenway, riders can access 68 miles of mountain bike trails, including the legendary Santos Trail System—an IMBA Epic. This new link will enable residents in surrounding neighborhoods and visitors from the nearby Ross Prairie campground to ride instead of drive to great trails. Bikes Belong funding will help OMBA hire a professional contractor who can work with the challenging soil and topography along the trail corridor, and it will also serve as part of the match for their Recreational Trails Program grant. This project has received tremendous support from local bike shops, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the state's Office of Greenways and Trails.
Black Hills Mountain Bike Association—Skyline Wilderness Park (Rapid City, SD)
A $5,000 Bikes Belong grant will help the Black Hills Mountain Bike Association (BHMBA) build 10 miles of singletrack at Skyline Wilderness Park in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. This gateway trail system will bring recreation right to the community's doorstep and provide the city's Parks Department with a central venue to host classes and clinics for mountain bikers of all abilities. It will also complement other BHMBA efforts, including the Black Hills Dirt Jump Park and several new and proposed trail systems—all of which contribute to Rapid City's concerted effort to be a premier destination for mountain biking. Our funding will help leverage a Recreational Trails Program grant for this project, which has also received significant city funding and local support.
Alaska Trails—Ester Dome Singletrack (Fairbanks, AK)
Alaska Trails will use our funding to help construct 8 miles of singletrack—the first in the Fairbanks area—to complement the existing doubletrack trails at popular Ester Dome, in the Happy Valley drainage. The trail will help reduce crowding and user conflicts currently experienced on the doubletrack, which is also open to motorized users, and create a more tranquil experience for mountain bikers, trail runners, and snowshoers. Alaska Trails has received two Recreational Trails Program grants as well as significant local support for this trail project, which they hope will set the stage for an entire network of singletrack at Ester Dome. This is Bikes Belong's first grant to the state of Alaska.