BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Bikes Belong has announced funding awards to five projects in its Fall 2010 grant cycle. These projects focus on seamless bicycle networks and new trails in their communities and will serve existing riders while inspiring new ones.
The five projects include:
Deckers Creek Trail Undercut Repair (Morgantown, WV)
The Deckers Creek Trail is part of a 48-mile network connecting downtown Morgantown with communities across three counties. Utilized by riders of all ages and abilities, the trail provides direct routes to and from schools, work, shopping centers and parks, and is incorporated into West Virginia University Hospitals' rehabilitation and wellness programs. This $10,000 grant will allow the Monongahela River Trails Conservancy to complete critical repairs to the trail surface and foundation while improving drainage and stabilizing the stream banks to prevent further erosion. These necessary repairs will keep the trail system accessible to thousands of users each year.
Grainger Road Bike Trail (Conway, SC)
The City of Conway has ambitious plans for incorporating bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure into its community, and this $2,250 grant will contribute to these efforts. New bicycle-safe drainage grates and a redesigned trail crossing at U.S. Highway 378 will improve the connection between an existing recreation center, a new recreation complex, neighboring subdivisions, and a low-income neighborhood. Conway sees this project as an important part of its goal to create a bike route around the city and ultimately connect to the East Coast Greenway.
Northampton and New Haven Canal Rail Trail (Northampton, MA)
The trail connecting Northampton to Hatfield is an important addition to the growing network serving riders throughout Hampshire County. Bikes Belong's $5,000 investment will fund survey and design work to get the project to the "shovel ready" phase with the goal of leveraging a much larger investment of state and federal dollars for construction. When completed, the project will tie to more than 24 miles of trail and serve some of the largest affordable-housing residential areas in Northampton.
Saddlebrook Connector Trail (Omaha, NE)
Activate Omaha is participating in the ambitious effort to increase bicycling in Omaha and Douglas County, and its work has resulted in the development of 20 miles of on-street bicycle facilities. This project will use Bikes Belong's $7,750 grant to connect the large Hillsborough neighborhood to the Saddlebrook Joint Use Facility and Omaha's Metro Area Trails System through a simple connection over a short levy. Saddlebrook is a great example of the huge impact that short connectors can have on a community, giving kids a safe route to school and allowing cyclists to avoid major arteries. The organization will evaluate project success by measuring the number of riders before and after levy construction.
Wolf Creek Bicycle Trail (Poplar Bluff, MO)
Local mountain bike enthusiasts advocated for good trails close to home, and the U.S. Forest Service's Poplar Bluff Ranger District responded by partnering with the city, county, a local bike shop, and a cycling club to make it happen. The completed 21-mile trail network will provide beginner- to intermediate-level mountain biking and, through increased use, will prevent illegal dumping in this section of the Mark Twain National Forest. Partnering groups will contribute matching funds, materials, and volunteer labor, seeing this as the first step in creating a more bike-friendly environment with cycling routes throughout the city of Poplar Bluff. Bikes Belong's grant for this project is $5,000.