February 2012

In This Issue...

National News

  • Greetings from the Director
  • ECG Projects Receive NPS Grants
  • ECG Week a Year Tour 2012


  • Members Walk and Bike for the ECG

ECGA In the News

Regional News: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT)

  • ECG Route Update in Providence, RI
  • Hop River Trail Covered Bridge Coming Soon, CT

Regional News: Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC)

  • Great Upcoming Events in New York
  • ECGA Supports Sister Trail in the Bronx
  • Visit ECGA Booth at Extreme Sports Expo in NJ

Regional News: South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC)

  • Cabot Greenway Event Uniting NC Cooperatives

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Georgia Greenway Updates and Bike Ride
  • ECGA Coordinates with Florida's Office of Greenways
  • Nassau County Trail Progress

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Andy Hamilton: Mid-Atlantic Coordinator

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Debbie West: Office Manager / Communications

Join the ECGA

Donate to the ECGA

Contact Us


Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

2012 A Great Year to Explore the Greenway

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

I couldn't be more excited about the opportunities emerging this year to explore our route. Not only is the route getting better and better as more greenway and signage come online, but organized tours throughout the corridor make a walk or bike ride accessible to everyone.

Our Week A Year bike ride will be a nice Tour de New England this August: starting on the 19th in Portland, Maine, it will wind through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and into Connecticut to Hartford on the 25th. In the Mid-Atlantic, you can join events like a Cross Jersey walk or a New York bike ride. And from Miami, Florida, all the way to Portland, Maine, our partners at Cabot Creamery are leading a Community Tour along the ECG from May 12th to July 7th! Three ECGA members are biking the whole 2,300-mile route -- and will welcome company from a few cyclists to over a hundred in some sections.

I hope you get to enjoy our developing linear park in the year ahead.

Together, We Are Building a Sustainable & Healthy America.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
ECG Partners/Projects Receive National Park Service Grants

The National Park Service recently announced its 2012 Rivers and Trails awards.(You can download state-by-state reports here.) Congratulations to everyone who received a grant! The following ECGA partners and/or projects will receive NPS support this year:

September 11 Memorial Trail (DC-MD-DE-PA-NJ-NY)
West Pender Rail Trail (NC)
Spotsylvania Greenway Initiative, Tobacco Heritage Trail (VA)
Bronx & Harlem River Urban Waters project (NY)
Connect Historic Boston (MA)

Week a Year Tour - Register Now!

We hope you can join our 2012 Week a Year Tour to explore the ECG between Portland, Maine and Hartford, Connecticut! This diverse route will go along the coast in Southern Maine and through the cities of Boston, MA and Providence, RI. We'll be riding some newly completed trails on the ECG including the Eastern Trail in ME, Border to Boston Trail in MA, and the Blackstone River Trail in RI.

This will be a self-led tour, and participants can ride at their own pace. We will average 52 miles each day. (There will be a sag wagon to transport luggage and support riders.) We have about 20 people registered so far, and we have room for more!

Please see here for more information about the tour and how to register.

ME - CT Route Map
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ECG Spotlight - Member Fundraisers
Members Walk and Bike for the ECG!
We love how passionate our members are about the East Coast Greenway, and how dedicated they are to getting more trail on the ground. Several members have championed the East Coast Greenway in some exciting ways lately, and we are so inspired by their dedication and truly appreciate their support!

Cameron’s 60th Birthday 60K Walk
At 4:50 AM on November 19th, Cameron Lane left her house in Maryland to go on a walk. This wasn't just any walk, but a 60 kilometer fundraising walk for her 60th birthday that traversed the beautiful trails in Southern Maryland and Washington, DC. Her journey started on a starlit bike path and wound to the Capitol Crescent Trail, the C&O Canal, and along part of the ECG route through Downtown DC before heading home to Maryland. As the sun came up Cameron was walking from Glen Echo Park to Georgetown: "I was walking into the rising sun and I felt like I was, indeed, walking on sunshine."

Throughout the day, friends and family walked with her or met up to bring her a change of shoes or water. She took a break with one group of friends to walk the labyrinth at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in DC before she headed along the waterfront to beautiful Hain's Point. "It’s hard to describe the beauty of the day. The wind on the water made every piece of it sparkly like a mosaic made out of diamonds – breathtakingly beautiful!"

A few months before her birthday, Cameron wrote to about 100 friends and family and let them know how she was celebrating her birthday. She asked if they would consider giving a donation to one of five charities that are important to her, one of which was the East Coast Greenway. She raised over $4000 for her five favorite charities, with the East Coast Greenway receiving $1040 in donations.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cameron! We can't thank you enough, and everyone who supported your walk. Every person who donated to us through her also received an ECGA membership – we’re glad to have you as members!

Cameron Lane

Cameron Labyrinth

Cameron at the Capitol

Cameron on the Capitol Crescent Trail, with friends at the Labyrinth in Georgetown, and in front of the Capitol.

Bob’s Cabot Tour Fundraiser
From May 12 to July 7, Cabot Creamery is holding a tour from Miami to Maine along the East Coast Greenway, with events in cities along the way. (Read more here about the Cabot Tour.) Three East Coast Greenway Alliance members plan to cycle along with the tour for the whole 2,300 miles. One of the riders is Bob Spiegelman of New Hampshire, an avid cyclist and long-time ECGA member. Most of Bob's 10,000 annual bike miles are local, but every so often he engages in bike touring. (He went on the ECGA's 2009 tour in Florida and last year's Week a Year Tour from the Canadian border to Portland, Maine.)

Bob has always wanted to bike from Florida to New Hampshire, and he considers the East Coast Greenway and his blue bicycle the perfect vehicle to do this. He shared his thoughts about doing the ride: "I am hoping to take plenty of time seeing the sights every day, in addition to riding an average of 50 miles from point A to point B. My biggest concern is not the riding. Rather, it is the challenge of being on the road and away from family and friends for 57 days."

For the Cabot Tour, Bob set himself a goal - to raise awareness and $5700 for the ECG, $100 for each day of the tour. So far Bob has raised 75% of his goal! Like Cameron, Bob reached out to his network of friends, family, and business associates and shared his enthusiasm for the East Coast Greenway. He describes the ECG as "the quintessential example of the old adage 'think globally and work locally...It is a great vision, an amazing challenge."


Bob preparing to one day ride the East Coast Greenway

Bob in tree

Bob on the ECG in Florida.

If you'd like to ride part of the Cabot Tour route, email us at info@greenway.org and we'll put you in touch with Bob and the other riders! And anyone who donates toward Bob's Cabot tour also gets a membership to the ECGA. (If you want to help out, you can donate online, and put Bob's name in the "This donation is in honor of" line.)

Thank you so much to Cameron, Bob, and all our other members and supporters who are doing exciting and inspiring things every day on the East Coast Greenway!

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ECGA In the News

We've been getting some great press lately as trail progress is made along different parts of our greenway. Here are some recent media highlights:

The Wall Street Journal - Highline Hopes in Jersey City.

Yahoo Finance - Our friends at Cabot Creamery launched an app to help volunteer fundraisers. The article mentions their upcoming tour and the ECG.

Jacksonville Times Union - Nassau Florida's link to the ECG will boost tourism and health.

The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC - The East Coast Greenway, Coming to a Neighborhood Near You.

The Seahawk, Wilmington, NC - Additions to Gary Shell Cross City Trail Increase Safety and Convenience.

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Regional News: New England
ECG Route Update in Providence, RI

Rhode Islanders! Construction (and de-construction) has led to new opportunities and new routing potential for the ECG route in Providence. A meeting to evaluate the current route and potential alternatives will be held in April. If you'd like to be involved, contact ECGA Trail Coordinator, Eric Weis, at eric@greenway.org.

Hop River Trail Covered Bridge Coming Soon, Andover CT!

Regarding the long-awaited covered bridge carrying the ECG and the Hop River State Park Trail over Route 316: installation is nigh! The Andover bridge weighs 160,000 pounds and will be lifted by a house moving crane. The bridge is being assembled about 100 yards from the installation site. It will be installed soon - stay tuned for more news about this exciting project!

- Photo by Rob Dexter, ECGA Ambassador

andover bridge
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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Upcoming Walks and Bike Rides in New York!

The New York ECG State Committee is planning 8 great events this year, starting with a 20-mile bike ride on Sunday, April 22, from the Hudson River Greenway at 43d St. to Pelham Bay Park/City Island.

The upcoming walks and rides will principally follow the East Coast Greenway in Manhattan and the Bronx, but also into Westchester County. One walk (on June 9, co-sponsored with the NJ FreeWalkers) and one ride (October 7) will follow the bi-state "Hudson Loop," running along both sides of the Hudson River. Participants must be ECGA members. Details and pre-registration will be posted in March on the New York Committee page.

Hudson River Greenway

ECGA Member Bob Barrett on the Hudson River Greenway at Sunset (photo by Tony Barrett)

ECGA Supports Improvements to Connecting Trail in the Bronx

The New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation is planning to improve the abandoned Putnam Rail Road line through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, now a narrow dirt path. The plans are to make it a multi-use trail, which the ECGA, along with a number of other organizations, enthusiastically supports. This stretch will link the ECGA, running east-west through the Bronx, on the south with the North and South County Trailways that run north through Westchester County and into Putnam County. This segment will thus become an important component of an interconnected trail network developing throughout the New York City region.

- NY items by Elizabeth Brody, ECGA Board & NY State Committee Member

ECGA at Sports Expo in Edison, NJ, March 17 - 18

The ECGA will have a booth at the Extreme Sports Expo in Edison New Jersey on March 17th and 18th. Stop by and bring a friend. We'll have discounted memberships available for new members who sign up at the Expo!

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Cabot Greenway Event Uniting NC Cooperatives

Did you know 2012 is the International Year of the Cooperative? Cabot Creamery, a cooperative of dairy farmers, is celebrating the occasion by setting up a community tour along the East Coast Greenway this summer!

In late May and early June, the tour will go through the Carolinas and Virginia. Planning is already underway for quite a ride in North Carolina. Throughout the state, about a dozen cyclists from the NC Credit Union League will join the three thru-riders. A fun event is being planned in Wilmington, NC (potential pig-pickin'!).

When they ride through the Triangle on the morning of Saturday, June 2nd, they will be joined by another several dozen cyclists from Raleigh to Durham. Then from 11am to 4pm, cooperatives from REI to Weaver Street Market will help Cabot put on a family-friendly festival with music, a cheese-making presentation, and many other fun activities. We will also have a two-hour service project that afternoon cleaning the local greenway segment and its neighboring creek.

Sign-ups for the bike ride and service project will be available online soon, but you can get on the list by emailing info@greenway.org. We look forward to working with these many excellent partners in North Carolina and beyond!

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Regional News: Southeast
Georgia Greenway Updates & Bike Ride Feb. 25th!

Georgia State Committee Chair Jo Claire Hickson continues to rack up miles newly underway and otherwise nearing construction on the Coastal Georgia Greenway. (CGG and the East Coast Greenway are virtually co-located through Georgia.) The mile-long Back River Bridge will be in construction this summer and will include a separated bike path to link South Carolina to Hutchinson Island; and from the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island, the newly designated 0.3-mi one-way Belles Ferry Crossing links to Historic River Street and downtown Savannah.

Construction starts next year for the Triplett/S-O Canal Trail to the west of Savannah in Chatham County. Look for CGG designation this March of a 1.3-mile Rice Dike Trail in Bryan County. A 1.5-mile extension of the Woodbine Trail is underway in Camden County. Construction will start this summer on a 1-mile Liberty Ship Trail in Brunswick (Glynn County) and on a 2.58-mile first section of McIntosh County’s Highlander Trail  north of Darien will be let for June bids. 

This Saturday, February 25th, there will be an East Coast Greenway Dedication at 9:45 AM on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, at the CGG Kiosk between the Trade Center and the Westin. At 10:30 AM, there will be a FREE bike ride along the Truman Linear Park. (Registration starts at 9 AM at the Waving Girl Dock.) Read More!

savannah waterfront

ECG Coordinates with Florida's Office of Greenways

Plans are underway between the ECGA Florida Committee and Florida’s Office of Greenways and Trails on a three-step program that will newly position the Greenway as a significant contributor to multi-modal transportation. First step will be an April 26th joint OGT/ECGA appearance before the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council to outline OGT’s new state trail master planning and mapping program, and to announce a webinar about the Greenway through Florida. That webinar will be the first to knit together our 13 counties, to gain new members for our Florida Committee and for the Greenway Alliance, and to plan an October 2013 ECGA Eco-Expo that will fully introduce the Greenway to Floridians for commuting as well as recreation.

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or sponsoring a mile of trail today.

Get Involved! Volunteer, write a letter, help spread the word...learn about all the ways you can help create the ECG.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at info@greenway.org.

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright 2012 East Coast Greenway Alliance