March/April 2009

In This Issue...

National News Regional News: New England

Regional News: Mid Atlantic

Regional News: South Atlantic Regional News: Southeast Other News and Resources

ECG News Online
is a publication of the
East Coast Greenway Alliance,
a national non-profit membership organization spearheading the development of the East Coast Greenway. The ECG is a developing 3,000-mile, traffic-free, firm-surfaced route linking cities and towns between Maine and Florida.

Karen Votava: Executive Director

Steve Bevington: South Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Kitty Carter: Office Manager & Membership Coordinator

Jean Frisbie: Communications Coordinator

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Program Consultant

Kathleen Klinger: Administrative Assistant

Kelly McClintock: Donor Program Coordinator

Dolores Newman: NJ Program Consultant

Mike Oliva: Mid Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Terri Schulken: Financial Advisor

Eric Weis: Acting Trail Program Coordinator & New England Regional Trail Coordinator

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National ECGA News

Message from ECGA Executive Director Karen Votava

Dear Greenway members and friends,

Many of you may already know that I am planning to retire as Executive Director of the East Coast Greenway Alliance at the end of 2009.   I have been in discussion with our Board of Trustees for two years about this, and postponed the date from last December to allow more time for planning an orderly transition.   I submitted my resignation early this year, effective December 31, 2009.

It has been enormously rewarding to have a central role in the birth of both the Greenway and the Alliance.   I've enjoyed tremendously guiding (for almost 18 years!) the development of the Greenway from an idea in the minds of a few visionary people to the real 3000-mile route that now stretches from Maine to Florida.   I am pleased that experienced cyclists can now travel the entire route, thanks to cue sheets that are available on our web site and a growing collection of detailed maps.   More and more of the route is posted with ECG trail markers, encouraging cyclists and other muscle-powered travelers to get out and enjoy the Greenway.   In greater and greater numbers, people are out on the Greenway for a few hours, a day or for multi-day journeys.   This is all very satisfying.

There is much to be proud of, but I am especially proud of the talented staff of ten that I have assembled, their excellent skills, their dedication and energy, and the harmonious way they interrelate with each other and with the scores of other people involved in advancing the Greenway vision.   They are a big reason why the Greenway has progressed so well.  

Our success has also been due to the larger community of people who have come together around this project, including both our current and past boards, our state committee volunteers, public agency partners and the thousands of supporters spread up and down the coast who love our vision and have done so much to make it come to life.    Working with all of these good people has been a pleasure and very satisfying.   I have forged many wonderful friendships that I will take with me.

The search for a new Executive Director has begun.   There are certainly excellent candidates out there ready to take the ECG to new levels of success. And I know that you will all support our new leader when she or he comes on board.   I will stay for a two-month overlap to help orient the new Director and make introductions to our key supporters.   Then, I'll be moving on to take up new challenges.

Over the coming months I will be working with our Board to raise additional funds to underwrite transition expenses. This will be especially challenging given the global economic situation. These are difficult economic times for non-profits. But, the Greenway could not be better positioned with regards to the issues of the day, whether health, smart growth, reducing our carbon footprint, reviving our small town economies or improving our air quality. Our donor base has been loyal and I know will see us through this period.  

I hope you will consider giving us an additional financial boost this year to make this transition successful.

It will be rewarding to watch as the Greenway achieves the level of recognition and use that it deserves. I plan to be one of those users, making a journey of the entire route in sections over coming years. Knowing how much there is to see along our route I will choose to travel slowly with time to smell the roses.  

I hope to see many of you as I make my way down the Greenway!

Karen M. Votava, Executive Director

Be a Part of ECGA's Tribute to Karen Votava

ECGA Seeks New Executive Leadership
The Alliance is seeking an energetic person with strong fundraising skills, preferably with experience in non-profit management, to assume leadership of the organization. Visit for a job description and details.

The Alliance is also looking for someone to assist with closing our our books monthly and providing other financial services. Visit for details.

Stimulus Funds Coming to East Coast Greenway

As of press time, several ECG projects were announced as recipients of federal economic stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. These projects are (from south to north):

- Seabranch Greenway, Stuart FL, 1 mi
- Cross-City Greenway, Wilmington NC, 3.5 mi
- New Castle Rail-Trail, New Castle DE, 2 mi
- Southington Linear park, Southington CT, 2 mi
- Charter Oak Greenway, Manchester & East Hartford CT, 2 mi
- Eastern Trail, Biddeford, Arundel & Kennebunk ME, 6.2 mi

East Coast Greenway Alliance has compiled a list of other potential Greenway stimulus projects. As there are still funds available under ARRA for infrastructure development, we invite you to go to to look for projects in your state, and contact your elected representatives to encourage their support. We'll be keeping you up-to-date on any

Join us at our Spring Trail Council Meetings in New York City, April 25

Some may dream of April in Paris, but East Coast Greenway Trail Council members have their sights set on the Greenway in verdant New York City. The Trail Council promises an action-packed day, starting with an early East Coast Greenway/New York Greenway walk and followed by reports on the status of the ECG all along its route. Please rsvp if you plan to attend.

East Coast Greenway Adds its Voice in Support of Cycling at the Ninth Annual Bike Summit

Nine ECGA supporters including Executive Director Karen Votava participated in the Ninth National Bike Summit in Washington, DC March 10 - March 12. Thursday was devoted to individual meetings with Senators, Representatives, and key staff members on the Hill, an opportunity to educate about the ECG and cycling issues. ECGA representatives met with Members of Congress, or their staff, from Maine, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. The 6-year transportation bill making its way through Congress this year promises to bring fresh funding to the ECG.

ECGA Launches its First Blog

The greatly improved ECGA web site is up, but still needs some elements tweaked and more content created. Please report any problems with links or missing information. One new element is our our community forum (blog) at Follow Sadie the Yellow Lab's training schedule for her ECG journey this May-June from Annapolis, Maryland to Portland, Miane. Just who are these Three Mikes? Or start a thread about your favorite Greenway segment. Registering is easy and you're ready to roll, stroll, glide, and blog.

Earth Day Brew for East Coast Greenway

In honor of Earth Day, environmentally-conscious Vermont brewery Long Trail is donating a portion of their April sales in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York to the East Coast Greenway. Thank you, Long Trail Brewery, for this important support and visibility for the ECG.

You can help us! Look for these posters at your local retail liquor store -- or ask why it's not out. This April, after spending a day on your local trails, be sure to stop on the way home, pick up a frosty Long Trail brew, and toast the Greenway!
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Regional News: New England

Projects Get Funded in Connecticut

Two East Coast Greenway trails in Connecticut have received economic stimulus funding! Between Hartford and New Haven, the Southington Linear Park, a section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and the East Coast Greenway, has received over $3 million to build about two more miles of trail extending south to the Cheshire border. To the east of Hartford, the Charter Oak Greenway has received over $2 million for improvements to existing trail in need of repair.

ECGA Trustee and Others Begin Work on ECG in Topsfield, Massachusetts

ECGA Trustee David Read and other stalwart volunteers broke ground for the East Coast Greenway in Topsfield, MA in early March. Locally, this project is known as the Topsfield Linear Common, and it is part of the long-anticipated Border-to-Boston Bikeway. Rails were removed in preparation for the contractor to begin construction on April 1. Dan Tieger and other local advocates have worked for many years to advance this important link in the ECG.

Dave Read, Joe Geller, and Greg Demers lift rails.

George Redman Linear Park Gets Green Light in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has allocated funding for the George Redman Linear Park which will honor long-time Greenway advocate George Redman. It will rework an existing bridge spanning the Seekonk River that was recently replaced by a new bridge and will connect Providence and East Providence. It will also link the ECGA spine route at India Point Park in Providence with the East Bay Bike Path, an alternate ECG route that someday will make a more direct connection to Boston. Go here and click anywhere on the page to see the animated panorama.

Artist's rendering of George Redman Linear Park, courtesy of RIDOT.

New Routing for ECG on the Horizon in Salem, Massachusetts

The City of Salem, Mass. has contracted with Fay, Spofford & Thorndike to prepare a new Bicycle Master Plan. The ECGA looks forward to working with these professionals to find a creative way to route the ECG between Salem and Peabody. In Peabody, a portion of the Peabody Bikeway (which will serve as the ECG route) is under construction, with a fall 2009 anticipated completion date.

- Eric Weis, New England Trail Coordinator

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic

Westchester Biking Summit Draws Over 100

The East Coast Greenway Alliance has emerged as a leading voice for bicycle and pedestrian issues in Westchester County with the mounting of the first county-wide Westchester Bike Summit on April 7.

ECGA partnered with Westchester County and the Westchester Cycle Club to host the event, which drew more than 100 public officials, planners, and cyclists. The Westchester Community Foundation provided funds to support the meeting, held in the Westchester County Center. Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists gave a keynote address, urging that to make the county more bicycle friendly " it will take people in each of the communities standing up and saying the word "bicycle" enough that it becomes a part of the conversation. Congresswoman Nita Lowey from New York's 18th Congressional District spoke in support of the Greenway and said she would see to it that both stimulus funds and regular appropriations would be made available for cyclists and pedestrian friendly projects. County Executive Andy Spano pledged that he would see to it that Bee-line buses install bike racks. David McKay Wilson, President of the Westchester Cycle Club and an organizer of the event along with Michael Oliva of ECGA, announced the formation of the Westchester Biking and Walking Alliance to step up efforts to make the county more bike-ped friendly.

The event received front-page treatment in The Journal News and a second story in The New York Times.

Alliance Partners with Pennsylvania Environmental Council for a Pennsylvania ECG Summit

While only a mile of the ECG is currently open in Pennsylvania, many different agencies and organizations are collaborating to advance the rest of the route. Most of it is in some phase of planning and development.

To coordinate these efforts and determine how to overcome systemic obstacles, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and the ECGA will review current progress and work toward realistic strategies for completing the ECG in Pennsylvania.

This event, open to all interested parties, will be held on May 8, 2009, 8:30 to 2:00 p.m. at The Hub, Mezzanine Level of the Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia (adjacent to the 30th Street Station). Contact to save a seat, hear some inspirational speakers, and make input into this trail-making process.

- Mike Oliva, Mid Atlantic Trail Coordinator

Sadie Cycles for Treats -- and to Promote the ECG!

That winsome face, that determined jaw, that relaxed gait-- that's Sadie. Dan McCrady is this Yellow Lab's best friend. Sadie will accompany Dan on a journey as he cycles, May 23 to June 13 from Annapolis, Maryland to Portland, Maine. To follow their exploits visit To help them raise $10,000 to support the work of the ECGA, visit They can't do it without you! Sun Bicycles and Pedal Pushers Bicycle Shop of Severna Park, Maryland get nonstop wags for all the help they've provided.

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Regional News: South Atlantic

Ferry Nice Commute from Portsmouth to Norfolk, Virginia

A dream commute: Paul Forhand, his bicycle, and 40 or more like-minded commuters take a ferry operated by Hampton Roads Transit for an eight-minute scenic Elizabeth River crossing between Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virgina daily. The ferry costs $1.50, runs every 30 minutes, and is wheelchair accessible. Both end stations have the sort of high-quality snacks needed by virtuous cycling commuters.s

Daily ferry commuters: Neal Martin/Norfolk office of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Susan Ramsey/Bank of America. Courtesy of Paul Forehand.

North Carolina West Pender Rail-Trail Alliance

The West Pender Rail-Trail Alliance, along with representatives from the National Rail to Trail Conservancy, held three open-house information sessions last weekend in Currie, North Carolina to provide information and gather community feedback on a plan to convert an abandoned rail line that runs from Wilmington, North Carolina to Fayetteville, North Carolina into a multi-use trail. The rail corridor is 90 miles in total and is relatively free of development right now. However, the land has reverted to adjacent landowners and support for the entire trail is mixed. Large landowners appeared to be the most supportive while the concerns for smaller landowners were accommodations for hunters and crime/safety issues on the trail. The Director of the WPRTA is optimistic that there is enough support for Phase I of the trail (about 15 miles from Wilmington toward Currie) and that, once this section is developed, the benefits of the trail will help to garner support the idea further along the line.

- Susan Bullers, WRPTA

Bridge Improvement in South Carolina

The Ben Sawyer Bridge, in the middle of an East Coast Greenway segment near Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, is due for an upgrade that will include improved bicycle/pedestrian access. Improvements will include two 14-foot shared-use travel lanes and a full width sidewalk (5.5 feet) on the harbor side of the bridge, which closely aligns with the existing pedestrian/bicycle path along the causeway. This sidewalk will replace a narrow sidewalk discussed by the ECG Trail Council in October 2008 and deemed to fall short of ECG trail standards. The $31.5 million project will result in a bridge that is safe for all travelers. Construction has begun, and the improvements should be completed by 2011.

- Steve Bevington, South Atlantic Trail Coordinator

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Regional News: Southeast

Hopper Trail on the Coastal Georgia Greenway

The Coastal Georgia Greenway– ECGA partner with a congruent, 450-mile multi-use trail planned through Georgia’s six coastal counties – has newly incorporated as a non-profit company, seeks tax-exempt status, and has a newly elected 11-member board. Top CGG prospect for economic stimulus funding is the $17 million, 35-mile Island Hopper Trail that, north-south, will link Sapelo, St. Simons, and Jekyll Islands. Meanwhile CGG, ECGA, and the Savannah Bicycle Campaign are organizing two programs tied to this November’s back-to-back meetings of the ECGA Trail Council and board in Savannah’s historic district. One calls for convening Savannah-Chatham County public officials – elected and staff – to learn from ECGA leadership about trail funding opportunities from latest economic stimulus programs and the new CLEAN-TEA transportation act. The other: for a mass ride between Savannah and Tybee Island, the roughly 15-mile trail that Chatham countians most want to see built.

Photo courtesy of Drew Wade, Coastal Georgia Greenway

Loop-de-Ado in Florida

Much Loop-de-ado about the ECGA-inspired St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, the five-county 260-mile trail becoming the new focus of Florida touring. The League of American Bicyclists lofted national respect for the Loop with three-page coverage of the inaugural Loop tour in the January-February issue of American Cyclist. Bike Florida, the Sunshine State’s premier touring company, has meanwhile published its first schedule of exclusive Loop tours, and ECGA is already accepting registrations for its own tour of the Loop, the Alliance’s third annual week-long Close-the-Gaps ride for major donors, scheduled during fall wildflower season, November 8-14. Further promising: the director of Euro-American Tours, a 32-year-old Florida-based educational touring company, will drive the Loop with Bike Florida’s Linda Crider and ECGA’s Herb Hiller for a first review toward including the Loop in coming tour programs. The Loop passes through four counties of ECG spine route and another that’s alternative.

- Herb Hiller, Southeast Program Consultant

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Other News

Job Opportunities at ECGA

The East Coast Greenway Alliance has two job opportunities:

1. Executive Director

2. Part-time bookkeeper

Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program has a new funding opportunity that includes walking and bicycling facilities as eligible activities. The DOE Block Grant funds are available “to assist State, local, territorial and Tribal governments in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in all sectors.” Here's a press release about the program, and the Funding Announcement is available on the FedConnect web site — search for reference code DE-FOA-0000013. There's more about the program and see some FAQs on this web page:

Call to Action

This spring, as the weather warms and you lace up your shoes or pump up your tires, please take some time to help create the East Coast Greenway:

~ Tell others about the ECG. The more people who know about it, the faster it will be completed.

~ Work to get your local trails built. The ECG is made up of local trails, so your community efforts help complete the ECG as well.

~ Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Get the word out to your whole community!

~ Enjoy your favorite trail! Increased local trail use helps put the ECG a little higher on government officials’ screens.

~ Support the ECGA. Become a member, donate or sponsor a mile of trail!

~ Get active with your state committee! Look at your state webpages for contact information.


April 18, 2009
Bike the Path from Princeton-Kingston, New Jersey
Enjoy a morning bike ride along the D&R towpath. Guided 7.5 mile ride highlighting the canal structures and history along the Princeton-Carnegie Lake-Kingston section. Interested folks are asked to bring their own bicycle and helmet, and meet at Turning Basin Park in Princeton at 10:00 am. Turning Basin Park is at the intersection of Alexander Road and the D&R. Learn about the Princeton-Kingston section with some exercise in the bargain! This ride is sponsored by the D&R Canal Watch. For further information please contact Bill Wiseman at 908-359-4241.

April 22, 2009
Earth Day
Activities everywhere, some on the weekend of April 18-19. Go out and enjoy the earth.
April 22, 2009
East Coast Greenway Virginia Route Planning Meeting
George Washington Regional Commission Office, Fredericksburg, VA
1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Contact for information.
April 25, 2009
East Coast Greenway Trail Council Meeting, New York, New York
East Coast Greenway's semiannual Trail Council meeting. Where are the newly designated ECG trail sections? See Manhattan from the East Coast Greenway.
April 26, 2009
East Coast Greenway Board of Trustees Meeting, New York, New York
East Coast Greenway's semiannual Board meeting
April 27 - May 1, 2009
National Association of Recreation Resource Planners' Conference
Pittsburgh, PA
April 29, 2009
East Coast Greenway Virginia Route Planning Meeting
Richmond Regional Commission, Richmond, VA
1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Contact for information.
May 8, 2009
Pennsylvania Bike Summit
8:30 to 2:00 p.m. at The Hub, Mezzanine Level of the Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia (adjacent to the 30th Street Station). Contact or for information.
May 9, 2009
Hudson River Pageant
New York, New York
May 9, 2009
Virginia Cap2Cap Ride
Richmond to Jamestown, Virginia
May 13, 2009
East Coast Greenway Virginia Route Planning Meeting
Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Fairfax, VA
1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Contact for information.
May 23, 2009
Sadie & Dan Launch their Trip along the ECG
Sadie and Dan start their northward ECG journey from Anapolis, MD.
May 31, 2009
American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure
Support the North Shore Tour de Cure in Gloucester, MA.
June 7, 2009
American Diabetes Association: Kennebunk's Tour de Cure
Ride or sponsor a rider in Kennebunk, ME
October 7-9 , 2009
Walk 21, New York City
November 4-7, 2009
Close the Gaps Tour -- St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, Florida
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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 3,000-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns between Maine and 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 editor at

~ Be a friend of the Greenway on Facebook.

~ Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website or call us at (401) 789-4625.

We look forward to hearing from you!