July 2010

In This Issue...

National News

  • Greetings from Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano
  • First-ever New England Bike-Walk Summit!

Regional News: Southeast

  • ECG Prominent in Florida

Regional News: South Atlantic

  • Rail-WITH-Trail: Virginia and North Carolina

Regional News: Mid Atlantic

  • Check our cue sheets
  • Kensington (PA) Kinetic Sculpture Derby

Regional News: New England

  • Tour de Farms, southern CT
  • Ribbon-cuttings in Newburyport & Salisbury

Social Networks:

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

Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Kitty Carter: Office Manager/Membership Coordinator/Bookkeeper

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Mike Oliva: Mid-Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Join the ECGA

Donate to the ECGA

Contact Us

Forward this email to a friend!

National ECGA News

Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Great For All Seasons

Dear ECGA members,

Many tourist attractions are seasonal. People explore the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall to see the leaves changing color. Swimming along the Atlantic beaches is perfect for cooling down in the hot summer. But the East Coast Greenway (ECG) doesn't have seasonal restrictions because of its vast 3,000-mile length.

Together, we are building a trail that people can enjoy year-round. If you prefer missing the hottest part of summer by hiking in Maine or the coldest part of winter by biking along the Florida Keys, a safe and accessible East Coast Greenway will help. I took advantage of this in early July, escaping some sweltering heat in New Jersey to see lovely sights in the Boston area and in Brunswick, Maine.

Great ECG progress is taking place in both locales. Not only does the City of Boston Bike Map highlight the ECG, but within a few months ECG signage will help you bike throughout the City without having to look at the map or cue sheets at every turn. While we encourage folks to continue to get cue sheets for now, it is my hope that we make them less necessary by fully signing the ECG over the next few years. Kudos to Boston for joining the early adopters!

Brunswick was a beautiful town to explore just northeast of Portland. A college town, Brunswick hosts Bowdoin College and was a perfect location for Maine's annual Bike Rally. I joined a fun 9-mile ride to a swimming hole in the Bay. Sheets of rain fell on us while we swam, enhancing the experience as only a summer rain can. I learned that Brunswick is one of the three New England communities that have reached Bike-Friendly certification by the League of American Bicyclists - making me proud that two out of the three Bike-Friendly Communities in New England are along the ECG (Simsbury, CT, being the other). Here's to many more Bike Friendly Communities from Maine to Florida in the years ahead!

I encourage everyone to explore the progress our greenway is making - during whatever season and in whichever landscape you like best.

Onwards to a healthy and sustainable America!


Photo by Steve Rosenbaum & Jerry Markatos

New England Bike-Walk Summit: October 7, 2010

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is pleased to present the first-ever New England Bike-Walk Summit is coming to Providence, RI on Thursday, October 7! This one-day event will feature sessions of interest to the full range of bike and pedestrian stakeholders. Planned to be complementary to important national conferences such as ProWalk ProBike, the American Trails National Symposium and the National Bicycle Summit, this closer-to-home (for New Englanders) event will be a great opportunity for learning, networking, and enhancing the livability of the six New England states. Learn more at the Summit website!

Regional News: Southeast
Herb Hiller reports:

ECG Prominent in Florida

Congratulations to Paul Haydt on his re-election as a trustee of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. For those who don't know, Paul previously served on the board of trustees for several years when he chose to help lead the start of the ECGA Trails Council. Jacksonville landscape architect Steven Davis continues to serve on the ECGA Trail Council, and a search now begins for Paul's Trail Council replacement.

* * * * *

Alliance strategy in Florida remains focused on our helping lead the state trails movement. Trails represent a priority path for re-examination of our Florida way of life that historically has depended chiefly on real estate development, farming, and tourism defined by theme parks far more than by strengthening authentic Florida. A 2006 study showed that a daily average of 1,900 move to Florida while 1,000 a day move out. People keep coming for tax advantages and for warm winter weather, more often than not living in enclaves only tenuously tied to civic engagement. Without widespread assimilation, Florida lurches from crisis to crisis and with weak civic institutions.

We know how trails build community by getting people out of cars and visible to each other; how trails generate shared enthusiasm for achieving wellness, and of course for how they introduce visitors to Florida's rich history, nature, and conservation.

Here's how Alliance leadership currently shows itself:

*The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council has launched the first detailed survey of trails and their economic impact in some 20 years. This results from a forum on this subject led by the Greenway Alliance together with ECFRPC and the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) last November.

*September 15, 16, the Greenway Alliance together with others co-sponsors the first River Summit in seven years organized by the St. Johns River Alliance. At the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in Jacksonville, the Greenway Alliance on the 15th leads a half-day program called Locally Resourceful Tourism for a Sustainable Economy. The program will call for river and land trails through the middle and lower basins of the St. Johns River, for week-long tours of the basins to start in fall 2011, and for a website and guidebook that will capture the state of the river for visitors including locally emphatic places to stay overnight and to eat. To register for the conference, visit www.stjohnsriveralliance.com, and click on River Summit.

*October 2, Bike Florida, a Greenway Alliance partner, will launch its third season of tours along the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, which consists of Greenway spine route and alternate route through five north-central/northeast counties. The tours newly start and end in St. Augustine, America's oldest city along a coast where Spain first made landfall in 1515. For details, visit www.bikeflorida.org.

*October 4, Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing company, will launch the first trails-tourism website that we know of in America - certainly likely to attract more trail users than any other. Florida already attracts some 80 million visitors a year. Now visitors from around the world will easily be able to book vacations fully or partly organized around trails of every kind. OGT has supplied details for 100 trails, including the East Coast Greenway through the state. I've been privileged to lead the working group.

Back to Top

Regional News: South Atlantic

Viriginia Rail-With-Trail: Your help requested!

Action is needed to ensure that the trail component of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) proposal remains an integral part of the plan. There is some concern that the trail component will be separated out, which could be a death blow to trail development. The proposed trail could be the ECG route between Richmond and Raleigh.

A series of public hearings on the project are coming up in McKenney VA, Raleigh NC, Henderson NC, and Franklinton NC. Please attend and let the planners know how important the trail component is to the future of transportation, recreation, and tourism in Virginia and North Carolina. More information about these public meetings, as well as instructions on how to send in written comments, can be found here. For more on the project, please visit this page.

Many thanks to our friends at the Virginia Bicycling Federation for their leadership on this issue.

Proposed Southeast High Speed Rail routing

Back to Top

Regional News: Mid-Atlantic

Check our cue sheets

ECG member and volunteer Dan McCrady has been working hard at reviewing and generating new ECG cue sheets. Dan and ECG have decided to use a new format for our cue sheets using Trimble Outdoors to generate distances and elevation profiles. The cue sheets look excellent and the entire 400 miles of Mid Atlantic ECG cue sheets (as well as almost all of the entire route) are posted at the ECG Cue Sheet Center.

We are looking for cyclists to ride-verify the new cue sheets, which will help make sure they are completely accurate. Please use the attached sheet as a guide when ride checking. Please let Dan or Mike know if you can ride verify and of the cue sheets in the Mid Atlantic or other regions. Please use this sheet as a guide while checking cue sheets.


Kinetic Kensington

The Pennsylvania Committee of the ECG designed and built a kinetic sculpture for the New Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Approximately 6,000 people came out for this trendy artistic event in this classic Philadelphia neighborhood. Our sculpture was powered by one person and featured a "scale-model" ECG along with prominent signage touting the greenway. The sculpture was one of the highlights of the parade, especially among children drawn to the hundreds of colorful miniature bikes adorning the float. Thousands of people saw the sculpture and asked many questions about the ECG. The event brought awareness about our trail to a community in which the Greenway will soon be built. In this community, the ECG will be routed on the Delaware Riverfront Trail. Thank you to the volunteers that put this effort together! Stay tuned for a return event next year.

Back to Top

Regional News: New England

Tour des Farms of Southern CT

This sounds like a great ride! On August 1, this 28-mile loop ride will pass through Hamden, Cheshire, and North Haven, CT, using the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (East Coast Greenway) for part of the trip. There will be stops at four farms and an historic site. Each farm stop will feature live music as well! For more information about the route and the musicians, go to the registration page.

Trail Openings in Mass!

From Bill Steelman:

Blessed by great weather, an estimated 4,000 area residents and visitors discovered the new rail trails in Newburyport and Salisbury, Massachusetts during the Coastal Trails Grand Opening on Sunday, May 23. In addition to experiencing the health and quality of life benefits the dynamic linear parks instantly bestowed upon the communities, trail users had their senses stimulated by an array of food, music, history, art, and children's activities provided by local organizations and businesses. U.S. Congressman John Tierney and Lt. Governor Timothy Murray were among the speakers recognizing the many who contributed to the trails' completion.

The Clipper City Rail Trail (1.1 miles) links a busy commuter rail station with Newburyport's vibrant downtown waterfront and new Harborwalk, while the Old Eastern Marsh Trail (1.5 miles) in Salisbury extends from the Merrimack River into the ecologically important Great Marsh, New England's largest salt marsh. ECG volunteers recently erected a large trailside kiosk on the Salisbury trail. The new trails in northeastern Massachusetts are key elements of the 30-mile, four-community Coastal Trails Network, the 28-mile, eight-community Border to Boston Trail, as well as the East Coast Greenway.

The nonprofit Coastal Trails Coalition, Inc. and the Essex National Heritage Commission partnered with the municipal officials and others in both communities to organize the half-day grand opening celebration.

Officials (and friend) open the trail on the Newburyport side. Photo courtesy of Essex National Heritage Corridor.
Back to Top

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 (401) 789-4625.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright 2010 East Coast Greenway Alliance