September 2011

In This Issue...

National News
  • Greetings from the Director
  • Welcome to Our New Mid-Atlantic Coordinator
  • ECG Members Receive RTC Doppelt Rail-Trail Awards


  • ECGA Board of Trustees

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

  • Move the Planet Bike Ride to Boston, Sept. 24th
  • New England Bike-Walk Summit, Oct. 7th
  • New England Builders Ball
  • VeloSwap in Providence, RI, Oct. 8-9

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

  • 4th Annual Hudson River Loop Tour, Oct. 2
  • New Jersey Freewalkers Fall Walks
  • Safety and Style - Westchester Bike Jersey

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

  • American Tobacco Trail Bridge Funding Moves Forward
  • Three Moving Planet Bike Rides in NC, Sept. 24th

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Coastal Georgia Greenway Expansions
  • St. John's River-to-Sea Loop Tour Starts Oct. 1
  • St. John's River-to-Sea Loop Report Out
  • More Florida Trail Planning
  • ECGA Meetings in October

Spotlight cont. Board Member Qualifications

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

Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Debbie West: Office Manager / Communications

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

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Two years ago this month I had the privilege of joining the staff of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. What a great 24 months it has been! I’d like to take this opportunity to share highlights from the period as we develop our plan for similar progress over the next two years.

That first fall was challenging due to the financial stress of the Great Recession. We forged a turnaround through a combination of generous donors stepping up and committed staff willing to sacrifice by going on furlough for several months in late 2009 and early 2010. As a result, since mid-2010 we’ve retained strong fiscal health that anchors our quick greenway progress.

Here is a snapshot of project and organizational progress over the last 2 years:

  • 41% growth in new greenway miles designated (174 new miles to ~600)
  • 135% growth in signed ECG miles (230 new miles to 400)
  • 110% growth in volunteer & membership base (6,700 more to 12,700 people)

While these numbers are impressive, we have over 2,000 more miles to improve and sign. I look forward to working with you to continue our strong growth in greenway construction, miles signed, and volunteers engaged.

Together, we can build a sustainable & healthy America,

Photo by Steve Rosenbaum

ECGA Welcomes Experienced Planner and ECG Advocate as New Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator!

Our organization was honored to have 65 applicants interested in leading the development of the East Coast Greenway from Washington, DC, to New York. After many interviews of several qualified candidates, Andy Hamilton rose to the top.

Yes, that Andy Hamilton. As Chair of our Pennsylvania State Committee, he has facilitated ECG development that has raced forward in Philadelphia and beyond. As a member of our volunteer Trail Council and Board of Trustees, he has shown dedication and passion for the East Coast Greenway vision.

Andy's professional experience lies in landscape architecture, where he has spent almost two decades at Carter Van Dyke Associates enriching spaces such as the greenways or linear park segments in our corridor. He appreciates the natural and cultural experiences that the East Coast Greenway connects millions of Americans to by bicycle and by foot. He also knows how to organize throughout diverse communities, bringing people together to achieve a common purpose.

Above all else, Andy is a great guy. To everyone in the Mid-Atlantic, you will enjoy working with this trail expert as we continue to move toward a safe and accessible route for all.

Please join us in welcoming Andy to the team. You can reach him at (You may not hear from him right away, as his first day on the job is Monday, October 10th!) We are looking forward to strong greenway progress between our nation’s capital and its largest city.

Andy Hamilton

Congratulations Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Rail-Trail Champions!

Congratulations to everyone who won the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champion awards! We are proud that some of those honored are ECGA members and long-time volunteers / advocates: David Brickley (VA), David Dionne (AL), Sally Jacobs (ME), and Robert Thomas (PA).

This award is in honor of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 25th anniversary. It was established by generous support from the Doppelt family, who are are also long-time ECGA supporters. The award honors 25 people who have made significant contributions to the rail-trail movement. Each honoree will receive a silver-plated railroad spike and $1,000 to donate to their favorite local trail or trail organization.

The ceremony takes place on October 1 in Washington, D.C. Read more about this on RTC's website.

Back to Top

ECGA Spotlight - the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees - Our Super Volunteers!

The East Coast Greenway Alliance has fantastic volunteers involved in many activities from trail planning to events to outreach. Some of our most dedicated volunteers are our board members, who make a serious commitment to the success of our organization.

The Board plays an important role in supporting the East Coast Greenway, by providing financial oversight and general direction and support to the Executive Director. The Board has subcommittees that focus on Marketing / Membership, Development, and Finance. Board members also work closely with The Trail Council to get more off-road trail on the ground.

Board members commit to a three-year term, and bring different professional expertise, including accounting, marketing, outdoor recreation, engineering, and landscape architecture. Since they come from different states throughout our Maine to Florida route, the Board meets once a month via conference calls, and they meet in person twice a year, the same weekend as the Trail Council meetings.

Board members also engage with their local communities, states, and regions and are a valuable local resource in the different areas the ECG goes through. Board members connect with (and sometimes serve on) their state ECG committee, host and attend local trail events, assist with fundraising in their communities, and contribute articles to our newsletter and e-news.

According to Board Chair Dave Read, the best thing about being a Board member is “You have a direct impact on an amazing project, and interact with other like-minded people. You get to make a contribution and difference in  something you really believe in.” We’re so thankful to our wonderful board members, who are willing to dedicate their time and support to the ECG!

Fall is the time of year when we identify potential board members – are you interested in joining our team?  Read the summary of Board qualifications at the end of this e-news, and you can find more information about the Board on our website. Please contact Board Chair Dave Read if you have questions, or are interested in serving on the Board (

Back to Top

Regional News: New England
Moving Planet Bike Ride - Newton/Watertown to Boston
The ECGA is leading a FREE 10-mile bike ride on Saturday, Sept. 24th from Newton / Watertown to Boston for the Moving Planet New England Event. Meet at the corner of the Stop & Shop parking lot on Pleasant Street (right between the Newton and Waterton) at 1:45pm on Saturday. ECGA Board member Al Nierenberg will lead the ride (look for him in the ECGA jersey!). The ride will depart from the Blue Heron Bridge which is right on the trail, 100 yards or so from the corner of the parking lot, at 2pm sharp. (We will bike back to the start location after the event.) Please email for more information or to RSVP. Moving Planet - Boston

New England Bike-Walk Summit: Friday October 7, Providence RI

The ECGA (with support from numerous partners) is presenting this regional conference again in historic downtown Providence, RI. Great presentations are on tap regarding the US Bicycle Route System, Boston's bicycle sharing system, the economic impact of biking and walking, successful youth programs, and much more!

The keynote address will be delivered by Mark Fenton, the nationally-recognized health advocate and former PBS host, who will speak on the "healthy communities" movement. Confirmed presenters include Jeffrey Miller (President/CEO of the Alliance for Biking & Walking), Ginny Sullivan (Adventure Cycling Association), David Vega-Barachowitz (NACTO), and Darren Flusche (League of American Bicyclists).

Ten breakout sessions, a poster session, a field visit, a guided walk of downtown Providence, a reception, and plenty of time for networking... this is the only regional conference in the northeast devoted to biking and walking - so don't miss it! Agenda, registration info, and much more are available at Registration is only $40! ECGA members: only $20!

Summit logo

New England Builders Ball

If you're coming to the New England Bike-Walk Summit, be sure to stick around for this great party/expo! New England is home to over two dozen small shops building bikes by hand. The New England Builders Ball celebrates their work, and gives you the opportunity to see examples of their craft up close, all in one place! Friday Oct. 7, 8-10 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the historic Providence Biltmore hotel. As of now, eight New England builders are registered to exhibit: Budd Bike Works, Circle A Cycles, Dornbox Bikes, Firefly Bicycles, Geekhouse Bikes, Igleheart Custom Frames & Forks, NFG Cycles and Zanconato Custom Cycles. More builders are expected to sign on soon. Visit the website and Facebook page for up-to-date info. Live music and cash bar. Formal attire not required!

The New England Builders Ball is also a fundraiser for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and is held in conjunction with the New England Bike-Walk Summit, the Providence Cyclocross Festival, and VeloSwap.

VeloSwap: Help Raise Funds for the East Coast Greenway!
The organizers of VeloSwap (Providence, Oct 8 & 9) have generously offered ECGA complimentary booth space! We'll be there Saturday and Sunday, selling bikes and bike-related paraphernalia. If you have "bike stuff" gathering dust in your basement, consider donating it to the ECGA, and we'll sell it at the event. If you're in the Providence area, bring it by our New England office (76 Dorrance St., Ste. 402). Or pass it along when you're in town for the Summit on Oct. 7. Please call or email first to describe what you want to donate - while some things will sell (anything stamped "Campagnolo," for instance, or vintage jerseys), many items will not. Interested in volunteering at the ECGA table? Email / 401-450-7155.
Back to Top

Regional News: Mid Atlantic
4th Annual Hudson River Loop Tour, Sunday Oct. 2

Join us for a guided bicycle ride on the ECG along the Hudson River waterfront in NJ and NY, Sunday, Oct. 2nd, 9AM! This 25-mile bike ride (easy-going pace of 9-10 mph) will travel along greenways (and a short on-road stretch), enjoying newly completed segments of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. At the Hoboken/14 Street dock, we will take the New York Waterway ferry to Manhattan, then return north along the Hudson River Greenway to and over the GW Bridge.

We'll enjoy lunch at beautiful West Harlem Piers Park, just opposite Fairway Market where food and drinks can be bought.  We will return to Fort Lee Park at about 2 pm.  Cue sheets provided.  Bring snacks and water, wear helmet.  Rain or shine. Start and end at Fort Lee Historic Park, Fort Lee NJ. Directions to start place, parking.

Pre-registration: ECGA member $10 / non-member, $20
(New Members can join the ECGA at a special $25 rate - this event only!)
Day-of registration:  member $15 / non-member, $25
Price includes cost of ferry (rider + bicycle)  -  Children under 13 - $10 (for ferry)
To pre-register:

Hudson River Waterfront

Photo by Andrew Besold, ECGA

Extend Your Summer in NJ with the Freewalkers

If you aren't ready to say goodbye to Summer yet, the Freewalkers in New Jersey have several walks in early October that will help you get out and enjoy the nice weather. On October 1st, they will lead the 30-mile Endless Summer walk, which will go from Matawan to Ashbury Park along the beautiful New Jersey coast. On October 10th they will hold the Lenape34, a 34-mile walk from Millburn, NJ along the Lenape Trail in beautiful South Mountain, Eagle Rock and Mills Reservations to Newark. For more information and to register, visit the Freewalkers' website.

Safety Never Looked so Good

Our friends at the Westchester - Putnam Bike Walk Alliance in New York State created these rad jerseys. Sales benefit the Bike Walk Alliance and promote safe passing of cyclists, and they are only $50, plus shipping! It doesn't get any better than that! You can purchase them here.

Westchester Bike Jersey

Back to Top

Regional News: South Atlantic
Agreement Reached on Tobacco Trail I-40 Bridge Funding

Elected officials agreed last week to use reserve funds to cover the additional monies needed to construct the bridge that will connect the American Tobacco Trail over I-40. Several years ago project construction was estimated at $5.7 million. Due to increases in the price of steel and other materials in the past few years, contractors' bids came in last month at $7.8 million. Finding additional funding for the project is a positive step in completing this crucial link in the East Coast Greenway in North Carolina. Once the bridge is in place, the American Tobacco trail will be 22 continuous miles in Durham, Wake, and Chatam counties. Read more in the Durham Herald Sun.

Three Moving Planet Bike Rides September 24th, to Durham, NC

The ECGA will lead three FREE bike rides from South Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh to downtown Durham for the Moving Planet event on September 24th! Please join us for a family-friendly 14 mile ride, a 33-mile ride from Chapel Hill, or a 78 / 50 mile ride from Raleigh / Cary. Get details about the rides, email to RSVP.

ECGA ride from Raleigh

Ride with us from S. Durham, Raleigh/Cary, or Chapel Hill, Sept. 24th!
(Photo by Jerry Markatos)

Back to Top

Regional News: Southeast
Coastal Georgia Greenway Expansions

The Coastal Georgia Greenway is negotiating with Chatham County and the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Society to administer a $861,528 Transportation Enhancement grant for construction of a 2.6 mile trail, part of which will be on the East Coast Greenway, and the remainder leading from the greenway to Lock Three of the historic S-O canal.

They are working with the Jekyll Island Authority to prepare a Recreational Trails Assistance Program grant application for $100,000, with JIA sponsoring the application and $25,000 to extend the funded $250,000 project along the Jekyll Island Causeway that will link the 20+ miles of existing trails on the island to US 17 and the East Coast Greenway route there. Also, in McIntosh County, final design is underway for the 2.6-mile Highland Trail, also along the ECG route.

The Coastal Georgia Greenway, Inc. continues to identify funding sources and work with local communities to fund and build trails!

Ride the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop this October!

Want to ride with Florida's master cycling and trails innovator? For eight days starting October 1st -- the start of Florida Greenways and Trails Month -- Herb Hiller will ride the 260-mile route of the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop. The 1st day from DeLand to Crescent, the 2nd to Palatka, 3rd to St. Augustine, 4th to Flagler Beach, 5th to New Smyrna Beach, 6th to Titusville/Mims, 7th to Enterprise, the 8th day will be a return back to DeLand.

Riders must pay for meals and overnight accommodations. The ride is unsupported and recommended for experienced participants who are comfortable in cycling along roadways as needed. You will become part of a story on the Loop, review Bike Florida cue sheets and maps and help update both the Loop and the Florida East Coast Greenway for Contact Herb Hiller at for more info.

St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Report Will Help Secure Funding

England-Thims & Miller of Jacksonville, FL has completed the first comprehensive review of the five-county, 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop that includes four counties of East Coast Greenway spine route. Conducted by VP Karl Solderholm, who also serves on the ECGA Trail Council, the report responds to a request of by FDOT Districts 2 and 5 to make the Loop shovel ready when funding becomes available.

Karl will formally present the report at a meeting September 23rd at District 5 headquarters in DeLand. In the course of his research, Karl found a safer route for the Loop that would extend it by roughly 35 miles.

St. Johns River to Sea Loop Report
More Florida Trail Planning

ECGA Board Member Paul Haydt, Trail Council member Karl Soderholm, and the ECGA's Southeast Region Program Consultant, Herb Hiller, recently met in South Daytona with planners there and in adjacent Port Orange to work through the best route for the Greenway in these two cities located side by side between New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach.

Earlier this month, Herb met with trail planners in Miami Beach eager to host the Cabot Cheese Tour next spring. He and Senior Planner Bret Baronak of the Palm Beach County MPO will meet October 20th about advancing the Greenway through this large south Florida county.

National ECGA Meetings in Florida, October 21 - 23

The ECGA Fall Trail Council and Board meetings are coming up in Stuart and Jupiter Florida on October 21 - 23rd. All are welcome to join us at the Trail Council meeting and the Annual Meeting which follows on October 22nd in Stuart!

Reserve your hotel room now! We have a group rate of $59.99+ tax (includes full breakfast) at the Best Western Plus in Downtown Stuart. To get this rate, you must state that you're a member of East Coast Greenway group meeting there. Contact them at 772-600-2000, or

Thanks to landscape architect David W. Larsen, a Senior Project Manager of Planning and Landscape Architecture at Atkins. The global engineering and design consulting firm will be principal sponsor of the ECGA Trail Council and board meetings. Also facilitating the meetings are the Florida Park Service, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, the Martin County Engineering Department and Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the City of Jupiter. Thank you to all our sponsors!

Back to Top
Board Member Qualifications

All selected ECGA Board members bring these qualifications to the organization :

Commitment to ECGA mission: The ECGA board is composed of enthusiastic individuals from many of our 15 states and Washington, DC. The East Coast Greenway vision is for a 3000 mile, shared-use trail system linking major cities along the eastern seaboard between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. It will serve non-motorized users of all abilities and ages. The ECG will be an urban sister to the Appalachian Trail and one that will be mostly ADA compliant.

Personal and professional character: Candidates are sought with the personality, intelligence, and ability to engage diverse communities with our mission. Candidates also need to bring wisdom, integrity, ethics and the ability to work with others collectively to solve complex issues to advance the Greenway. Board members are always ambassadors for the organization and may  represent the ECGA in local forums throughout the year. There is much camaraderie among the board and satisfaction with interacting with like minded individuals for the purpose of achieving our goal.

Professional skills in pertinent fields: Skills valuable to the ECGA organization include but are not limited to: legal, finance and accounting, marketing and communications, grant writing experience, landscape architecture and civil engineering, outdoor retail industry, epidemiology and public health to name a few. Connections to local, regional and state transportation agencies are of course very valuable to the ECG project. The role of the board is to both provide oversight and guidance to the Executive Director and paid staff of the ECGA and also to volunteer for various services and tasks as needed from time to time.

Commitment to monthly board calls and two meetings per year: There are scheduled monthly conference calls of the board with the Executive Director and perhaps other calls depending on subcommittee assignments. Each year there are two board meetings in various cities the Greenway goes through. Generally the spring board meeting in held in a northern city and the fall meeting is held in a southern city. Board members are responsible for their own travel and lodging. There is a minimum three year board commitment.

An ability and willingness to bring resources to the ECGA: The ECGA fundraises money from a number of sources including members.  As leaders of the organization, Trustees are expected to make a personal commitment to contribute or raise a suggested minimum of $1,000 annually, all of which is tax deductible. Also those with influential connections to potential donors, foundations and those with political or decision responsibility in transportation and recreation funding are also welcome to apply.

For more specifics of the organization and current make up of the board and personnel see If you may be interested in serving on the ECGA board, or know someone you’d like to recommend, please send a note to David Read, Chair, ECGA Board of Trustees at

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

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 2011 East Coast Greenway Alliance