October 2011

In This Issue...

National News
  • Greetings from the Director
  • Fall Trail Council and Board Meetings in Florida
  • ECGA's New Office Mate, NC Rail-Trails


  • New ECG Trail Designations

ECGA In the News

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

  • MA Trail Conference, Nov. 12
  • NH Statewide Rail Trails Conference, Nov. 12
  • CT Bike Walk Summit, Nov. 12
  • New England Bike-Walk Summit a Huge Success!

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

  • DE Trail Progress
  • Cecil County Bike Summit in MD

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

  • Virginia Bicycling Federation Will Represent ECG

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Georgia Greenway Expansions
  • Jupiter Riverwalk in Florida

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

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National ECGA News

Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

The weekend of October 22nd was a productive one for the East Coast Greenway. Our dream team of volunteer Board and Trail Council members came together with staff and regional allies in southern Florida.

We experienced first-hand new ECG segments such as the Green River Trail and the Jupiter Riverwalk and even found some time on Friday to go kayaking at the lovely St. Lucie Inlet State Park close to our route. We held a highly productive Trail Council meeting, designating 10 new trails from 7 different states. It was the highest number of Fall designations we've had in three years.

While the length of these new trail segments wasn't comparable to last year's Down East Sunrise Trail, having such a variety of beautiful additions to our corridor was inspiring. North Carolina was the biggest contributor of new segments with three. Pennsylvania brought two to the table. And the rest were spread out in Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida.

After the meetings, I went down to experience our southern terminus for the first time - a must after exploring Maine in August. Key West was a wonderful community with scenic beaches and fun shops awaiting ECG adventurers. Our network of trails really does connect some of the best that America and this world has to offer. I can't wait to open this experience up to millions more explorers as we improve the experience one week and one mile at a time.

Together, we can build a sustainable and healthy America,

Dennis in Key West

Dennis at the ECG marker in Key West, Florida

Fall Trail Council and Board Meetings in FL a Sunny Success!

Trail Council and Board meetings that took place over a sunny Florida weekend (October 22 and 23) advanced the Greenway Alliance program. The Trail Council met in conservation true-blue Martin County. Many state and local officials joined us, including the director of the state Office of Greenways and Trails, the FDOT District 2 pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, the Palm Beach County MPO bicycle pedestrian coordinator, and the land planning director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. All experienced the locality-by-locality commitment of the ECGA by how its leaders reviewed progress along sections of trail from Maine to Florida.

The Florida weekend began Friday when some Board members kayaked from the Martin County mainland to beautiful St. Lucie Inlet State Park. The meeting Saturday was held in downtown Stuart, a pedestrian and cycling friendly town of 16,000. Alliance leaders walked a portion of the Green River Parkway Trail alongside wetlands where it approaches downtown.

The next day in nearby Palm Beach County, trustees toured the recently designated Jupiter Riverwalk, an almost 2-mile waterfront trail. Jupiter Mayor Karen Golonka, the town manager of Palm Beach, and others joined for unveiling the Greenway marker. The weekend concluded Sunday when the ECGA Board of Trustees convened in a Loxahatchee River compound of four restored farmhouses, generously donated for our use by Sara and Sandy Lankler.

Thank you to all our many local hosts who made this weekend so excellent and unforgettable! Especially Herb Hiller, our Southeast Consultant, who coordinated the weekend; Atkins, our major sponsor for the weekend; David Larkin of Atkins who coordinated our transportation to and from the airports and meeting places; Bea Rago who helped with transportation and making sure we got lunches every day; and the Lanklers for use of their facility.

Florida TC Meeting

ECGA board members and our Florida hosts in Jupiter.

Save the Date! ECGA 20th Anniversary Kickoff Celebration, Dec. 10th

We are so excited to be kicking off our 20th Anniversary year with a celebration in New York City (birthplace of the ECG idea) on Saturday night, December 10th. ECGA founders, an Academy Award nominee, and many more will join us at the beautiful new REI store in Soho. More details next month!

Transportation Enhancement Funding Under Attack

Contact your Senators TODAY to show your support for Transportation Enhancements! The Paul amendment (SA-821) that is up for vote on November 1st, would eliminate approximately $700 million in federal funding for in 2012 that is used to construct sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, trails and other infrastructure that makes it safe for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around. The TE program represents less than two percent of the Federal transportation program, and these projects help alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, get people active, and create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects.

ECGA Welcomes North Carolina Rail-Trails to Our Office

In mid-October, the trail-advocacy non-profit North Carolina Rail-Trails (NCRT) moved into our headquarters office in Durham. NCRT is a 23 year-old organization dedicated to rail corridor preservation, retrieval and conversion to public trails. NCRT currently supports local rail-trail initiatives throughout the state and provides coordination between local, state and federal agencies, allied state and national organizations, and project funding sources. We have partnered with NCRT on several projects in NC, and look forward to working with them on many more!

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ECG Spotlight - New Trail Designations
Over 20 Miles of New Trail Designated!

Twice a year the ECGA staff, Board, and Trail Council meet and approve newly completed off-road ECG trail sections that meet our design standards. At our recent Trail Council meeting in Florida, ten new sections of trail were designated as ECG:

Eastern Trail, Kennebunk ME. This 1.2 mile piece of the Eastern Trail is highlighted by the spectacular bridge over I-95. The six lanes of traffic passing beneath the bridge all see the Eastern Trail/East Coast Greenway highway signs attached to the bridge! (Similar signs are soon to be installed on a new Eastern Trail bridge over US Rt. 1 a little further north.) Eastern Trail
Charter Oak Greenway, Manchester, CT. The latest section of the Charter Oak Greenway is in eastern Manchester, between Gardner and Wyllys Streets. At 0.9 mi long, this trail bridges two streams and gets us closer to closing the gap between the City of Hartford and the 14-mile Hop River Trail. charter oak gw
Lenape Park Trail, Union County, NJ. An important trail link opened recently in Union County, NJ. The Lenape Park Trail extends for 1.4 miles and passes through parts of Cranford, Kenilworth, Springfield and Union. Lenape Trail
Greys Ferry Crescent, Philadelphia, PA. The Parks and Recreation Department and Fairmount Park have completed a critical link of the ECG on the Schuylkill River. The 0.7 mile Greys Ferry Crescent is a wonderful new segment of the Schuylkill River Trail system, forging connections to Bartrum's Gardens, a national treasure. Greys ferrry
Pennypack Creek Trail, Philadelphia, PA. This 1 mile segment of trail has heavy usage already, with wonderful vistas of Center City Philadelphia and the Delaware Riverfront. It is a passive and active park at the confluence of the Pennypack Creek at the Delaware River. It is an excellent place to stop for a relaxing moment on your journey along the Est Coast Greenway. Pennypack
American Tobacco Trail, Chatham County, NC. This latest section of the American Tobacco Trail to be designated as ECG is the 4.7 mile Chatham County portion. A largely rural stretch of the ATT, this trail is a very popular exercise destination. As it includes a 3 foot wide stone dust section beside the 10-foot paved asphalt ribbon, this trail is as popular with runners as it is with cyclists. ATT
Black Creek Trail, Cary, NC. The Black Creek Trail runs from Umstead State Park to Bond Park, connecting these two key regional parks. This particular designation is a newly constructed 1.9 mile phase connecting Godbold Park with Maynard Road near High House Road. Connecting several neighborhoods, commercial districts, and parks, the Black Creek Trail is a critical town amenity. Black Creek trail
Cross-City Trail, Wilmington, NC. The 3.4 mile Cross-City Trail in Wilmington is the southernmost segment of the "Historic Coastal Route" connecting Wilmington to Richmond, VA close to the coast. This particular section connects the Cameron Art Museum to Randall Parkway. Cross City Trail
White Oak Trail, Camden County, GA. The White Oak Trail is a 3.5 mile rail-trail in rural Camden County, Georgia. This unpaved trail runs through evergreen forest and wetlands, parallel to US Rt 17, and crosses the scenic White Oak Creek. White Oak Tr
Hollywood Broadwalk, Hollywood, FL. Newly designated ECG in Florida consists of 2.1 miles along the Hollywood Broadwalk. The Broadwalk rims the beach and sea with a low Moresque wall and its upland side with a long row of local business' storefronts. Hollywood Broadwalk
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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:

Maine Turnpike Greenway Bridge Links Communities Along Eastern Trail Segment

US Route 1 Gap Closing as another bridge put in place in Maine

New Connecticut Section Features Unique Covered Bridge

Lenape Park Trail Opening in New Jersey

Delaware's Governor Prioritizes Trail Projects Including ECG

ECG Featured as a Climate Solution in NC

Florida Tourism Radio Show Highlights ECG

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Regional News: New England
Massachusetts Trail Conference, Nov. 12th
This first-ever statewide meeting for Mass. stakeholders is being organized by the Massachusetts Recreational Trail Advisory Board (MARTAB) in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Trustees of Reservations, and will be held in Leominster. The goal of this one-day conference is to build a statewide-based coalition of trail advocates in Massachusetts by focusing on strengthening capacity and community across the spectrum of trails enthusiasts and supporters. Breakout sessions in the morning and workshops in the afternoon: this will be a productive, participatory, working meeting. For more information contact Amanda Lewis, 413-586-8706 ext. 19.

New Hampshire Statewide Rail Trails Conference, Nov. 12th

Held again in gorgeous Concord, NH, this year's The New Hampshire Statewide Rail Trails Conference will focus on a critical topic: building trails with limited funding. Among the experts presenting is Carl Knoch of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Download the brochure for more information.

Register Now for CT Bike Walk Summit, Nov. 12th, Yale University

Following on the success of last year’s statewide bike walk summit, Bike Walk Connecticut, in collaboration with the League of American Bicyclists, is holding the second statewide bike walk summit “Creating Bike and Walk Friendly Places” at 8:45 a.m., November 12 at Yale University. Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, will lead off the program with his presentation “What is a Bike Friendly America?” Go to www.ctbikewalksummit.org for the full schedule of events and to register. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Bike Walk Connecticut is pleased to be hosted by Yale and to be working with Elm City Cyclists to make this event inspiring, energizing and educational.

THANK YOU New England Bike Walk Summit Sponsors, Presenters, Attendees

The New England Bike Walk Summit held on October 7th was a huge success! The Summit hosted over 300 participants in the day's events, from talks and workshops throughout the day to a Bike-Builders' Ball in the evening.

It started off with the national Alliance for Biking and Walking President Jeff Miller giving an excellent presentation after a word from US Congressman David Cicilline from RI. Upbeat sessions gave participants the skills and knowledge to go back into their communities and pick up momentum for safe infrastructure for biking and walking like the East Coast Greenway.

Keynote speaker Mark Fenton, a recent ECGA Boardmember and a man with incredible energy, inspired all of us to work even harder as a means to achieving healthy communities. He reminded us that biking and walking facilities are a necessity, not an amenity, due to our nation's health and environmental challenges.

Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, spoke, and a special thanks to our many generous sponsors for the event.

NE Bike Walk Summit

Participants enjoy speakers at the NE Bike Walk Summit

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Bike Walk Alliance Party in Bronxville, NY, Nov. 10th!

Celebrate bike advocacy in New York's lower Hudson Valley at the Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester Putnam's second annual party in Bronxville! We’re honoring US Rep. Nita Lowey for her advocacy on our behalf this year.

The event is Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. the Bronxville Women’s Club - come enjoy micro-brewed ale, sip some wine, mingle with old and new friends, have dinner catered by Ciao, and listen to recording artist Champian Fulton, one of Manhattan’s top jazz singers. Purchase tickets.

Delaware Trail Progress

Delaware's Governor Markell and the secretaries of DelDOT and DNREC signed a Memorandum Of Understanding at the Delaware Bike Summit on October 14th. It identified priority projects including sections of the ECG. These include gaps in the N. Delaware Greenway (2-3 years), School Lane (City of New Castle) (2-3 years), and Industrial Track (3-5 years). THANK YOU to Governor Markell, who is an ongoing champion for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Cecil County Bicycle Summit in Maryland, Nov. 1

We need your voice! On November 1st, the Bicycle Summit for Cecil County will be held at the Cecil County Administrative Building, 200 Chesapeake Blvd, 1st floor, in Elkton, MD from 4:00 to 7:00. Please come support the East Coast Greenway and all the connecting trail segments.

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Virginia Bicycling Federation will be ECG's Reps for VA

We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Virginia Bicycling Federation to be our official representative for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based in Richmond, the Virginia Bicycling Federation is a statewide bicycling advocacy organization who has worked closely with state and national organizations to identify and route long distance cycling routes in the state. "The VBF has worked on the US Bike Route System for a number of years and helping to identify, plan and promote the Greenway in Virginia is a natural fit for us," said Champe Burnley, President of the VBF. "VDOT has responsibility for on road bike routes and DCR manages trails, so the ECG is a rather unique entity. I'm confident the VBF can really add value to the process."

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Regional News: Southeast
Georgia Trail Developments

Executive Director Jo Claire Hickson of the Coastal Georgia Greenway reports trail developments through CGG's six-county region:

A 2.6-mile section of the 33-mile Island Hopper Trail that will link Sapelo, St. Simons and Jekyll Islands will go to bid for construction before July next year. The new section known as the Highlander Trail extends across coastal Glynn and McIntosh counties and includes The Ridge Historic District north of Darien. Phase II of the Highlander Trail will extend farther north to the Sapelo Ferry and Visitor Center.

Coming up from the south, another part of the Island Hopper Trail has gained a local grant of $25,000 from the Jekyll Island Authority that, added to a $100,000 Recreational Trails Assistance Grant, combines to fund a 1.6-mile trail along the Jekyll Causeway. The new trail will connect with a GDOT Visitor Center and also link more than 20 miles of island trails to the East Coast Greenway on US 17 south of Brunswick. 

Construction will start early in the new year to extend the Woodbine Trail on the north side of Camden County another 1.5 miles south, doubling the trail’s existing length. The Greenway Alliance has already designated the first portion.

On Camden’s south side, design continues for Colerain Road widening that includes a 5.5-mile separated path and bridge over I-95. Completion is expected in two years. The project will become part of a 12-mile trail that extends to St. Marys, where a section is already in place, and north to Crooked River State Park. North of the new I-95 Bridge, the trail will reach an old school site that could become a trailhead. Congratulations to ECG Trail Council Member Terry Landreth of Camden Bicycle Center, who spearheads this project.  

New ECG Section in Florida - Jupiter Riverwalk

Swaying palms to palmy yachts, Florida newly beckons all who seek warm winter cycling, jogging and just plain perambulating along the East Coast Greenway.  Newest sections consist of 2.1 miles along the recently-designated Hollywood Broadwalk and almost two miles along the Jupiter Riverwalk.

Along a creek just off the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, the Riverwalk rims a row of yacht sterns and, upland, restaurant plazas with outdoors tables beneath umbrellas. Breeze flutters palms, ripples waters. In winter, where sections of the Riverwalk edge mangroves and bridge a lagoon, people afoot can watch bulky manatees in slow motion like Southern drawls transposed into shallow water dance. 

The Riverwalk will more than double its distance south and east to the beach when construction gives way to ribbon cutting within the next two to three years. People nickname Florida the Sunshine State. Especially in winter, you may find it the Sun Devine State.

Jupiter Riverwalk

Along the Jupiter Riverwalk

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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 2011 East Coast Greenway Alliance