UPDATE: The October 29 edition of the Washington Post has an article about the event. Be sure to take a look!
On Friday, October 23, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) partnered with Beacon
House, a tutoring and mentoring
organization in the Edgewood neighborhood of Washington, D.C., to give free bicycles, locks, helmets and safety instruction to 40 students
enrolled in Beacon House programs. The $20,000 bicycle giveaway, which aims to encourage use of newly completed sections of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, was part of RTC's
Metropolitan Grants Program, funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), a
long-standing advocate for the completion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail,
provided bicycle safety training for the students who received bikes.
RTC, WABA and Beacon House staff assisted the students with helmet fittings and
bicycle adjustments prior to a ride along a newly completed section of the trail.
Local bicycle shop Oasis Bike Works has committed to monthly check-ups for the next year with students receiving bikes at Beacon
House to perform tune-ups and teach the students about bike maintenance.
Beacon House offers educational, cultural, recreational and
athletic programs to roughly 400 children and youth, ages 5 to 18, from
low-income families, per year. The bicycle giveaway is part of RTC's ongoing
commitment to provide amenities, resources and opportunities to Ward 5
residents near the newly constructed Metropolitan Branch Trail.
RTC is committed to expanding the use of rail-trails in
urban areas across the nation. Many neighborhoods in major urban areas face the
challenges of obesity, congestion and scarcity of open space. In addition to the
Metropolitan Grants Program, in 2009 RTC launched its Urban Pathways Initiative, enabling
communities to become part of the solution. Rail-trails and urban pathways
provide opportunities for healthier living, which in turn effect positive
change in neighborhoods where the demand for improved health and community
empowerment is greatest.
Photos by (L) Lindsay Martin/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and (R) Stephen Miller/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Interested in the mural in the background? It's D.C.'s largest, and it's right on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Learn more about it. More photos of the event can be found on the Facebook page of event partner Oasis Bike Works.
Can we have a copy of your Coca Cola proposal. We would like to get bikes for our afternoon school program in Providence.
Response from Stephen Miller: Ray, please contact me - stephen (at) railstotrails.org. I'm not sure that our Coca-Cola Foundation proposal is best since it was for a broader program than simply the bike giveaway, but as a native Rhode Islander I'm interested to hear the details of your proposal in Providence and I'd love to help you out.
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