This May, Eric Oberg,
manager of trail development for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) Midwest
Regional Office, ran a bicycle safety station at Bremen
Elementary School in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Though much of his time is spent working with land managers and planners in
council offices and boardrooms, poring over maps and technical documents, Oberg
loves getting to work closely with rail-trail users. At Bremen Elementary, he
was able to roll up his sleeves for bike maintenance courses, and to offer
students advice on how to stay safe while zipping around on two wheels.
"Bremen is only
a small village, so often the children here ride on the street," says Oberg. "That
being the case, it is especially important they know the correct hand signals
and are conscious of rider safety."
Joining Oberg at the school were local partners Lancaster Bicycle and the
Fairfield Heritage Trail Association. The event also continued a great relationship
between RTC and Bremen Elementary, where Oberg is a member of the school's Be
Safe Committee, formed to promote health and safety in and around the school,
including the development of safe routes to school and the recent establishment
of a community garden.
"At RTC, we are very much about creating safe places for children and families
to walk and ride," say Oberg. "And this is a part of the job I really love. So
much of what we do is behind the scenes, planning and building trails, working
with cities and planners. This is about putting a face to RTC, working hands-on
to promote our work and our goals."
school safety has been a particular focus recently. A few weeks ago, he
attended a workshop in Cleveland,
Ohio, on "walking school buses."
Hosted by RTC partner PedNet of Columbia, Mo., the workshop
examined the positive impact walking to school can have on child health, and
the importance of providing safe and enjoyable means to do so.
For more information about the event, contact RTC's Midwest Regional Office at
Photos (top to bottom): Dan Peters,
owner of Lancaster Bicycle, talking to a class, with Oberg in the background; and Peters fitting a helmet on a student, by Jennifer McMahon of Jennifer's Studio in Rushville,
I think my grandson, Eric Oberg, is a prize........
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