Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bike To Work Month Competition Sponsors Announced!

Sponsors for our Bike To Work Month competition have now been finalized! We thank Spokes Bike Shop in Hamburg, Lebo's Pedal Parlor in West Lawn and The Crank in Wernersville! Check out the latest for all our Bike To Work Month events at our webpage.

Happy Commuting!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Schuylkill River Heritage Area Received $719,000

Look also for improvements to signage after Reading Area Community College, improvement to trail connection in Birdsboro at Armorcast Blvd, and more connections north toward Hamburg! Members of WalkBikeBerks are Schuylkill River Heritage Area trail volunteers and trail ambassadors.

Next trail workday is Saturday May 8th at Trail Head at Moyers Lumber off Rte 724 in Birdsboro from 9:00 - 3:00.

Spend some of your time during Bike Month in May and volunteer to help maintain the trails that connect us to communities and enable users to CHOOSE to commute by bicycle instead of motor vehicle.

Schuylkill River group gets $719,000 grant to enhance trail

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA) has received a two-year, $719,000 grant from the Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation to improve the Schuylkill River Trail and strengthen the trail's economic development potential.

The money will fund projects that enhance and expand the trail and will support a new SRHA Heritage Towns and Tours program, which will link communities and destinations to the trail.

The award is an extension of a grant the SRHA received in 2008, also in support of Schuylkill River Trail projects.

In addition to funding the Heritage Towns and Tours program — which includes creating a demonstration project in Pottstown and four other communities — it will also support a Trail Towns Conference focused on that program.

The grant will also help pay for a region-wide interpretive sign program and other trail-related signs along the Schuylkill River Trail. And it will support natural recreation and tourism programs in the Big Woods and Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Area.

Ultimately, the grant is expected to result in several different outcomes. For one thing, it will enable the SRHA to recognize various communities as Heritage Towns that form a network of destinations along the Schuylkill River and the trail. The SRHA will work with five communities as "demonstration projects" to develop and implement the Heritage Towns and Tours concept through signage, brochures and other resources. This program is intended to increase regional tourism and support local economic development initiatives, particularly for communities along the Schuylkill River Trail.

The grant will also fund signage and other trail projects that improve accessibility and awareness of the Schuylkill River Trail. And it will result in new programming and activities that promote recreation and the economic value of the Big Woods and Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Area.

"This grant will have a major impact on the residents and businesses throughout the Schuylkill River Region," said SRHA Executive Director Kurt Zwikl. "It enables us to continue to improve and expand the Schuylkill River Trail and to help communities along it benefit from the trail's growing popularity."

Included in the grant is $120,000 to support projects in the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Area, which has been identified as a Conservation Landscape Initiative by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The SRHA will partner with Natural Lands Trust and DCNR to fund ecotourism and natural-recreation projects and programs, which could include maps, brochures, trail connectors, nature boardwalks and water trail landings. This will focus on communities in the middle Schuylkill River Region along the spine of the river and the trail.

The trail, when complete, will run the entire length of the river from Philadelphia to Pottsville, totaling about 130 miles and traversing five counties. Several large sections are already in place, including a 26-mile piece that stretches from Philadelphia to Mont Clare, a 19-mile Pottstown-to-Reading segment, and seven miles through upper Berks and lower Schuylkill counties.

The Schuylkill River Trail has been under construction for many years. Its parts are owned and maintained by a number of public and private agencies. The grant will allow the Schuylkill River Heritage Area to continue to take the lead in coordinating those agencies.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association, which uses conservation, education, recreation, historic preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development. To learn more visit www.schuylkillriver.org.

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children's futures, and deepen connections to nature and community. In partnership with others, the foundation works to advance a vital, just and caring community. Learn more about the foundation online at www.williampennfoundation.org.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bike To Work Month Activities 2010

WalkBikeBerks is gearing up for Bike To Work Month and we have lots planned. Check back frequently for updates on latest events or visit our website at www.walkbikeberks.org. Below is a taste of what's going on. Please RSVP where indicated!

1 - WalkBikeBerks to host League of American Bicyclist' Bicycling 123 - Youth course at Exeter May Days Saturday May 15th at Exeter Sr Highschool by tennis courts. This is a skills course for youth up to age 13. Please RSVP @ jslonaker@walkbikeberks.org

2 - WalkBikeBerks to host ride to county offices and city hall on Bike To Work Day Friday May 21st! Meet at Brentwood Trailhead by 6:45 to register and ride starts at 7:00a.m. Guests include county and city officials! Come on out and show our local government your support for cycling as a means of recreation and transportation. Sign up now!

3 - WalkBikeBerks is promoting Bike To Work month with it's 2nd annual Bike To Work contest! Check out our website for more details!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Volunteer for EARTH DAY


Walking and Bicycling ARE Green Transportation!

April 18
Riverfront Park, Reading
11:00 - 1:00
1:00 - 3:00
3:00 - 5:00
April 24
Happy Hollow Playground, Wyomissing
9:00 - 11:00
11:00- 1:00

April 24
Cumru Township Rec Center, Cumru
9:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 1:00
1:00 - 3:00

email info@walkbikeberks.org to sign-up to cover one of these time slots at the Walk Bike Berks Earth Day event of your choice!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WalkBikeBerks at Earth Day Events around Berks

As our supporters know bicycling is not only healthy but it's also a sustainable transportation option!

Therefore, WalkBikeBerks will be at various Earth Day events throughout the county starting this Sunday at Riverfront Park in Reading (visit this link for more info http://www.americantowns.com/pa/reading/events/berks-county-earth-day). The event runs from 12:00 - 5:00 Sunday April 18th! Stop by our table and find out more about how YOU can contribute to sustainable transportation and become a member of WalkBikeBerks!

We will also be at the Earth Day event in Wyomissing at Happy Hollow playground on Saturday April 24th from 10:00a.m - 1:00 as well as Cumru Township's event at the Cumru Township Rec Center on 1775 Welsh Road from 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. where there will be lots of games, prizes, face painting, bird hike and presentations (including one by our Vice President Nancy Kauffman)!

We want to see you and hear from you so come out and visit with us and tell your friends!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pennsylvania Walk and Bike Summit Registration is Open

Register Now
Pennsylvania Walk and Bike Summit
Harrisburg, PA May 3-4th, 2010.

Register Now for the 2010 Summit, click here.
Network with bicycle and pedestrian enthusiasts and advocates from around Pennsylvania at an evening reception on May 3rd. Join the Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School State Network. Meet your legislators on May 4th and ask them to support making bicycling and walking safer in Pennsylvania.

We look forward to seeing you in Harrisburg in May.
PS: Staying overnight in Harrisburg? Stay at the Comfort Inn for $69/night (717-233-1611). Mention "PA Walks and Bikes."

May 3
3:00 - 5:30 PM Summit Registration
5:30 PM Evening Reception
7:00 PM PA Safe Routes to School Network Meeting
May 4
9:00 - 10:00 AM Registration
10:00 AM Rally at Capitol Stairs
12:00 PM Luncheon/Legislative Workshop
1:00 - 5:00 PM Legislative Meetings
6:30 PM Deadline for Submission of all feedback forms