This year, despite all the craziness, we made major progress towards our goal of building a bike park in Burlington. Here’s what went down:
We worked with Burlington’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront (BPRW) to secure a space for the bike park at Leddy Park. Leddy is a fantastic location for Burlington’s first bike park. It’s in the heart of the New North End and accessible to the rest of the city via the waterfront bike path. It already has many of the amenities needed for a bike park—things like water and bathrooms—and the site we’ve chosen is ideal in terms of terrain. Most importantly, the community and City support this location.
We partnered with a local mountain bike celebrity to hold our first fundraiser. When Phil Kmetz (of Skills with Phil) generously donated his used Evil Calling for us to raffle off, we really weren’t sure how much interest we’d get. In the end, we raised over $7,000! This was a great push towards our first fundraising goal, which you’ll hear more about in just a second…
We applied for and won a Penny for Parks grant. This $12,500 grant is funded by the City of Burlington, and combined with the money we’ve raised so far from the bike raffle and general donations, puts us within striking distance of the $25,000 balance we need to have on hand in order to issue an RFP through the City of Burlington and commission a professional design for the bike park. We’re looking to supporters like you to help us close the gap. Also, if you know of a business who might be interested in working with us towards building the park, let us know!
We have big goals for next year. We’ll be working with Vermont’s finest dirt sculptors to create a design for our world-class bike park. Then we’ll roll out the excavators and get it built. Just kidding, there’s a touch of fundraising to do before we put shovels to dirt. Keep your ears and eyes open for more about our fundraising campaign, or just skip the suspense and send in a donation now! The more cash we have on hand, the better we look to potential funders.
Because the Burlington Bike Park Coalition is totally volunteer run, almost every cent you donate goes directly into the design and build of a world-class bike park. Speaking of volunteers, our group has spent over 500 hours this year alone on the bike park project.
Here's the breakdown of our planned spending in 2021:
Want to know more about the volunteers behind the Burlington Bike Park Coalition? We’ll be sharing more about our ragtag group in the next few newsletters. This time, we’d like to introduce our advisory board members:
Rosy Metcalfe is a mountain bike coach with Stowe Mountain Bike Academy who can sometimes be found racing her bike downhill. She got into the sport of mountain biking in 2005 because of some incredibly generous friends, so it is important to her to pay it forward within the sport. She is also a recovering social worker who enjoys nerding out about public mental health and social justice.
Thomas DeSisto is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Agriculture and Life Science's Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont focused on community engagement and development, teamwork and leadership, social research methods, and digital literacy. In his free time, Thomas enjoys backpacking in the Green Mountains, paddling his kayak on Lake Champlain, and pedaling around town on his vintage red, 10-speed bicycle. Students from his Local Community Activities course have worked with the Burlington Bike Park for several years. Thomas looks forward to the day that the people of Burlington, VT have a bike park of their own!
We’re always looking for more folks to join the band and help us make this bike park a reality. Interested in joining our advisory board or our team of core volunteers? Email email@example.com to get involved.
We can't wrap up the year without thanking our friends at Fellowship of the Wheel for continuing to support the Burlington Bike Park Coalition by acting as our fiscal sponsor. This relationship allows us to move forward on the bike park project without having to incorporate as a non profit. The progress we’ve made so far would not be possible without Fellowship of the Wheel.
And finally, thank you for all of your support up to this point! We wouldn't have made it this far without people like you from the Burlington area and beyond lending a hand to make this bike park a reality.
Happy New Year, and here’s to 2021!