Community Cycling Center Receives $10,000 Grant From Bikes Belong to Build a Bike Skills Park and Community Bike Hub at New Columbia
The Community Cycling Center is excited to announce that we received a $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong to build a bike skills park and community bike hub at New Columbia. Please see our press release below:
Community Cycling Center Receives $10,000 Grant From Bikes Belong To Build a Bike Skills Park And Community Bike Hub At New Columbia
A collaboration to promote active living in North Portland
November 16, 2011 – Portland, Ore. – As early as next summer, residents at New Columbia will have a new facility in their neighborhood where they can hone their bike handling skills and access tools to keep their bikes in good repair.
Bikes Belong, a national coalition of bicycle retailers and suppliers dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often, awarded the Community Cycling Center a $10,000 grant to help broaden access to bicycling at New Columbia, a culturally and ethnically diverse mixed-income community in North Portland. Leveraging additional support from Home Forward, Bike Gallery, ODS and the NW Trails Alliance, the Community Cycling Center plans to revitalize a vacant lot to build an age appropriate bike skills park and community bike hub that will promote bicycling skills and physical activity for children and families.
The project is a result of the growing enthusiasm for bicycling at New Columbia. Since 2009 the Community Cycling Center has delivered a variety of earn-a-bike programs and events at New Columbia which have inspired residents to get more involved in bicycling. After participating in the Community Cycling Center’s Create a Commuter program in 2010, New Columbia resident and community champion, Egbevado Ananouko, started a riding group he calls We All Can Ride. “There are so many bikes at New Columbia in need of basic repair, but we haven’t had the skills or tools. With support from the Community Cycling Center, we are excited to train community members how to fix bikes and have a place to store tools,” explains Egbevado.
This past summer Home Forward approached the Community Cycling Center to discuss opportunities to transform a vacant lot into a safe space where kids could ride their bikes. The empty lot had become a safety concern and John Keating, Home Forwards’ Director of Strategic Partnerships, was looking for a solution that would help young kids stay active. Almost half of New Columbia’s 2,500 residents are youth, which means there is a tremendous need for activities to keep kids healthy.
“The Community Cycling Center is a tremendous partner for Home Forward but even more so for the families who live at New Columbia and the Tamarack apartments. Their ability to bring people together in something as fun and healthy as riding a bicycle is what makes a community,” noted John Keating.
“We’re extremely excited about this project,” stated Tom Archer, Northwest Trail Alliance Board President and Advocacy Director. “Bike Parks provide a safe, fun and active form of recreation for kids and adults in the urban environment, at a relatively low cost.”
The project is an example of how the Community Cycling Center is working to broaden access to bicycling and to spark local initiatives that help families be active. In 2009, the Community Cycling Center began work in New Columbia through a community needs assessment entitled Understanding Barriers to Bicycling. “The assessment was really an opportunity for us to begin building relationships and to learn from residents what they wanted to see in their neighborhood,” explains Alison Graves, the Community Cycling Center’s Executive Director. “We are excited to see this project evolve and to support champions like Egbevado who are passionate about the power of bicycles to bring people together.”
About the Community Cycling Center
The Community Cycling Center, founded in 1994, broadens access to bicycling and its benefits through our hands-on programs, volunteer projects, and neighborhood bike shop. As one of the oldest bicycling nonprofits in the United States, we build healthy communities by helping thousands of people ride safely.