With so much to celebrate this year, it wasn’t easy to whittle down the most exciting accomplishments to only 12. Give yourself a pat on the back, relax, and take a walk (or ride) down memory lane with us – and be sure to share if there’s something we missed!
12. Thank You Party turned community celebration
The Greenway is a true community success story thanks to the dozens of volunteers who donated over 1,000 hours of time and $25,000+ in pro bono services in 2012. That deserves a party! From greenway tours to the Slowest Bike Race, from delicious food to Help Wanted (HHS’ rising talents) rocking out, the Greenway’s We’re Halfway There! Thank You Party was the place to have fun and give thanks on November 10. Relive it in photos
11. Increased online presence with social media and blogging by local experts (aka doctors, parents, neighbors, teachers, permaculturists, and more!)
In 2012, we redesigned our website to better serve you and increased our presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay in communication with our community’s diverse audiences. Our education committee provided new and regular blog posts to keep up to date with exciting Greenway happenings. Catch up on our blog
10. Private fundraising grew 370% from last year
From 12 donors in 2011 to 162 in 2012, we raised over $57,000 this year. We are humbled and encouraged by the broad community support. If you’ve already given, thank you! If you can squeeze in one last end-of-the-year gift to the Greenway, please donate here. Review our 2012 Fundraising Snapshot
9. House Parties were a HIT
With four wildly successful house parties, we were able to raise excitement, awareness as well as $9,500 for the Greenway. Thank you to Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, the Metzler-Sawins, the Weavers, and the Johnstons for being such wonderful hosts! (Click the links to see photos from each)
8. Park(let) Project reimagined green, open spaces downtown
The Greenway is going to provide green space, play space and art space in an entirely new way for the ‘burg, and the Park(let) Project helped to spark imaginations and experience what could be. Thanks to the 12 parklet designers and co-organizers and sponsors: The Gaines Group, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Arts Council of the Valley, and LD&B Insurance. Photos from the Parklet event
7. Eastern Mennonite University named Bike Friendly University
Okay, okay, we had nothing to do with this one, but we’re just so thrilled that EMU was awarded this special designation from the League of American Bicyclists that we just had to include it in our list. The full story
6. Greenway visit to Roanoke turns up $600,000 in state funds
Thanks to our friends at Roanoke Valley Greenways we learned that our City could apply for matching funds from VDOT. Our fast acting Council and City staff pulled together an application in less than a week and today, there’s hopefully over $1 million in the pipeline to fund the remaining amounts needed for Phases I of both the Northend Greenway and Bluestone Trail. Roanoke’s beautifully connected greenway network
5. Co-hosted Candidate Forums that turned out 600+ local folks
We made biking and walking a critical issue in this year’s City Council election and had the opportunity to educate candidates’ as to the importance of these important transportation and community issues. As a co-organizer, we helped bring together all 8 candidates for two forums and were later told that no group has successfully brought all candidates together for a forum in over 20 years! DN-R coverage
4. Co-Coordinated best ever Bike to Work Day (and month!)
Over 120 regular commuters and novice commuters rode to and from work on May 18 showing our community how fun and easy commuting by bike can be. One person even rode over 20 miles – impressive! Special thanks to the members of Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition for all their work to make Bike Month not only successful, but also fun.
3. Awarded $20,500 in grants
Thanks to the MillionMile Greenway, Fairfield Center, and Chesapeake Bay Foundation we were able to continue engineering for the path, strategic planning for our org, and also begin planning for stream restoration of Blacks Run. The President of MillionMile Greenway said, “This project has every essential element we look for in a partner…The 2.5-mile trail also connects activity centers with each other – a powerful benefit to Harrisonburg.” See the full story here and here
2. Our awesome (and local) engineers completed preliminary path alignment
Translation: Johann and Gil worked with our technical team and Steering Committee to determine where the path’s route will physically be on the ground. We also funded a topographic survey where a plane flew over the greenway route to take pictures of the land and ensure the path will be in harmony with the land and stream. Be sure to keep an eye on our website for small changes in the route.
1. City Council approved $600,000 for the Northend Greenway!
In February and November, hundreds of community members – from the north end and beyond – turned out in support of the Northend Greenway. These “Pack the Chamber” events, coupled with all the activities above, led to this year’s #1 accomplishment (drum roll!): City Council allotting $600,000 to go towards implementing the Northend Greenway! We’re so proud of Harrisonburg, and grateful for everyone’s hard work to make this possible.
* 1st Place Winner of Ignite! Harrisonburg AND inspired 10-year-old Blake Somers to build a LEGO art sculpture along the Greenway
* Welcomed 22 members to our new Greenway Advisory Board including stakeholders from education, business, environmental, property owners, cycling community, and City staff and elected officials, not to mention we added three new Steering Committee members
Thank you for an outstanding 2012!
We look forward to serving and connecting with you in 2013.