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Founders meeting in New York City to launch the East Coast Greenway.

1991

  • Eight people meet in NYC in November to establish the East Coast Greenway Alliance, after meeting at an earlier bicycle conference at MIT in in Cambridge, MA.

1992

In Pennsylvania during the 1992 summer tour of the East Coast Greenway from Boston to Washington, DC.

  • Route redesigned to include Rhode Island and Delaware.
  • Ten cyclists undertake a month-long summer exploratory and promotional tour of East Coast Greenway route from Boston to Washington, DC. Their ride generates strong media attention as well as meetings and endorsements from local and state officials.
  • Open Space Institute becomes fiscal umbrella for ECGA. Neighborhood Open Spaces Coalition in New York City hosts the Alliance.
  • Preliminary bylaws adopted.

1993

  • Early tours along the East Coast Greenway explored route options and promoted the ECG.
  • URL “www.greenway.org” secured for website.
  • Board members develop first strategic plan at Philadelphia retreat, sponsored by National Park Service.

1994

  • Portland, Maine, to Washington D.C. tour promotes the East Coast Greenway.

1995

  • East Coast Greenway name and logo are trademarked as a recreational trail and for maps and other materials.
  • ECGA is incorporated in the state of New York.
  • ECGA moves headquarters as volunteer Executive Director Karen Votava retires to Wakefield, RI.

1996

  • Karen Votava becomes first paid executive director, part-time.
  • Pilot Trail Designation Criteria and Procedure Policy adopted.
  • First five greenwayl segments designated, totaling 56 miles: the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail (MD), the Charter Oak Greenway (CT), Coventry Greenway (RI), the Delaware & Raritan Canal Trail (NJ), and Farmington Canal Greenway (CT)
  • First State of the Trail Report issued, covering five states.

1997

  • Organization achieves 501c3 status.
  • Office manager Craig Anthony becomes second paid staff member.
  • Three-day Hartford to Providence promotional tour showcases key segment of East Coast Greenway.
  • First user map for local trail segment printed: D&R Canal towpath, New Jersey.

1998

Before developing ECG maps electronically, unwieldy print maps were often used to find new routing options.

  • Bylaws updated, Board of Trustees forms with Patricia King as chair.
  • First Southern regional meeting n Pinopolis, SC, brings five new states into ECG organization.
  • ECGA achieves fiscal autonomy.
  • First annual members meeting held in Annapolis, MD.
  • Future trail development leader Eric Weis joins ECGA as administrative assistant.
  • Refinements to ECG trail vision include list of 23 cities that spine trail must link; six trail segments totaling 51.5 miles designated.

1999

  • Seven greenway segments totaling 22.4 miles designated.
  • Pilot trail marker design using map logo adopted and placed on some designated segments.
  • Regional meetings held in Mid-Atlantic (Wilmington) and New England (Boston).
  • Second strategic plan establishing 5 benchmarks as measures of trail progress adopted
  • User maps developed for 3 more segments: Farmington Greenway, Charter Oak Greenway, and Blackstone Bikeway
  • Annual members meeting in Portland, ME.
  • White House names ECG one of 16 National Millennium Trails.
  • Prestigious Kodak American Greenways Award given to ECGA by the Conservation Fund at event at National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

2000

  • Advocates and officials from all ECG states come together for Key West-to-Calais Wave Up the Coast relay event.
  • ECGA hires its first Mid-Atlantic coordinator, Ken Edmonds.
  • Partnership with Amtrak celebrated at press event at Union Station in Washington, DC.
  • 15 greenway segments totaling 72.2 miles designated.
  • Annual members meeting held in Washington, DC.

Celebrating partnership with Amtrak and new Bikes on Board program

2001

  • 10th anniversary edition of State of the Trail Report published.
  • Through East Coast Greenway advocacy, Amtrak Bikes on Board program launches with Twilight Shoreliner (Boston to Newport News) providing daily roll-on bike carriage.
  • Gateways to the East Coast Greenway event held with simultaneous designations and placing of endpoint-markers in Key West, Florida and Calais, Maine on June 2.
  • Travel route with on-road linking completed, trail fully defined in all New England states.
  • 14 greenway segments totaling 31.5 miles designated..
  • Kitty Carter joins the staff as office manager and membership coordinator.
  • Landscape Architecture publishes feature on Greenway.
  • David Dionne follows Pat King to become second board chair..
  • Annual members meeting held in Providence, RI.

2002

Volunteers installed gateway markers in Calais, Maine, and Key West, Florida.

  • Eight greenway segments totaling 92.2 miles designated.
  • Grant from Robert Wood Johnson funds Pentagram Design to develop ECGA two trees logo and design standards.
  • ECGA helps spearhead formation of Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance.
  • Annual members meeting held in Philadelphia.
  • NJDOT steps forward to map out completion of East Coast Greenway in New Jersey by hiring RBA Group to define route.
  • Advisory Board established.
  • Electronic newsletter launches, reaching more than 2,000 readers.

2003

Milestone inaugural event held June 5 on National Mall in Washington, DC.

  • “Sign-on” letters ask President George W. Bush to expedite completion of Greenway; majority of House and Senate members along our route sign letter.
  • Nine greenway segments totaling 37.5 miles designated.
  • 62-mile route, 80% off-road, defined through Middlesex, Union, Essex, and Hudson Counties as a result of NJDOT funded work by RBA Group.
  • Robb Kushner develops promotional video focused on NY-NJ segment: “East Coast Greenway: From Downtown to Your Town.”
  • Annual member meeting held in Charleston, SC; membership reaches 700.

2004

Seven intrepid cyclists became the first to travel the entire East Coast Greenway

  • Seven cyclists make entire trip from Calais, ME to Key West, FL in 55 days. They raise $75,000 raised for East Coast Greenway Alliance.
  • Annual members meeting held in Jersey City, NJ.
  • Membership grows to 1,200
  • Four new greenways totaling 11.8 miles designated.
  • Pedestrian bridges open: across Scarborough Marsh along Eastern Trail in Maine and across Route 1 along D&R Canal Towpath in New Jersey
  • Staff grows with addition of Communications Coordinator Peter Vicinanza and part-time Office Assistant Kathy Klinger.
  • Chuck Flink assumes position as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

2005

  • Surdna Foundation grants ECGA $300,000 in operating support over 3 years
  • Trail Coordinator position created and filled by John Piazza; Eric Weis becomes New England Coordinator, first of four planned regional coordinators
  • ECG Campaign implemented: 19-member Trail Council formed and meets for first time in November. Section “benchmarks” and state “Blueprints for Action” begun
  • Annual members meeting held in New Haven, CT.
  • Cooper River Bridge opens with 12-ft. wide bike/ped path
  • Groundbreaking for 54-mile Virginia Capital Trail
  • Membership grows to 5,000
  • First year of Major Donor Program, exceeding goal of $100,000 by $17,000.
  • Two couples (below) were the first to complete unsupported trips of the ECG.

Through-riders Jenny and Wil Hylton

2006

  • GQ Magazine publishes a feature article by Wil Hylton on his 2005 through ride, bringing national attention to the ECG
  • 49 miles of new trail designated
  • Google Earth maps made for Maine-to-Virginia portion of route
  • First staff Reconnaissance Tour from Trenton to Baltimore
  • Organizational capacity increased with addition of Herb Hiller as our SE Regional Consultant. Linda Arendt joined ECGA as a part-time volunteer, assisting with grant writing and volunteer coordination
  • Spring Board and Trail Council Meetings held in Wakefield, RI; Brief Annual Members Meeting and fall Board and Trail Council Meetings held in Baltimore, MD

2007

  • ECGA members join staff and volunteers on a tour of the ECG through Durham during the 2007 ECGA Annual Meeting weekend.
  • First user guide to ECG published by NJDOT for NJ route
  • Entire spine route defined as a current travel route. Two cyclists field-check entire spine route, correcting cue sheets
  • Google maps completed for entire route, showing all current and proposed routing, both permanent and interim, spine and alternate
  • John Piazza resigns as Trail Program Coordinator and is replaced by Jack Keene; Eric Weis becomes Deputy Trail Program Coordinator (while remaining New England Coordinator); Mike Oliva retained as Mid-Atlantic Coordinator; Steve Bevington joins ECGA as South Atlantic Regional Coordinator; Laura Nulman becomes half-time research assistant.
  • ECGA operating budget surpasses $600,000.
  • Four state-level ECG summits held in NJ, NY, NC, and FL
  • Pilot Ambassador Program launched in New England in the fall with a grant from REI.
  • Spring Board and Trail Council Meetings held in Jacksonville, FL and fall Annual Members Meeting and Board and Trail Council Meetings held in Durham, NC

2008

  • Entire 3000-mile route from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida fully mapped and posted with field-checked cue sheets on our web, enabling experienced cyclists to use the Greenway. Completed trails — 120 in all — are available for people of all abilities.
  • New Jersey East Coast Greenway Multi-use Trail Guide published by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
  • ECG trail markers posted on National Mall and along Seacoast route in New Hampshire.
  • Second Close the Gaps Club tour conducted for 16 major donors from Wilmington DE to New York City.
  • Florida First Coast ECG Map published.
  • Tanja Wiant resigns as Communications Coordinator to move to Boulder, CO and Jean Frisbie joins staff part-time. Financial constraints required the Alliance to terminate Jack Keene as Trail Program Coordinator. Eric Weis assumed Acting Trail Program Coordinator position.
  • Fifteen cyclists participated in Bike Florida’s Inaugural Tour, St. Johns River to the Sea Loop, November 15-22, 2008, Palatka-St. Augustine-Daytona Beach-Titusville-Enterprise-Crescent City-Palatka
  • Informational kiosks installed along American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC, along D & R Canal Trail in Millstone, NJ, and in Johnson Park in Highland Park, NJ and in Manchester, CT.
  • Alliance Board of Trustees and Trail Council meet in Wilmington, DE and Boston, MA.
  • 28 trail segments designated, equal to almost 100 miles.
  • Eric Weis appointed Trail Program Coordinator.

2009

  • ECGA’s first Executive Director, co-founder Karen Votava, retires on September 1st, handing the baton to Dennis Markatos-Soriano, an east coast environmental and public advocate born and raised in North Carolina and who most recently lived in Princeton, NJ and New York City.
  • 16 trail segments designated, bringing route to 23% off-road trail.
  • Substantially overhauled website launched in February.
  • East Coast Greenway – Pennsylvania and Delaware – A Guide to Bicycling and Walking 2009 issued in February, with support by William Penn Foundation, Pennsylvania DCNR, Delaware DNREC, and City of Wilmington, DE.
  • New Jersey East Coast Greenway Multi-use Trail Guide reprinted with support by New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Program.
  • New York City Weekend Trip Planner published with support from New York Community Trust, Bike New York and Bike and Roll.
  • Savannah-Northeast Florida Workshop on Wheels, January 14-18, 2009 through Camden County, Georgia and Nassau, Duval, St. Johns Counties, Florida.
  • The first Westchester County Bike Summit held April 7.
  • Board and Trail Council meetings held April 25 – 26 in NYC.
  • Tribute event marking Karen Votava’s 18 years of ECG leadership held April 25 in NYC.
  • Pennsylvania ECG Summit held in partnership with the Pennstylvania Environmental Council May 8.
  • May 23 – June 13, Dan McCrady and his Yellow Lab, Sadie, cycle from Annapolis, MD, to Portland, ME, to promote awareness and support for the Greenway.
  • Board and Trail Council meetings in Savannah, October 31 – November 1.
  • Close the Gaps Club Tour of St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop in Florida November 8 – 15.

2010

  • ECGA designates a 13 new trail segments representing record length of new off-road greenway (100 miles) at Spring and Fall meetings in Newark, NJ, and Durham, NC.
  • Organization recovered to financial health post-Great Recession
  • Close the Gaps Club Tour rides North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

2011

  • 19 trails designated totaling 50 miles at Spring and Fall meetings in Simsbury, CT, and Stuart & Jupiter, FL, bringing the off-road portion of the ECG to 26%
  • ECGA moves its headquarters from Wakefield, RI, to Durham, NC to better focus on southern portion of our route and be closer to the midpoint.
  • Week-A-Year Tour begins, taking a crew of almost 25 members on the ECG for a bicycling trip from the Canadian border to Portland, ME, in August

2012

  • Record 42 new greenway segments designated in 12 different states as the off-road portion of the ECG grew to 28%.
  • Most media attention ever includes more than 500 news pieces – especially noteworthy were two articles in the Wall St Journal and on national Fox News.
  • Week-A-Year Tour grows to 35 cyclists as it goes from Portland, ME, to Hartford, CT, in August – becoming a significant fundraiser that helps the organization continue to increase its financial strength.
  • Partnered with Cabot Creamery on the biggest ECG tour in our history, a ride from Miami to Portland, ME, that engaged thousands of people on top of the three thru-cyclists, Robert Spiegelman and Cathy & Myron Skott.
  • Our network grew 31% to 18,500 people who donate, volunteer, or follow our e-newsletter, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
  • We host Surgeon General Regina Benjamin for a 200-person evening group walk on the greenway in Durham.

2013

  • We welcome 31 new greenway segments from 8 states that brought the 2,900-mile route to 29% off-road.
  • Week-A-Year Tour continued to grow to over 40 participants who rode from Hartford, CT, to Philadelphia, PA, and raising over $30,000 to accelerate greenway development.
  • Our network of supporters and followers grew 23% to 23,200 people connected to us via email, Facebook, Twitter, and our print newsletter.
  • Growing support from donors and partners gave us the resources to grow our trail staff significantly with the hire of both a South Atlantic Coordinator (Virginia and the Carolinas) and a New England Coordinator. Our increased capacity helped us strengthen relationships with our key stakeholders throughout the corridor.

2014

  • We reach the milestone of 30% off-road by designating 36 new greenway segments from Maine to Florida.
  • We roll out our first-ever mobile app, which is synced to our online wayfinding tools, helping everyone have a convenient experience on the greenway.
  • We continue to grow our support base and achieved financial strength so that new donations can go directly into new programs and increased impact.
  • Our network grows 21% to over 28,000 people following and/or supporting the ECG effort.
  • East Coast Greenway signs are posted on about 150 miles of our route, bringing our signed total to almost 30% of the route.

2015

  • We place a record 250 miles of East Coast Greenway signs.
  • We designate 75+ new miles as Greenway.
  • We grow our network of supporters and followers 33 percent to nearly 40,000 people.
  • Tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds go towards closing key gaps in Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, and beyond.