December 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • What a Year!

National News

  • Help Us Keep Rolling Strong in 2014!


  • Celebrating 2013

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles and More

Regional News: All Regions

  • Santa Visits Miami, Delivers ECG Signs
  • Rolling in South Carolina
  • A Banner Year in the Mid-Atlantic
  • Open House in ECG Providence Office, Thurs. Jan. 16th
  • CT DOT Makes their Mark

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

What a Year!

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

I hope you enjoy the recap below as much as I did. Together, we can make the new year even better! Here's to happy trails, safe riding, and enjoyable walks with friends and family throughout 2014.

Happy Holidays,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Help Us Keep Rolling Strong in 2014!

THANK YOU to everyone who's contributed to our Annual Appeal or renewed your membership in the past month! A generous donor will match up to $25,000 in contributions made by the end of the year - and we are close to meeting our goal!

Can you help us reach this goal by the end of December? Donate online today! Your contribution is tax-deductible, and goes to fund the trail program in your region.

Your donations are truly appreciated and will make a huge difference - thank you for your support!

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ECG Spotlight
Celebrating 2013

2013 has been an amazing year for the ECG! We saw significant trail progress in each region, held some of our best events ever, and grew our network of supporters beyond 20,000 people.

One of our biggest highlights of 2013 was adding two new regional trail coordinators to our staff. Niles Barnes joined us in September in the South Atlantic, and Molly Henry started in early November in New England. Adding these trail staff greatly increases our capacity to advocate for new trail and expand our program in all our regions.

Both of them have hit the greenway running already, and we are excited to have such a strong team going into 2014!

ECG Trail Staff
ECGA Trail Staff: Molly Henry (New England), Andy Hamilton (Mid-Atlantic), Herb Hiller (Southeast), Dennis Markatos-Soriano (Director), Eric Weis (Trail Program Coordinator), Niles Barnes (South Atlantic). Photo by David Read.

Sixty Miles Designated as ECG

This year we designated over 60 miles of new greenway sections (beating our goal by 20%!) and are now at 29% completion. Each region saw exciting progress with new trail designations that ranged from key urban connectors to signature bridges, beautiful rural sections, and even a ferry!

Huge thanks to our Trail Council and all the volunteers who work hard to make trail designations happen!

Some of the many trails designated in 2013: St. Johns River Ferry, FL; Amelia Island Trail, FL; Hop River Trail (covered bridge section), CT; Border to Boston Danvers, MA section

St. Johns River Ferry

Photo by Val Bostwick

ait trail sm Hop river bridge ECG trail designatio

Groundbreakings, Construction, and Trail Openings

58th st opening
Opening celebration of the 58th Street Trail in Philadelphia. Photo by Terra Edenhart-Pepe.

We also saw a number of key groundbreakings, trail construction, and trail openings in all regions - there were six trails completed this year in the Mid-Atlantic alone!

We are excited for more trail openings in 2014, as momentum continues to build!

Summerlin Boardwalk construction, fl neuse river trail opening clayton nc
Construction on the FL Keys Overseas Heritage Trail; Opening of the Neuse River Greenway, Clayton, NC. Photos by FL Dept. of Transportation and Danna Widmar.

Memorial Bridge

The opening of the new Memorial Bridge, which connects the ECG between Maine and New Hampshire. Photo by Truda Bloom.

Thank you to our excellent partners like the William Penn Foundation, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Anderson-Rogers Foundation,and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina who are generously supporting the creation of new trail segments of the ECG.

Marking the ECG

volunteer Greg placing signs sign unveiling, fl

Volunteer Greg Hinchliffe places ECG signs in Baltimore, MD. ECG sign unveiling on the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail, FL.

This year was another record year for signage - we placed over 150 miles of signs on our route, mostly in Connecticut, Florida, and Maryland. ECG signs now mark 25% of our route, making it much easier to navigate!

Signage is important not only for navigation, but education. Often people first learn about the ECG when they see a sign on their local trail.

Thank you to REI for their recent generous grant to support signing the ECG route!

We also updated our kiosks across New Jersey with excellent interpretive graphics, placed in Lincoln Park in Jersey City, Weequahic Park in Newark, Nomaheegan Park in Cranford, Merrill Park in Edison, Johnson Park in Piscataway, and the D&R Canal State Park in Franklin Township. Thank you to the RBA Group for their work on this project, and to the State of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for funding support.

Kiosk in NJ

Awesome Events Raise Awareness

We held some of the most successful events in our history this year, including two incredible State of the Greenway Summits, the Week a Year Tour, and New England Bike Walk Summit.

We held our Spring State of the Greenway Summit in Baltimore in April. This event featured speakers from key partners in the region, and special guest speaker U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland gave an inspiring message about the importance of continued greenway development in our communities.

Our Fall Greenway Summit weekend in Raleigh included a 50-mile bike ride attended by 70 people, and a lovely reception at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, before an inspiring Summit with presentations by ECG staff and key local trail partners.

(See more pics. from both State of the Greenway Summits on our Facebook page.)

Senator Cardin at ECG meeting

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland addressing the ECG Summit. Photo by Terra Edenhart-Pepe.

Durham to Raleigh bike ride Mayor McFarlane of Raleigh
Before the Cross-Triangle Bike ride in October. Mayor McFarlane of Raleigh speaks at the Greenway Reception. Photos by Dave Read and Tim Pflaum.

In August, 42 people and 3 staff rode the ECG from Hartford to Philadelphia on the 2013 Week a Year Tour. Along the way they travelled some of the most beautiful and interesting sections of the ECG and met with community and trail leaders.

The Week a Year tours are working tours for our staff and key volunteers. We review the route, note where signage would be helpful, and meet with community leaders. In addition, the tours are fundraisers, where participants raise or donate funds to support development of the ECG. This year participants raised or donated at least $500 each, for a total of over $30,000. Thank you to everyone who donated or fundraised for the ECG, or who contributed to someone's tour! (Email us at if you'd like to be on the list to receive information about the 2014 tour, which will be next October.)

on the Flower Bridge 90 years young

Week a Year Tour riders on the Flower Bridge in Simsbury, CT. 90 year-young Barbara rode a tandem with her husband Tracy during the Week a Year Tour.

The 3rd New England Bike-Walk Summit, held in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 4th, was a sold-out show, with 600 people attending throughout the course of the day. Andy Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists and Keith Laughlin, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy inspired conference attendees with speeches that provided insight from the local to the national level.

The day ended with the 3rd annual New England Builders' Ball, an exhibition and celebration of bicycle framebuilders in the northeast. Twenty-two exhibitors put their wares on display, and hundreds of people queued up to see their amazing work! Thank you to all the event sponsors, including the Sarah Hancock Fund and Tom's of Maine for your support of this fantastic Summit!

NE summit speakers
ECGA's Board Chair Dave Read, Keith Laughlin, Andy Clarke, and Dennis Markatos-Soriano at the New England Bike Walk Summit in October 2013

ECG In the Media

The ECG enjoyed record media attention in 2013 with articles in major publications from New York and Boston to India, Ireland, and Brazil. In April, Adventure Cycling featured an inspiring article in their magazine by Karen Votava, ECGA co-founder and our first Executive Director, about a trip she and her husband took on the ECG from Delaware to Brooklyn, NY. (Download the article here.)

In July, Mark Stewart of Cambridge, MA, rode an ELF, a revolutionary pedal-powered vehicle, from North Carolina back home to Massachusetts. He purchased the ELF, made by Organic Transit of Durham, NC, and instead of paying shipping costs to get it home, decided to take it on an adventure on the ECG! (You can see video of Mark in the ELF in this piece in the Huffington Post.)

Adventure Cyclist Mag

Mark rode 1,000 miles, mostly following the ECG. He went about 60 miles a day, and stopped at a variety of events, talking about the ELF and the ECG. Mark was also interviewed by the media along the way, including the New York Times , Boston Globe, Associated Press, and Public Radio.

Mark Stewart and Rob Cotter
Mark Stewart with Organic Transit's CEO Rob Cotter, before setting out on the ECG.

Media we made included really cool videos of the ECG in Cranford and Newark, New Jersey, created by our social media consultant, Terra Edenhart-Pepe, and narrated by Bernie Wagenblast, "the voice of the ECG."

We also published guidebooks of the ECG route in Maryland/DC, Pennsylvania/Delaware, and New Jersey. Thank you to the states of Maryland and New Jersey and the District of Columbia, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation for funding support for the guides. (Need a copy? You can download or purchase the guides on our website.)

pa/de guide ECG MD/DC guide

All of this progress is thanks to our many members, donors, volunteers, and supporters who have kept the greenway momentum rolling! You are helping us make biking and walking safer throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

In 2014, we plan to track trail use more closely (around 10 million visits per year!), sign another record number of ECG miles, and designate 50 more miles of new greenway to bring us past 30% completion! If you haven't joined the ECG yet, please consider donating now!

Thank you for your support, and see you on the ECG!

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ECG In the News

Daytona Beach News-Journal: ECG Designation Could Give Daytona Beach a Boost

Wilmington, NC: Groundbreaking Begins on Gary Shell Cross-City Trail

Hopewell Valley News, NJ: Plan Smart NJ Celebrates Lawrence Hopewell Trail

The Public Record, Philadelphia, PA: $250,000 State Grant for Completion of Baxter Trail Section of N. Delaware Greenway

Wicked Local: Student Creates Unique Train Wheel Benches for Rail-Trail in Danvers, MA

Bike to the Sea Wins Major Grant for Revere Portion of Trail

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Regional News: All Regions
Santa Delivers ECG Sign to Bayfront Park, Miami, FL

Bayfront Park’s Baywalk Designated as Segment of the East Coast Greenway

Miami, FL – Just in time for the holidays, Santa made a surprise delivery to Bayfront Park. He delivered an East Coast Greenway trail marker sign to Bayfront Park’s Executive Director, Timothy Schmand. Bayfront Park’s Baywalk is designated as an official segment of the East Coast Greenway.

The Baywalk runs along the edge of Biscayne Bay, from Chopin Plaza through the park, to Bayside Marketplace. In the true spirit of the Greenway designation, Santa arrived by bicycle.

Santa on the ECGThank you, Santa, for delivering the ECG signs to Bayfront Park!

Rolling in South Carolina

South Atlantic Coordinator Niles Barnes visited allies in South Carolina this week to prepare for the Fall 2014 summit in Charleston and help develop a strong state committee in the state.

In addition to meeting with representatives from the Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Council of Governments, Charleston Parks and Recreation, advocacy group Charleston Moves!, City of Charleston staff, and Sun City Cyclers, getting out on the route was a top priority. Meetings with the City of Myrtle Beach were also very productive.

If you are a resident of South Carolina interested in getting involved in the Fall summit or state committee activities, please email

Niles meeting with Jim Nicholson of the Sun City Cyclers in SC.

Niles and Jim in SC
Banner Year in the Mid-Atlantic

2013 was a great year in the mid-Atlantic region. There were five new trails completed, four in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland. The entire route from the Potomac River in Washington DC to the Hudson River in New Jersey had new Guidebooks printed, and grants for future design and implementation continue to be received by our partners, including $2,275,000 in Pennsylvania just this month!

Penn St. Trail opening
At the Penn St. Trail Opening in Philadelphia, PA

2014 is forecast to be an incredible year as well. By the end of 2014 our goal is to sign the entire Mid-Atlantic with East Coast Greenway signs. There will also be six or seven groundbreakings in Pennsylvania thanks to our partners, including the William Penn Foundation and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Stay tuned for another exciting year!

Open House at ECG Office in Providence, RI, Jan. 16, 5-8 PM

Don't forget to mark your calendars for ECGA's open house at our new New England office on Thursday, January 16!

Join us at 76 Dorrance St. Suite 301 in downtown Providence, RI from 5-8 PM to hobnob with glitterati, including our new New England Coordinator, Molly Henry, our same-old Trail Program Coordinator, Eric Weis, and leaders of the RI Bicycle Coalition, as we nosh, sip, and geek out over greenways and bikes.

Big thanks to our sponsor, Bucket Brewery!

bucket brewery
Connecticut DOT Making Their Mark

Connecticut’s commitment to the ECG vision is more apparent than ever. Just two years ago ConnDOT approached the ECG offering to install signs for all ECG routes on state-owned roads. Stretching 198 miles from Plainville to Greenwich, ConnDOT recently accomplished what they set out to do. They played a crucial role in connecting residents and visitors to some of the state’s most beautiful natural landscapes and culturally rich cities.   

To date almost 74% (147 miles) of the Connecticut ECG is marked with East Coast Greenway signs. We are working hard with municipal and public officials to complete signage for the remaining 51 miles. Once complete, Connecticut will be the first of New England to have their state fully signed. A major accomplishment and a BIG thank you to ConnDOT for all their time and effort!  

conn dot logo
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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or donating today.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.

Copyright 2013 East Coast Greenway Alliance