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1991

Nine people met in NYC in November 1991 to establish the ECGA.

  • ECG is discussed at East Coast Bicycle Conference in Cambridge MA
  • ECGA is founded by ten trail advocates who met in November at AYH Amsterdam Avenue hostel in NYC and decided on the organization's vision, mission, goals, and objectives.

1992

In PA during the 1992 summer tour of the ECG route from Boston to Washington, DC.

  • RI and DE added to route
  • Ten cyclists undertake month-long summer exploratory and promotional tour of ECG route from Boston to Washington, DC resulting in scores of media events, meetings with and endorsements by local and state officials
  • Open Space Institute becomes fiscal umbrella for ECGA. Neighborhood Open Spaces Coalition (NOSC) 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.

  • Http://www.greenway.org claimed as ECGA website
  • First strategic plan developed at Philadelphia retreat sponsored by National Park Service

1994

  • Portland, ME to DC promotional tour event

1995

  • East Coast Greenway is trademarked in three ways: as a recreational trail; for membership services; and for maps, brochures, and other printed materials.
  • ECGA is incorporated in NY State
  • ECGA HQ moves from NYC to Wakefield, RI

1996

  • Karen Votava retained as first paid executive director, part-time
  • Pilot Trail Designation Criteria and Procedure Policy adopted
  • First five ECG trail 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
  • First BAW100 bicycle event held in the DC/Annapolis/Baltimore area

1997

  • First generation of ECG rack cards produced
  • 501 c(3) status under IRS code granted for ECGA
  • First rented office space secured at 135 Main St. Wakefield, RI
  • Craig Anthony hired as first office manager
  • Three-day Hartford to Providence promotional tour event
  • First user map for local ECG trail segment printed: D&R Canal towpath, NJ
  • 2nd BAW100 event held in DC/Annapolis/Baltimore area

1998

Prior to developing ECG maps electronically, large print maps were often used to find new routing options.

  • Full ECGA bylaws adopted; first official ECGA Board of Trustees formed with Patricia King as Chair
  • Policy Report on State Committee adopted
  • First Southern regional meeting held in Pinopolis, SC, bringing five new states into ECG vision
  • First Annual Members Meeting held in Annapolis, MD
  • ECGA assumes fiscal autonomy; part-time bookkeeper hired; Eric Weis joins ECGA as administrative assistant
  • Refinements to ECG Trail Vision adopted, including list of 23 cities that spine trail must link; six trail segments totaling 51.5 miles designated

1999

  • Seven trail segments totaling 22.4 miles designated
  • Pilot trail marker design using map logo adopted and placed on some designated trails
  • Regional meetings held in Mid-Atlantic (Wilmington) and New England (Boston)
  • Second strategic plan establishing 5 benchmarks as measures of trail progress adopted
  • Sponsor-a-Mile Campaign launched
  • User maps developed for 3 more segments: Farmington Greenway, Charter Oak Greenway, and Blackstone Bikeway
  • First audit completed and first 990 forms filed; first Annual Report issued
  • Second Annual Members meeting in Portland, ME
  • White House names ECG on of 16 National Millennium Trails
  • Prestigious Kodak American Greenways Award given to ECG by the Conservation Fund at DC event at National Geographic Society
  • First annual audit completed

2000

 Advocates and officials from all ECG states and Canada come together for 2000 Wave event.

  • State committees formed in NC, SC, GA and FL. Ken Edmonds contracted with as part-time Mid-Atlantic coordinator.
  • Key West-to-Calais Wave up the Coast relay event tied to inauguration of TransCanada Trail
  • Partnership with Amtrak announced at press event at Union Station in DC
  • 15 Trail segments totaling 72.2 miles designated
  • National Park Service sponsors retreat at Bear’s Den hostel in VA to frame policy on National-State relations
  • Third Annual Members Meeting held in Washington, DC

2001

  • Tenth Anniversary
  • 72-page full color 2001 State of the Trail Report published
  • Regional meetings held in each of three regions
  • Registration as charity completed for all required states along ECG
  • Amtrak Bikes on Board program launched 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 trail segments totaling 31.5 miles designated
  • Memorandum of Agreement to be signed between Alliance and state entities finalized
  • Use of Visa and Mastercard for receipt implemented
  • Office Manager position increased to full time; Bob Cummings resigns and Kitty Carter joins the staff as Office Manager and Membership Coordinator. Jeff Broadhead contracted to write grants part time
  • Major article in Landscape Architecture
  • 20,000 of our first promotional member brochure printed
  • Patricia King steps down as Board Chair and David Dionne assumes this position
  • Annual Members Meeting held in Providence, RI

ECG gateway markers were installed in Key West, FL and Calais, ME in 2002.

In a partnership with the ECGA, Amtrak Bikes on Board program launched with Twilight Shoreliner (Boston to Newport News) providing daily roll-on bike carriage.

2002

  • Eight trail segments totaling 92.2 miles designated
  • Grant from Robert Wood Johnson funded Pentagram Design to develop ECGA two trees logo (for use on our trail markers) and design standards
  • ECGA helps spearhead formation of Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance
  • Master Plan for Pennsylvania route completed
  • Annual meeting held in Philadelphia, PA
  • NJDOT steps forward to complete ECG in NJ by hiring RBA Group to define route in four north Jersey counties
  • ECGA Advisory Board established
  • Electronic newsletter with over 2000 subscribers launched

2003

 

  • Milestone Inaugural Event held June 5 on National Mall in DC
  • “Sign-on” letters asking President Bush to expedite completion of Greenway secured signatures of 50% of House Members and 75% of Senate members along our route
  • Nine trail 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 portion of ECG: East Coast Greenway: From Downtown to Your Town
  • South Portland, ME informational kiosk installed
  • Annual Meeting held in Charleston, SC
  • Membership grows to 700

2004

In 2004, seven intrepid cyclists became the first to travel the entire length of the ECG.

  • 2010 Strategic Committee develops Close the Gaps Campaign to step up progress on getting ECG on the ground
  • Seven cyclists make entire trip from Calais, ME to Key West, FL in 55 days, September 12 to November 3 in first Maine to Florida Tour Event; four other cyclists complete a portion of the route; $75,000 raised for ECG
  • Annual Meeting held in Jersey City, NJ
  • Membership grows to 1200
  • Four new trails 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 full-time 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 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.

In 2005, two couples – Wil & Jenny Hylton (left) and Peter and Faith Vicinanza (right), were the first to complete unsupported trips of the ECG.

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 experienced the Outer Banks of NC

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 hosted the Surgeon General Regina Benjamin for a 200-person evening group walk on the greenway in Durham early in the year.

 

The northern and southern gateways to the East Coast Greenway are in Calais, ME and Key West, Florida.

The 2003 unveiling of the ECG mid-point marker in Washington, DC.

 

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