Ideas and Action at ECG National Summit in Raleigh

Perhaps it was the 48-mile cross Triangle ride on Friday, or the amazing reception and celebration at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, or simply the coming together of so many passionate and dedicated greenway supporters, but the Fall 2013 East Coast Greenway Summit in Raleigh was alive with celebratory energy coupled with the recognition of the work ahead.

The amazing progress in 2013 was manifested in the over 50 miles of new trail designations, increased route signage, new state guides and perhaps most visibly, the addition of new staff and added capacity. Along with a supportive Board of Trustees, State Committee and Trail Council members, each region of the ECG now has staff working to develop the East Coast Greenway. This increased capacity will help us realize the vision of the ECG.

The following photo highlights from the State of the Greenway weekend provide a glimpse into how the weekend evolved. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Preparing for the start of the ride in downtown Durham, NC.

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ECG Board of Trustees chair David Read (left) and Durham, NC Council member Steve Schewel (liaison to the Open Space and Trail Commission) at the start of the ride.

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The first rest stop was generously sponsored by REI.

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Rest stop number 2. Many additional riders joined at Godbold Park in Cary for the final 18 mile stretch to Raleigh.

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Some of the first riders to arrive at the end of the cross Triangle ride at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

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Mayor of Raleigh, Nancy McFarlane welcomes riders and other guests to the Friday evening reception. Mayor McFarlane spoke of the importance greenways have in attracting businesses and new residents to Raleigh and North Carolina (Photo: Tim Pflaum).

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ECGA Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano (left) presents recognition to Sig Hutchinson  at the Friday evening reception for all of his work advancing greenways in the Triangle. Special recognition also went to Chuck Flink of Alta/Greenways, Dave Connelly, longtime NC state committee volunteer, Lauren Blackburn of NCDOT, and representatives from both Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and REI for their support of the East Coast Greenway mission. (Photo: Tim Pflaum)

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Kate Dixon, Executive Director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Seas trail, takes questions from the audience after her presentation at the Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh. Saturday’s summit included speakers from across North Carolina in addition to detailed updates on the ECG route from Maine to Florida.

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Saturday evening found ECGA staff Herb and Eric joining with supporters Judy Walton and Mike and Anne Kruimer for dinner. Together they represent ECG support from across the US! Florida (Herb), Rhode Island (Eric), Oregon (Judy) and New Jersey (Mike and Anne).

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The weekend demonstrated the incredible momentum and progress happening up and down the eastern seaboard in support of the East Coast Greenway. We hope you will join us at our 2014 Spring Summit, April 25 & 26 in Boston. We will be announcing more details soon.

See you out on the greenway!