Duke Energy Foundation, Mary Black Foundation, and the Coalition for Active Youth announced an additional $77,000 for the bike park, which is the next phase of The Rail Yard. Thanks to these commitments, construction should begin in the first quarter of 2019.
Duke Energy Foundation committed $30,000 to Partners for Active Living for a rideable bioswale at the bike park to improve water quality at The Rail Yard and along Spartanburg’s most popular recreational feature, the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail.
According to Wikipedia, “bioswales are landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove debris and pollution out of surface runoff water.”
The design, pictured below, integrates large boulders through and across the bioswale so that it provides excitement and a level of “cool” to hop across any soggy areas while improving water quality.
In addition, this feature will create a habitat for wildlife with landscaping of native plants with deep roots.
“Spartanburg is home to beautiful natural resources like the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail,” said Linda Hannon, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “The innovative landscape elements our grant will help fund will improve water quality along the trail, and we are proud to help support this project to ensure future generations enjoy the immeasurable benefits of the nature around us.”
In addition, Mary Black Foundation committed $25,000 to the project. Molly Talbot-Metz, President & CEO of Mary Black Foundation says “We are excited to see additional amenities along the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail. The Trail is truly a place for all people in Spartanburg to be physically active. The bike park will be a destination for young people, and those young at heart.”
Finally, thanks to the success of the 2018 BrewFest, the Coalition for Active Youth gave $22,000. “The Hub City Brew Fest team is so excited to partner with PAL in helping to bring The Bike Yard to Spartanburg. We believe Spartanburg is an active, vibrant community and look forward to just one more reason to love where we live,” said Shelley Sullivan, BrewFest lead.
“Thanks to these significant contributions and those previously given by private donors and Foundations for the Carolina’s Longleaf Fund Seeds of Hope program, we are only short a few thousand dollars,” said Partners for Active Living executive director Laura Ringo. “The project will include dirt jumps, dirt and wooden flow trails, pump track, stick park, and the rideable bioswale.”
The bike park’s target population is youth ranging from elementary school to young adult. BMI rates among children and youth increase with age. Having inviting opportunities for activity will spur a group that is limited in its opportunities for activity.