Mayor Miro Weinberger, Parks Foundation, UVM Medical Center, Department of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Launch Public Fundraising Campaign for Bike Path Rehabilitation Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 25, 2015
Contact:  Mike Kanarick, Mayor’s Office, 802.735.7962
                 Diana Wood, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, 802.865.7089

Mayor Miro Weinberger, Parks Foundation, UVM Medical Center, Department of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Launch
Public Fundraising Campaign for Bike Path Rehabilitation Project

Parks Foundation Has Raised $500K+ Toward $1M Goal to Fund “Pause Places”

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger, John Bossange, Founding Board Chair of the Parks Foundation of Burlington, John R. Brumsted, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of The University of Vermont Medical Center and President and Chief Executive Officer of The University of Vermont Health Network, and Jesse Bridges, Director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, today at the Burlington Community Boathouse launched a public fundraising campaign by the Parks Foundation of Burlington to help fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of the Burlington Bike Path.  Having already raised more than $500 thousand during the “quiet” campaign, the public campaign begins with the goal of raising additional funds to reach a $1 million goal that will fund special “pause places” along the eight-mile Bike Path.

“Creation of the Bike Path nearly 30 years ago was an act of leadership, foresight, struggle, and innovation, and a big step towards making Burlington a great City,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “The Parks Foundation is working hard to ensure that the impact of today’s much needed Bike Path improvements on taxpayers is as small as possible.  With this $500 thousand, plus the $3 million of TIF funds and $1 million in this year’s budget, the Administration and the City Council have been able to secure the first $4.5 million for the Bike Path rehabilitation project without new bonding or raising property tax rates.  We will continue to look for creative ways to complete as much of the necessary rebuild as possible without impacting Burlington taxpayers.”

The Burlington Bike Path is a shining jewel for the City of Burlington, and through its complete rehabilitation the path will last at least another 30 years.  Being a project of such grand scale requires input and support from many community resources and additional stakeholders.  Pause places are special locations along the path that will create more and varied opportunities for enjoyment.  Three styles of pause place currently are in development including rest stops, information stops, and pocket parks.  These styles will offer varying amenities, from information kiosks to seating, drinking fountains, and artwork.

UVM Medical Center made a major contribution to the rehabilitation project and supports the City’s commitment to making the Bike Path more than just a path, but an exercise corridor for those who wish to use it.  UVM Medical Center CEO Brumsted stated: “UVM Medical Center is pleased to support the renovation of the Burlington Bike Path.  As the region’s largest health care provider, we are deeply committed to prevention and wellness, and so it was natural for UVM Medical Center to contribute to this effort to create spaces along the eight-mile path for people to engage in exercise and fitness activities.  The Burlington Bike Path is an asset to all of us who live, work, and play in the Burlington area.  We congratulate the Mayor and the City for making this project a priority.”

John Bossange, Founder and Board Chair of the Parks Foundation of Burlington, explained the Foundation’s commitment to its signature project of the total rehabilitation of the Burlington Bike Path as follows: “This is a proud moment in the evolution of the Parks Foundation of Burlington.  The Board of Directors has worked tirelessly to get the Foundation to the stage where it can announce the launch of our public campaign to support Bike Path rehabilitation.  To have the full support of the Mayor and the City Council, major individual donors and key contributors like the Medical Center, reminds us of how important this Foundation is and will continue to be for the City of Burlington as we fund projects to enhance our beautiful parks.  The Foundation is grateful for the generosity of our donors who have helped raise $501K during the initial quiet fundraising campaign.”

Contributions at any level are welcome, and all gifts over $3,000 will be recognized on the Bike Path.  Contributions can be made online through the Parks Foundation website www.parksfoundationburlington.org or by mailing checks to Parks Foundation of Burlington, 645 Pine Street, Suite B, Burlington, VT 05401.

Director Bridges works with the Foundation Board to keep them informed of upcoming and ongoing projects.  As an Ex-Officio Board Member of the Parks Foundation, Bridges advises on special projects that would benefit from Foundation sponsorship.

“This project represents a true community effort with public and private partners coming together to make it a reality,” said Bridges.  “I am grateful to the donors, Foundation Board Members, community advocates, and City staff who are turning this into a historic project for all.  The philanthropic funding will enable the Foundation to enhance more than just the pavement conditions.  With this support, we will provide quality opportunities for the public to get off the path and experience our parks, beaches, and trails.”

A brief update of the multi-phase Bike Path Rehabilitation Project was announced, and Bridges was pleased to note that the project is on track as scheduled.  Key improvements include resurfacing, landscaping, aligning disjointed sections, improving safety at intersections, and signing and striping along the path.  Bike Path project updates are posted on www.btvbikepath.com.

About the Parks Foundation of Burlington:
The mission of the Foundation is to inspire the spirit of stewardship and philanthropy for Burlington’s treasured parks and recreational assets.  The Parks Foundation, incorporated in 2013, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization working in collaboration with the City of Burlington.  The first year of operation proved their commitment through substantial support for several key projects, including re-surfacing the tennis courts at Roosevelt Park, replacing the gym floor at the Miller Center, replacing the Lakeview Cemetery Statuary, and more.

The Parks Foundation of Burlington 2015 mid-year report is available to the public online: http://www.parksfoundationburlington.org.

*Please find the following documents at these links:

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Press Release Date: 
06/25/2015
City Department: 
Mayor's Office