Bike Program, community garden win awards
December 20, 2015
By: Evan Brandt, The Mercury
Transportation initiatives based in Pottstown, and the borough’s community garden are now award-winners.
Biking projects were recently recognized with three awards from Communities in Motion, a foundation associated with the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association dedicated to sustainable communities.
The “Bike and Ride” program initiated this year by Pottstown Area Rapid Transit, which allowed for bicycles to be carried by PART buses, won the only award in the “Development” category.
The “Bike Schuylkill” program developed by the Pottstown-based Schuylkill River Heritage Area was one of nine award winners in the “Park, Recreation of Open Space” project.
The Bike Schuylkill program (known as Bike Pottstown in Pottstown), managed by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, is a completely free bike share available in three Schuylkill River Trail communities: Phoenixville, Pottstown and Hamburg.
The program’s signature yellow cruisers can be borrowed at no cost to anyone aged 16 or over providing a driver’s license or valid state ID.
“We are pleased to have this very successful program recognized by our partners,” said Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Silas Chamberlin. “Bike Schuylkill and Bike Pottstown not only encourage healthy lifestyles for people who ride on the Schuylkill River Trail, it also affords an alternative means of transportation. People borrow the bikes for doctors’ appointments, shopping and even job interviews.
In the “Planning” category, the “Walk and Bike Pottstown” program — which aims to improve walkability and bikability in Pottstown with Safe Routes to Schools and added bike lanes — was one of six award winners.
Communities in Motion also recognized Pottstown Assistant Borough Manager Erica Batdorf as the first ever “Sustainability Super Star” for her ongoing significant support of multiple sustainability projects in the Borough of Pottstown and beyond, including Walk & Bike Pottstown and Pottstown Area Rapid Transit.
Batdorf, who is a board member of Communities in Motion, also gave a presentation at the award ceremony on the Walk and Bike Pottstown program.
(Click Here for the Press Release)
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It’s not just things in motion in Pottstown that have been recognized. An award was also provided to something that is very much rooted in one place.
Mosaic Community Gardens on Chestnut took home a Blue Ribbon at in this year’s Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Gardening and Greening Contest.
A blue ribbon and garden sign have been awarded to the gardens for its ability to motivate people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture in the category of Community Combination Garden.
Pottstown Assistant Borough Manager Erica Batdorf places bicycle on the new bike racks that are installed on the PART buses. Bicycle riders can now ride the bus and have their bikes with them when they arrive at their destination.
John Strickler — The Mercury
Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Silas Chamberlin, left, and Grants Program Coordinator Tim Fenchel with the Star award for Bike Schuylkill.
PART Bike & Ride Program
Award Recipient: Erica Batdorf, Communities in Motion Board Member, Assistant Borough Manager, Pottstown Borough