After sending bikes, locks, lights and helmets home with over a dozen middle school students in Watsonville this summer, Green Ways is at it again. For the Watsonville Earn-A-Bike program’s second session of the year, it is currently serving 17 students from Lakeview, Cesar Chavez, and Rolling Hills Middle Schools. Paid teen staff will help participants learn bikes safety, refurbish donated bikes, and lead on-bike field trips in Watsonville and beyond. The program is still in need of used bikes in decent condition. For more info, please contact Tawn Kennedy at (831) 428-5109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active Transportation Program grant:
Green Ways is excited to announce that over the next two years, we will be focusing more time and energy in Watsonville, thanks to a new collaboration with Ecology Action and the County of Santa Cruz. Thanks to this collaboration, Green Ways to School and partner organizations have received a two-year grant from the California Active Transportation Program focused primarily on encouraging bike culture and bike and pedestrian safety in Watsonville. Working with youth advocates, Green Ways will support bike clubs at school, peer-to-peer safety education, community bike rides and teen engagement with Watsonville’s first Open Streets event, scheduled for fall of 2015.
Middle School Bike Programs:
“Weekly on-bike field trips? Why didn’t we have that when I was a kid!?” It’s a good question, and one Tawn Kennedy, Bike Club coordinator and Green Ways Director gets a lot. Bike Club is a chance for kids in middle school to explore Santa Cruz on bikes, something that many of us have taken for granted from our own childhood. Sadly, there has been a precipitous drop in the number of kids who ride their bikes to school. As of 2009, only 13% of children in the US biked or walked to school, compared to 50% in 1969. Bike Club is an opportunity to buck that trend and empower young cyclists with bike safety skills and weekly fun rides. After learning the bike safety basics, Bike Club hits the streets every Wednesday for on-bike field trips to fun and educational destinations and activities.
“We try to expose the students to many different styles of cycling, from hauling stuff in bike trailers to mountain biking and cyclocross. We want students to see that bikes can be more than toys, and offer life-long access to health, fun and freedom.” Additionally, as of this September, Green Ways to school is now the official home of Bike Club at School, formerly a part of Project Bike Trip. Green Ways currently has weekly Bike Clubs at Mission Hill and Branciforte Middle Schools, and always welcomes volunteers to ride along as chaperones and share stories of their amazing bike adventures. Contact Tawn for more info: (831) 428-5109
Here are some of the bike-tacular happenings around SC County over the next couple of weeks. Check them out, and help to spread the word.For more info on our annual Bike the Bay to Monterey ride over memorial day weekend, May 24-26, please contact us at email@example.com or 831 425-0667
((Artwork by Mike Joos: mikejoosart.blogspot.com))
Bike Month 1st Friday @ the MAH
Friday, May 2nd
5pm to 9pm
Bike Week kick-off party. Join us for an evening of live music, local artists & craft vendors who will have items for sale, local frame builders and their sweet rides, family friendly art stations such as our bike decorating station, bike-blended drinks and ice cream, helmet giveaways and so much more!
Capitola Open Streets
Sunday, May 4th
Don't miss the newest Open Streets in Capitola Village on the Esplanade. Enjoy the car-free street for walking, biking and play plus FREE activities, music and performances. Bike art station, obstacle course, and more!
Volunteer: Have fun AND make a difference. Open Streets can’t happen without the support of the community. All volunteers receive a FREE Open Streets T-shirt and lunch.
Bike to Work/School Week
Monday, May 5th - Friday May 9th
Get ready Santa Cruz! Ecology Action has a fun-packed week of cyclist pampering activities planned just for you starting on Friday May 2nd and running through the 9th, with the official Bike To Work/School Day on Thursday May 8th.
Visit our Breakfast Site page for a complete list of our 15 Bike To Work sites and our 45+ school sites and visit our Bike Week Schedule page for a complete list of events and activities throughout the week.
Santa Cruz Bike Party Presents:
The (Bike) Empire Strikes Back Ride
Friday, May 9th
Rolls at 7pm
Meets at 703 Pacific Ave.
Bring Star Wars inspired costumes, light sabers, and polish those storm trooper boots! Prizes for best individual and group costumes.
SC Bike Party is a fun, social ride every second Friday of the month. Our goal is to have ridiculous amounts of fun on bikes. Riding together builds strong community!
Check out santacruzbikeparty.org for more info, info on past rides, and more.
View the Top Story here.
This year’s tour, Bike the Bay, brought together 13 riders from around Santa Cruz County. Adventures during the trip included scrambling over rocks at Lover’s Point, visiting the Museum of Monterey, rolling down the epic dunes near Seaside and eating lots of good food. Past participant Omar Fabian brought along his younger sister Aurora, who is going into her 2nd year at Harbor High. “It is always wonderful to see friendships forged and the community that gets built through these rides," says Green Ways Director Tawn Kennedy. “Students from Santa Cruz, Watsonville and beyond form connections that transcend traditional peer cliques and other social barriers. On the way back, one rider told me that he made a dozen new friends on the ride.”
“A generation ago, walking and biking to school were the norm,” says Green Ways to School director Tawn Kennedy. “Nationally, in 1969, half of youth biked or walked to school. In 2009, only 13% did.” Green Ways is supporting the Youth Committee to challenge these trends, as well as the obstacles that teens face in getting to school car-free. “Many teens don’t feel safe on our roads, have not had proper training in how to safely use a bike in traffic, or don’t feel that they have a secure place to leave their bikes once they get to school,” says Kennedy.
The Youth Committee for Bike Culture is run by teens like Esther Stillwell, president of the Santa Cruz High Bike Club. “The Youth Committee,” she says “is all about giving teens like me a voice in our community. We strive to make a difference in bicycling while also empowering other teens to take a stand about issues that matter to them.” Kennedy believes that this teen leadership is what makes the difference; “I’ve worked training teens as teachers in the past, and it is incredible how much young folks look up to their peers. Given the right tools, teens gain confidence and can become amazing leaders.”
Youth input in the political process is a growing focus in Santa Cruz County. Watsonville launched a Youth City Council this past Fall, while Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant recently convened a Teen Town Hall where high school students from around the city presented on issues important to them and their peers. “I was moved by how eloquent the youth were in communicating their concerns, and by how excited the City Council members were about many of the solutions the youth suggested,” says Kennedy. “It was like a breath of fresh air in the political process. I was inspired to see if we couldn’t do something similar with Green Ways to School.”
Casey Monahan, a senior at Harbor High and member of the committee, is excited to get other students involved in biking. “Making the bike movement accessible to youth is essential for it to survive and expand. I’m excited to see more faces dedicated to growing the biking community,” he explains.
Green Ways to School is currently accepting applications for high school students interested in joining the committee. Interested teens can find out more information by visiting Green Ways’ web site: www.greenways2school.org, or by going to the career center at their schools. Join the Youth Committee for “Light Up the Night”, a youth and community bike ride and helmet giveaway on Friday February 8th. Free helmets will be distributed from 4-5pm at the Bike Church (703 Pacific Ave) as part of the County of Santa Cruz Health Services’ Helmet Fit program, with the ride leaving from the Bike Church at 5pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best lit bike and brightest rider, and the ride will end with free hot chocolate at the Museum of Art and History.
The Youth Committee for Bike Culture will also sponsor “Bike to the Future,” a youth art, writing, and video contest that will launch later this month. Later this Spring, participants in the Committee will participate in Green Ways to School’s 4th Annual Tour of the Bay, a 100 mile bike tour from Santa Cruz to Monterey. Stay tuned to www.greenways2school.org for details.
Show number one: "Green Ways to School":
Show number two: "Why Bike":
Here is an 8 minute preview of the full 30 minute video that we will soon post.
What's the deal with Santa Cruz and global warming? Well, the City is trying to put together a plan to address out local green house gas emissions. We're down! ...and we want the plan to be as strong as possible. What does that mean, you ask? Check out what our friends at People Power have to say about it.
Thursday, October 6th
4:00 - 7:00 PM
Watsonville Brown Beret Bike Shack
555 Main St. Behind Bank of America, by Pump'd
We will meet at 4:00 pm for a bike skills workshop. At 4:30 we will go on a slow-paced family-friendly ride exploring the good, the bad and the possibility of biking in Watsonville. We will be joined by Jovenes SANOS, a program of SC County's United Way and the Watsonville Brown Berets. Along the way, we will stop to hear from local leaders working on providing safe access to food, work and recreation for cyclists and pedestrians in town. When we return, we will be greeted by the smells of a delicious meal prepared by D'La Colmena, a local market and partner with Jovenes SANOS. After food, there will be time for bike powered smoothies and giving input on the City of Watsonville's vision for bikes, pedestrians, and the upcoming redesign of the slough trails system.
This is a great time to get involved. Please call (831) 425 0667 with any questions.
The intern will provide support for projects and events including our 20th birthday party, valet bike parking on weekends, and campaigns for local bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
THE YOUTH INTERN SHOULD:
• Have a flexible schedule after school so as to prioritize working at PEOPLE POWER.
• Be self-motivated. (We’ll provide the training and supervision.)
• Be able to communicate ideas and values—verbally and in writing.
• Have a working bicycle and use it for transportation.
$9.00/hour—plus on-the-job training—for an average of 5 hours/week, through January 22nd, 2012 with the possibility of continuing in the spring.
Applications are available at your High School Career Centers and can be viewed here and is attached at the bottom of this page. Please submit your completed application in person to the People Power office at 703 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz by noon, Monday, October 3rd.
a Summer Jobless Grant! Zach, in collaboration with Green Ways to School, will be organizing the Pimp My Bike and Poetry Slam summer events. DoSomething.org empowers and enables youth across the nation to make a difference in their community, and is one of the largest funders directly to young people in the US.
The purpose of the Summer Jobless Grant is to get teens involved in local initiatives and provide opportunities to volunteer. We are really excited to offer these events, but would love more teen volunteers! You can take
care of community hours, work to earn a bike and more! If you are interested in volunteering, or attending an event, give us a call
(831) 425 0667, shoot us a text (972) 628 0296, or drop an email:
greenways[at]peoplepowersc[dot]org or zwolinsk[at]ucsc[dot]edu, or just show up to an event! Check the schedule of events, and we'll see you there!