First Private Donation Check Awarded to City of Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail Project
Christophe J. Schneiter, Assistant Director of Public Works/City Engineer, (831) 420-5422
Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166
The Santa Cruz City Council received the first private donation for construction of the Santa Cruz Rail Trail spine of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. A check for $42,000 was presented by Friends of the Rail & Trail, Ecology Action and People Power of Santa Cruz County. Another $50,000 was anonymously pledged for donation once the construction phase begins. These contributions demonstrate the strength of community engagement in assisting the City on a legacy project.
The planned project will be a paved, multi-use path running from Natural Bridges Drive to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. This 2.4 mile segment is the highest priority in the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s Rail Trail Master Plan. The plan identifies the 32-mile coastal rail corridor from Watsonville to Davenport for an adjacent bike/pedestrian path and another 18 miles of spur trails to provide coastal and neighborhood connectivity.
The City’s Public Works Department is expected to award the design and environmental services contract for the Santa Cruz Rail Trail spine project in 2015. The estimated cost of this initial project work is $640,000 which will be aided by the $42,000 donation.
Over half of the donation was raised by local companies: Santa Cruz Bicycles, Giro, Bell, Ibis Cycles and Fox. The remaining contributions came from other local businesses and about 50 individuals who are dedicated to improving the City’s sustainability and quality of life.
According to Piet Canin, vice president of transportation at Ecology Action, the fiscal agent for Friends of the Rail & Trail, "The City has taken a bold step in providing a safe, car-free, accessible and scenic path for children, families, college students, seniors and visitors. Ecology Action, in collaboration with Friends of the Rail & Trail and People Power, is grateful for the business and individual donors who are directly supporting the construction of the Rail Trail on the west side of Santa Cruz.”
For more information about the Rail Trail, please visit http://www.sccrtc.org/?s=rail+trail or contact the City’s Rail Trail Project Manager and Associate Civil Engineer Nathan Nguyen at (831) 420-5188.
The first private donation for construction of the Santa Cruz Rail Trail spine was presented by People Power’s Amelia Conlen, Jessica Klodnicki and Eric Horton of Friends of the Rail & Trail and Ecology Action’s Piet Canin to Mayor Lynn Robinson at the Santa Cruz City Council meeting Nov. 25, 2014.