As of TODAY, we are 5 short of 900 Friends of BERT! Four days ago we were at 800. Thank you for getting the word out!
Many of you have asked for an update on the Dec. 1st Kick-off meeting for Friends of BERT.
We were thrilled with the attendance; the energy; the content; the questions and the outpouring of offers to help! Thank you!
As attendees entered the meeting they were greeted with TV monitors showing quotes from YOU about why YOU want the Rail Trail. Emily Porter and I shared many documented benefits of multi-use trails from safety to economic to health and the environment. Charles Hines of Trust for Public Land sent his regrets for inability to attend. We recorded a video with important information for all of us. Charles was followed by Louis Kosiba, President of Friends of Legacy Trail. He and his Vice President gave us an excellent summary of their journey to getting the Legacy Trail approved and funded with Sarasota County. If you haven’t walked or ridden the Legacy Trail, do yourself a favor and go to Venice or Sarasota! Michelle Avola-Brown, with Naples Pathways Coalition, talked about Collier County’s progress on planning the Paradise Coast Trail, a proposed 70 mile multi-use trail. Michelle is a great supporter and has 15 years of experience helping to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe. She encouraged us to think about this as a regional trail because as we link these trails, the safety and economic impact compounds! Imagine 85 miles of multi-use trails connected!The Q&A included participation from Ron Gogoi of Lee County MPO who let us know the status of the Feasibility Study and dates for their presentations to public officials: Estero Dec. 7th 9:30am; Bonita Springs Dec. 21st 9:00am; County Commissioners likely March 2023.We discussed involvement from so many of you, with Steve Gunther of Pelican Landing sharing the success of formal Board endorsement of Bonita Estero Rail Trail. Other communities are now reaching out to us to do the same.