Happy Holidays and welcome to  Friends of BERT! 

We are closing out 2022 with lots of activity and progress. Thank you all for your passion to build the Bonita Estero Rail Trail, and for communicating with your friends and neighbors, as well as our elected officials. That is how we will move this project forward. As of this morning, we have 1,180 Friends of BERT! I thought our goal of 1,000 by the end of the year was crazy, but you proved me wrong! 

Pelican Sound Rocks! We just received news that the Board of Directors from Pelican Sound has formally endorsed the Bonita Estero Rail Trail. This is the second formal endorsement, the first was Pelican Landing. These endorsements are powerful, and we know there are several more in the works. We have to thank the Friends of BERT residents in Pelican Sound for their work with their Board. Steve Gunther developed a process and sample communications if you’d like to approach your community board. Check in with Steve, as they are tracking BERT members within communities and their progress. 

Some news and updates: 

  • Bonita Springs City Council meeting date change to January 18 9:00am We will plan to be there with our blue BERT shirts, if you have them. A few of us will ask to speak for the allotted 3 minutes in support of the Rail Trail. Bonita Springs has two new council members and one re-elected. Our message to them is about a safe place to walk/run/bike and the business benefits, especially in downtown. So many of you have experiences living near a trail that are so compelling. Use your own experiences and the council’s interest in a vital downtown as a basis of your communication. You’ll find their names, emails and districts here
  • Estero Village Council meeting was Dec. 7th and Friends of BERT had an excellent showing! Thank you! The Lee MPO gave its presentation to the Village Council, and the Council members were very engaged. They asked excellent questions and engaged with the MPO members. The agenda item was a “workshop” meaning the council was receiving updates and public comment, with no vote. 

We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season. We keep everyone who suffered loss from Hurricane Ian in our thoughts. Family, friends and health are so precious, please enjoy and be safe. 

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