Grant boosts bicycle tourism in WA town; more People for Bikes awards given

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A town in the scenic Okanogan region of northern Washington state is banking on bicycle tourism to improve the local economy.

The rail-trail along Similkameen River near Oroville.

The rail-trail along Similkameen River near Oroville.

The People for Bikes nonprofit granted $1,250 to the Borderlands Historical Society in Oroville to make improvements that will cater to bicycling visitors.

The grant will help pay for installation of a bicycle repair station at the society’s Depot Museum and make more copies of a local trail map available to visiting roadies and mountain bikers.

People for Bikes, which issued a total $51,750 in grants this week, says the money will encourage bicycle tours and recreational cyclists to visit North Okanogan County.

The historical society says there are 3,000 miles of trails for biking and hiking in the county, parts of which were ravaged by wildland fires last summer. The area also boasts 200 high mountain and 400 lowland lakes, 200 water and wildlife areas, and the North Cascades National Park.

Since 1999, People for Bikes has issued community grants to towns in every state. The latest round of grants totals $51,750. In addition to the Oroville museum, the grants are:

Central Falls Protected Bike Lane, Central Falls, RI — $7,500 for 1.5-mile bike lane;

Chestnut Ridge Ride Center, Westerville, Ohio — $6,500 to complete a pump track, skills park, and a 2-mile beginner loop;

Equitable Bike Parking, Baltimore, MD — $7,500 for bike racks in Baltimore;

Kickapoo Rail Trail, Mahomet, IL — $10,000 toward building rail trail;

The Underline, Miami, FL — $10,000 toward building trail beneath urban transit line;

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, Kalamazoo, MI — Connect to sections of trail;

Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail
, Watsonville, CA — $4,000 to Friends of the Rail Trail/Ecology Action will help pay for fund-raising to build rail-trail.

If your organization is seeking funding for a bicycle-related project, visit the Apply Now page at People for Bikes website.

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