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Frisco Highline Trail Grant Request

INTRODUCTION

The Polk County Bike club is a bicycle advocation organization located in Bolivar, Missouri. We have
members from many communities in Polk County. Our vision is to enhance our community through
bicycling, promote individual health and develop a more bicycle friendly environment. We have been in
existence for about 4 years.

The purpose of our grant request is for maintenance of the Frisco Highline Trail (FHT). The primary
reason that this trail is so important to us is that Polk County is primarily a rural area. Most of the roads are
narrow with very little room to accommodate bicycles. The FHT allows access to a 35 mile area with no
motorized vehicles and offers a safe and appealing area for bicycles as well as for families with children
that wish to utilize this traffic free area.

It is our hope that having a well maintained trail will bring new bicycle riders to the sport as well as
encourage more people to actively enjoy the area as walking and running on the trail is encouraged.

Bikes Belong Facility Grant Application: Narrative

The Frisco-Highline Trail (FHT) is the second longest rail-to-trail in Missouri and is about 35 miles in length
crossing 16 bridges. This rail-trail runs through two counties: Polk and Greene and runs continuously from
Bolivar to Springfield. It was designated as a National Recreation Trail in June 2006, by the National Park
Service. Currently, it is administered by Ozark Greenways and Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

Most of the trail is compacted crushed-gravel, similar to the Katy Trail. About a mile of the trail in Bolivar
and a three-mile section through Willard is asphalted. In addition, a 10-mile section from Willard to Walnut
Grove has a parallel natural surface path for horseback riding. This is the only section that permits
equestrian use. Trailhead parking lots are located in Springfield, Willard, Walnut Grove, Wishart and
Bolivar. The Springfield, Willard, and Bolivar trailheads are paved lots in urban settings; the Walnut Grove
and Wishart parking areas are gravel lots in rural locations. There are no fees for trail use.
The FHT is supported by people who have a vision for this important community resource. It has taken the
cooperative financial support of hundreds of individuals, businesses, foundations, communities and grant
funds to make this trail a reality. It has also taken many years and hours of personal time from a committed
group of volunteers without whom this vision could not have been carried out.
The Polk County Bike Club, located in Bolivar, Missouri, maintains a 17-mile portion of this trail running
from Bolivar to the Sac River Bridge. While we have been doing this maintenance for about 5 years
through the use of volunteers, the trail is in desperate need of some major work.

The trail itself is used by many bicyclists from Bolivar and from Springfield. If it were in better condition it
could even act as a commuter link between the two towns. As the path contains some very beautiful
scenery, it serves as a safe and appealing area for our children.

The $10,000 funding that we are requesting will help support our efforts to make bicycling a strong
component of the area's transportation energy demand, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the
health of children and adults. It would also help garner grassroots support from volunteers and in-kind
contributions from local businesses. A nearby major university (Southwest Baptist University) also uses the
trail for their track program. Having a well maintained area would also assist them.

The FHT runs through several small towns as it winds its way through the countryside. Increasing the
usage of the path will also serve to stimulate interest and shops along the route. This multi-use path, which
weaves through several communities creates a safe commuting route as well as a beautiful multi-use
recreation corridor. The part of the path in Springfield would give users safe and easy access to public
transportation thereby encouraging people to commute by bicycles.
Recently, the Tour-Of-Missouri traveled very close to this area. Having a 35 mile attractive and well
maintained path could be used as a leg for this event in the future. We are sure that the competitors would
appreciate traveling through an uncongested car free and scenic area.

The Polk County Bike Club is not a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. However, one of our sponsers,
Community Connection, is a 501c3. They have agreed to act as a our agent to handle the funds. Please
see the attached letter from this organization. The grant money, if awarded, should be addressed to them.
Their contact information is:
Greg Greven, Board President
Community Connections
PO BOX 124
Bolivar, MO, 65613
Bikes Belong Facility Grant Application: Administrative Information

Date of Application: November 15, 2009


Name of Project: Frisco Highline Trail (FHT)
Legal Name of Organization: Polk County Bike Club
Address (street, city, state, zip): 1188 E. 412th Rd., Bolivar, MO, 65613
Website: polkcountybikeclub.org

Type of Organization (501(c)3, 501(c)6, etc):


We are a citizen bike club, not yet an official 501c3, tax-exempt organization. However, we are being
supported by two non-profit 501c3 community organizations: Ozark Greenways, Inc., of Springfield, MO
and Community Connections, of Bolivar, MO.
State of Incorporation: NA
Year of Incorporation: NA
Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN): NA

Number of Full-Time Staff: NA


Number of Part-Time Staff: NA
Number of Volunteer Staff: 8
Number of Members (if applicable): 25

Amount Requested from Bikes Belong: $10,000.


Total Project Budget: $10,000.
Total Organization Budget: $290 income / $273 expenses (see explanation in request)

Contact Person: Parris Geiser


Title: Club Representative / Web Designer
Direct Phone: 908-627-1178
E-Mail Address: parrisgeiser@usa.net

1. Organizational Information
a) Mission: The Polk County Bike Club is a citizens group based in Bolivar, Missouri, with members
from many communities throughout Polk County. Our mission is to enhance our community through
bicycling, promoting public health, educating about bicycle safety and developing a more bicycle-
friendly environment. We organize regular bicycle rides for all ages and abilities, as well as provide
information and maps about various routes and rides of differing lengths in the community. We
maintain a calendar on our website of bicycling events throughout the state of Missouri.

b) Past Successes:
 Removing 5 miles of downed trees and debris on the FHT after major ice storm
 Completely rebuilding a damaged railroad trestle bridge on the trail
 Constructing an information kiosk and welcome sign at the Bolivar trailhead
 Improving the surfacing at several bridge approaches to increase user safety
 Installing railroad ties on the side of 10 bridges to prevent erosion
 Reconditioning used bicycles throughout the year to donate to people in need through the
annual “Share Your Christmas” charity event

2. Purpose of the Grant


SITUATION
a) Need:
The Frisco Highline Trail is the second longest Rail-Trail in Missouri, at 35 miles in length. The
trail runs continuously between Bolivar and Springfield, MO, and passes through two counties:
Polk and Greene. It was designated as a National Recreation Trail in June 2006, by the
National Park Service. The south half is in Greene County and administered by the Springfield-
Greene County Park Board. The north half is in Polk County and is administered by the non-
profit organization, Ozark Greenways, with help from the Polk County Bike Club and other
volunteers.
There is a need for additional resources to help with trail surface improvements on the Polk
County section in order to keep it in the bicycle-friendly condition we would like. We are
approaching Bikes Belong to assist with this accomplishment

b) Environment:
There is a growing culture of support for bicycling in this area, locally and regionally. Most folks
are very receptive and look favorably on bicycling and bicyclists. Improving the quality of the
trail surface and improving erosion control will create a family-friendly experience for users and
help encourage bicycling in underserved areas in and around our community. This Midwestern
region is experiencing a troubling obesity rate similar to surrounding states and we believe this
trail is a major tool in addressing that issue.

The FHT is not just used for bicycling. It’s a multi-use corridor. The local university, hospital,
local businesses and other groups use the trail for various events, including walk-a-thons, runs,
triathlons and training programs. Even Bolivar’s mayor, Charles Ealy, has a special program
where the public is invited to “Walk and Talk with the Mayor” on the trail, for whoever would like
to join him for his weekly health walks. This innovative program landed him in the national
magazine of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy!

SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES: Short-term Goals


c) Goals: There are 3 basic goals for this project:
1. Place an asphalt overlay on the existing gravel surface in erosion-prone areas. The cost of
the asphalt and drainage improvement would be about $5000. Our intention is to pave and
repair drainage on two miles of problem areas. Fortunately, the necessary gravel base is
already in place, so this will save money and time.

2. Repair areas on the trail that have significant erosion issues especially around the skirt area
leading up to the bridges. There are 10 (out of 16) bridges that are in need of repair. The cost
will be about $400 for each location. We intend to make use of all available funds as efficiently
as possible, while making use of our dedicated volunteers.

3. Eliminate weeds from the sides of the trail and overhanging branches in order to prevent
encroachment onto the trail and help reduce spider and tick problems. We estimate this will
cost about $1000. The funds will be used to rent the necessary equipment to handle large trees
and high overhanging branches.

d) Action Plan: We have a committed group of 15-20 volunteers ready to proceed once funding
has been approved and distributed. Ozark Greenways will provide support in directing and
supervising construction, and obtaining materials and tools.
Our goal is to start the project in March of 2010. We have contacted a local paving company
and they are prepared to start work in this timeframe. The first activity will be to pave the
problem areas (item 1 above). This work will take about 3 weeks. Following this, the bridge
areas (item 2 above) will be done. This will take about 2 weeks. Item 3 above will take more
time as the volunteers will only be able to work on weekends. We estimate that it will take most
of April 2010, to finish.

IMPACT OF YOUR WORK: Long-term Goals


e) Deliverables:
We estimate that the improvements identified will improve about 10 miles of the
FHT. As far as measurability is concerned, we are prepared to fully document all of
the improvements both with receits as well as before/after picutres of the areas that
are worked.
There will be two main long-term goals of this project. First, it will mean a much more rideable
trail, accommodating a wide range of abilities. By making trail surface improvements, more
bicyclists will be able to comfortably travel along the 35 miles between Bolivar and Springfield.
Secondly, it will reduce costly ongoing maintenance by fixing drainage problem areas, thus
saving our resources to invest other trail features and public programs.

f) Ridership:
Although the FHT route travels mostly through rural countryside, the south end begins in
Missouri’s third largest city, Springfield. The residential population of the Springfield
metropolitan area is over 350,000 and growing rapidly. A large percentage of residents live
within close proximity to this trail. Tourists from Kansas City, St. Louis and surrounding states
regularly visit the trail as an easy destination weekend. The better shape the trail is in, the
more people will use it - thus increasing our community’s quality of life, public health and
tourism dollars benefitting our area.

3. Evaluation

Measurability:
The success of the project will be measured by a safer, smoother trail experience. We get
feedback regularly from trail users because many people from all around the area are excited to
explore this unique type of facility. We are sure to hear positive feedback about improvements as
well as a reduction in reports about accidents and other unpleasant experiences related to surface
issues.

Once we have completed the three parts of the project, the trail will be much more appealing for a
wider range of users. Our long-term goal is to work with Ozark Greenways to make the entire 35
miles as close to maintenance-free as possible.

Replicability:

Having a core of dedicated volunteers and community support is the key to success.
4. Project Budget and Leverage

Total Budget:
To complete the 3 goals of this project, we estimate total cost to be $10,000.
1. Asphat overlay on erosion-prone areas on the trail.

2. Repair erosion areas around bridges.

3. Eliminate weeds and tree overhangs.

Other Funding:
We are depending on the Bikes Belong grant to fund this project, along with assistance from Ozark
Greenways, Polk County Bike Club volunteers and local in-kind contributions.

5. Additional Information
FINANCIALS
a) Financial Statements: NA

b) Organizational Budget for the present year


Our club income is $290 annually, from membership dues. Club expenses are $273. The
expenses cover the cost of our Web page and reimbursements for equipment rentals needed
for the FHT maintenance.
Our latest fundraising includes donations to:
1. Tour Of Missouri Family Ride: $1000.
2. Re-Build the Sac River Bridge: $1965.
3. Missouri Bike Federation: various amounts totaling $500.

OTHER SUPPORTING MATERIALS


c) Support Letters:
Attached are support letters from:
A & B Cycle
Ozark Greenways
Community Connections

d) List of Board Members


Frank Zanaboni, President
Randy Zimmerman, Vice President
Joel Schroeder, Treasurer
e) Map/Plan
A map of the FHT is available from thie link: http://www.friscohighlinetrail.org/
f) Media Articles
g) Many stories have been done about the FHT in print, on TV and radio. These include local and
national coverage. Southern Living magazine featured the trail in its July 2008 issue, and it has
been covered more than once in the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy magazine and
website. The American Trails magazine and website, Hemispheres airline magazine and AAA
travel guide have also published features about this trail.
In a recent article in our local newpaper (Bolivar Missouri News), Sandra Zanaboni, Polk
County Bike Club member and chairman of the Mayor's Council on Health and Fitness,
explains the importance of placing of bike racks around the Bolivar area.
LETTERS OF SUPPORT

A & B CYCLE

Rich Howell
President

Christopher McNeese
Vice President

Patrick Winstead
Manager

Brian Card
Assistant Manager

October 24, 2009

To: Bikes Belong Committee

From: Christopher McNeese, A&B Cycle

Re: Frisco Highline Trail

We would like to express our support for the volunteers of the Polk County Bike Club in their
effort to obtain funds for improvements to the Frisco Highline Trail. This 35 mile long trail runs
from the northern edge of Springfield, Missouri, where A&B Cycle is located, to Boliver,
Missouri where the Polk County Bike Club is centered. They have been an integral part of the
construction and maintenance process. Before the Frisco Highline opened they built a
needed bridge for the trail as well as a kiosk on the Boliver end.
A great many people benefit from this rails to trails project. Cyclists, joggers, walkers,
families, and others use this corridor on a regular basis. It is an important aspect for the
quality of life in this part of Missouri.
I hope you will assist them as you may in their endeavor.
We at A&B Cycle certainly appreciate the work that they do on their own time, without
compensation, for the benefit of others.

Sincerely,

Christopher McNeese
A&B Cycle
3620South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65757
417-866-1999
chris@abcycle.com
Ozark Greenways P.O. Box 50733 Springfield, MO 65805 (417) 864-2015
www.ozarkgreenways.org

September 3, 2009
To: Bikes Belong Grant Committee
From: Terry Whaley, Ozark Greenways
Re: Frisco Highline Trail improvement project

It has come to our attention that the Polk County Bike Club, in Bolivar, MO, is applying to
the Bike Belong Grants Program to fund improvements to the north half of the Frisco
Highline Trail in Polk County, which is the northern 17-mile section of this 35-mile long
trail that provides free access to the public to use for biking, running, walking and alter-
native transportation. The north half of the trail is managed by Ozark Greenways, a non-
profit 501c3 tax-exempt organization, with ongoing help from groups and volunteers in-
cluding the Polk County Bike Club.
Residents and visitors to Missouri greatly benefit from this recreational trail connecting
several communities along its 35-mile route. It’s exciting that the trail presents an oppor-
tunity for future expansion to connect to additional areas in Bolivar and beyond. The
volunteers of the Polk County Bike Club are very dedicated to using, maintaining and
promoting the trail, so that users have the best experience possible. Their initiative to
help with improvements is greatly appreciated and needed. Ozark Greenways wishes to
show its support for their grant application to Bikes Belong.
We look forward to the project and commend you in your efforts!
Sincerely,
Terry Whaley
Executive Director
Ozark Greenways

2009 Board of Directors


Kurt Larson
President
Chris Flouer
Vice President
Steve Brady
Secretary
Tammy Weller
Treasurer
Greg DeLong
Past President
Richard Rice Member at Large Marla Calico
Kit Carson
Carol Cruise
Brad Kielhofner
Gene McKeen
Tom Netzer
David Peery
JD Slaughter
Jason Smith
Staff
Terry Whaley
Executive Director
Lori Tack
Program Coordinator
National Recreation Trails
Frisco Highline Trail
Galloway Creek Greenway
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

November 13, 2009

Bikes Belong
Grant Committee

To Whom It May Concern,

Community Connections is a county-wide coalition with a 501c3. We are in full support of


Polk County Bike Club’s efforts to improve the Frisco Highline Trail in Polk County and are
willing to serve as its fiscal agent.

Community Connections addresses the physical health of our residents by encouraging


physical activity and creating access in our county. Polk County Bike Club has been diligent
in its efforts to maintain the Frisco Trail, a wonderful access to walking, hiking, and biking.
They conduct regular trail clean ups, tree trimming, and drainage problem corrections, as well
as promote bicycling in Polk County.

Community Connections truly appreciates Polk County Bike Club efforts and highly
recommend that you award them the funding.

Sincerely,

Greg Greven, Board President


Community Connections
PO Box 124
Bolivar MO 65613