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Meet the Winners of the League’s 2024 Community Spark Grants 

Today, the League of American Bicyclists is thrilled to announce the recipients of our 2024 Community Spark Grants! After extensive review, the League selected 15 communities to each receive $1,500 to fund projects with the potential to spark change toward a more Bicycle Friendly America. 

Marking the third year of the Community Spark Grant program, this latest round of applications was larger than ever. In total, 140 proposals were submitted with creative ideas for bike-friendly projects. This year’s recipients include eight event-related projects, four education projects, and three additional projects with goals to increase the accessibility of bicycle maintenance and equipment. 

“It’s exciting to see how many people are coming up with innovative ideas and demanding resources for better biking in their communities! No matter how small, every action that builds a more Bicycle Friendly America shifts our future in the right direction,” says Anna Tang, Bicycle Friendly America Program Specialist. 

Since its launch in 2022, the Community Spark Grant program has provided seed funding for dozens of bike-related projects across the nation. These mini-grants are meant to catalyze community change by empowering grassroots leaders to identify local needs and take action accordingly. Whether the funding goes towards building capacity for bike education or supplying pop-up infrastructure to realize a community’s vision of safer streets, each grant is one small spark with the potential to ignite sustained action for better bicycling. 

Learn more about this year’s winners and previous Spark Grant recipients by joining our Sparking Change with the League: Stories from the Field webinar at today at 3PM ET

Keep reading to find out how the fifteen recipients of the 2024 Community Spark Grants plan to use their new funding to spark change in their communities by making bicycling safer, easier, and more accessible.

BikeWalkBG’s Sparking Change in Youth through Bicycle Education — City-County Planning Commission, Bowling Green, KY

“BikeWalkBG’s initiative for cycling education for our youth is expected to reach all local 4th graders in the public school systems —that’s over 1500 students (and their parents/guardians)! We see a great need in equipping our youth with not just the skills and safety knowledge for cycling, but the confidence and spark of excitement to be active and outside. This is one small step in helping the next generation create healthier lifestyles, while also hoping to encourage greater safety on our streets for all users. We hope this one small step will trickle into the lives of parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, and the whole community  to become more bicycle friendly!”

Bike Lockport! — Lockport Main Street, Lockport, NY

“Our goal is to create and promote bike routes that community members can then use to get to the Lockport Community Farmers Market, and to Lockport Main Street’s other events throughout the summer season, and offer special accommodations for cyclists such as bicycle parking and security at each of these events. We hope to encourage the cyclists of Lockport to come together and begin to create a bicycle friendly environment while educating and encouraging fellow community members to join in!”

Bike-to-Park, Park Your Bike! — City of Menasha, WI

“We are so excited to be able to place bike racks in more of our neighborhood parks. This will provide safe parking of bikes for our community members and encourage bicycling as a means of transportation to enjoy our parks. We expect these enhancements will result in higher use of our bike trails and increased active transport to parks.”

Three polaroid photo frames with pictures of Spark Grant-funded events.

Better Block Flint — Crimm Fitness Foundation, Flint, MI

“Our plans include temporary traffic calming with materials like speed bumps and “wikiblock” furniture to provide residents, city staff, and policymakers alike the opportunity to experience options for better mobility, and specifically cycling, first hand. With our Community Spark Grant, we hope to collaborate with residents, businesses and city officials to demonstrate safer cycling initiatives.”

Chain Reactions: Fixing Bikes, Empowering People, Building Community — McClintock High School, Tempe, AZ

“This grant will help us get so many more bikes into the hands of community members excited to ride. We hope we can get bikes that need a little TLC all fixed up and into the hands of people who need them and will ride them! Every bike we fix or build strengthens the bonds within our community and paves the way for a greener, healthier future for all. By hosting bike events, fixing up bikes, and teaching others how to do it, McClintock High School Bike Club is igniting a chain reaction that gets more people empowered and excited to ride their bikes every day.”

Cycleworks: Creating free access to bicycle mechanical support and wayfinding — Trips For Kids Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

“Cycleworks is a monthly six-part education series that meets and engages historically marginalized and under-resourced communities where they are to provide critical information on bicycle safety, operation, commuting best practices, connection to food, sustainable practices, routing and wayfinding by bike and maintenance/repair skills. Cycleworks is an older program of Trips For Kids Charlotte that was put on pause during the pandemic, and we are excited to use this funding to reimagine and restart this program. Through the support of the Community Spark Grant, Trips For Kids Charlotte’s Cycleworks program helps local residents and community members gain confidence through education and access to mechanical and wayfinding tools to explore and navigate the urban landscape of Charlotte by bike.” 

Three polaroid photo frames with pictures of Spark Grant-funded events or programs. The first photo is titled "Chain Reactions" in Tempe, Arizona, featuring an adult helping a youth repair their bicycle. 
The second photo is titled "Cycleworks: Free access to bicycle mechanical support and wayfinding" in Charlotte, NC, featuring a group of individuals standing by their bikes. The third photo is titled "Outspoken Teens" in Iowa City, Iowa featuring several youths repairing their bicycles in a mechanic shop.

Disability Pride Ride — The Street Trust, Portland, OR

“Portland is extremely lucky to have Adaptive BIKETOWN’s adaptive bike rental program because not every person can ride a regular two-wheeled bike. The Street Trust’s event to introduce Portlanders to Adaptive BIKETOWN’s fleet and join a group bike ride will help dozens of people test out adaptive bikes for the first time in a safe, supportive, and fun environment. For a truly bicycle-friendly America, it is vital to include people living with disabilities in our planning processes. This event will demonstrate how transformative adaptive bikes and supporting programs can be for folks living with disabilities, and set the stage for a more inclusive bike future for our city.”

Fall Bike Ride — MoGo, Detroit, MI

“This Bike Ride will expand the vision away from only a particular demographic enjoying the benefits of bike riding. There are members of the community who feel riding bikes are no longer an option – possibly due to age, abilities or economic limits. This ride will bring attention to vehicle options, highlight bike trails, show city mobility improvements, all while enjoying hidden city gems.”  

Mobility Justice 101 Seminar — Go Gulfport, Gulfport, MS

“We are looking forward to partnering with the League of American Bicyclists on a one-day seminar that is building on Gulfport’s effort to envision, plan, find funding, and construct our new bike/ped/tram bridge in the city’s downtown, and see this energy move into the surrounding neighborhoods through community-based education, to include the efforts of our partners with the Gulfport Gaslight District. Our goals are to engage with folks around the opportunities, joys, returns on investment, health benefits, and economic benefits of having a cycling community.”

OutSpoken Teens — Bike Library, Iowa City, IA

“The $1,500 grant will equip 60 teens with quality bike helmets, bike lights, and locks for our at-risk teen program OutSpoken Teens. Through the OutSpoken weekly teen program, teens fix up bikes for themselves over three weeks. After a teen fixes up their bike they need safety gear. The Bike Library is committed to providing assistance and one-on-one instruction on how to maintain the bike and additional safety riding skills/gear whenever needed. The Bike Library’s vision is to empower people, especially the next generation of cyclists, to make bicycling a primary form of transportation in our community.”

Raising Voices for Infrastructure — Bike Cleveland, Cleveland, OH

“Cleveland’s first major separated bike lane project is slated to begin construction in 2025. Bike Cleveland will work to build excitement among the adjacent neighborhoods by offering free bike tune-ups, community bike rides, and free bicycle racks to businesses along the corridor. These efforts will build excitement for the future bike connection in the neighborhoods.”

Three polaroid photo frames with pictures of Spark Grant-funded events or programs. The first photo is titled "Schuylkill on the Move: Biking" in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and features children riding bicycles indoors in an obstacle course. 
The second photo is titled "Raising Voices for Infrastructure" in Cleveland, Ohio featuring youth cyclists performing the hand signal for "STOPPING" on a group ride. The third photo is titled "Skidmore Park Re-Opening Celebration" in Sioux Falls, SD featuring a group of smiling individuals in a park.

Schuylkill on the Move: Biking — Schuylkill County’s VISION, Schuylkill County, PA

“To create more bicycle-friendly communities we are partnering with Schuylkill County communities and schools to conduct bike rodeos and pop-up/temporary traffic gardens. Additionally, we will utilize AARP’s Walk and Bike Audit tool kits to assist municipalities with addressing bike and walkability in their communities.We are excited to increase bike usage in our county through bike safety events like bike rodeos, traffic gardens and bike audits that present opportunities to educate and advocate for safer and more bikeable communities for all.”

Skidmore Park Re-Opening Day Celebration — University Park Neighborhoods, Grand Forks, ND

“As Skidmore Park is updated this summer, it’s important that residents have the opportunity to develop their own vision for this space where we live, work, and play — and how we can get there. The League of American Bicyclists’ 2024 Community Spark Grant will allow us to close off part of the normal traffic near the intersection at 5th and Gateway Dr, which is scary to cross on foot while carrying your Dairy Queen to the park for a sweet picnic, and meet with neighbors of all backgrounds for conversations on how we can make pedestrians more of a priority in this area. We’re so excited!”

Whittier Bike Club — Sioux Falls School District – Whittier Middle School, Sioux Falls, SD

“The program will offer access to bikes for underserved youth, bike repair for children with broken bikes, as well as helmets and locks for safety. Collaborating with Whittier Middle School and three feeder elementary schools, we will kick off with a Bike Repair/Giveaway Day. City staff will assist in identifying safe biking routes to school, with support from the Sioux Falls Police Department and Fire Department for helmet distribution and bike repairs, emphasizing safety. Whittier Bike Club will help foster a sense of community and overcome barriers to safe transportation, ensuring that every child can confidently navigate their journey to and from school.”

Wyco Bike-O — Central Avenue Betterment Association, Kansas City, KS

“​​In 2024, WyCo Bike-O is concentrating our efforts on the Third Friday Art Walks. There will be six events from May through October. Our plan is to up our game and presence at the Art Walk this year. This will include a bike ride course with loaner bikes, give-a-way bikes, riding safety instruction, bike art, and ciclovia rides. The more people we introduce to cycling, the better the community health benefits and need for better bike infrastructure become. Our purpose is to generate upper mobility for the members of our community by promoting their self-investment and leading by example. See you on Central!”

Whether measured in knowledge gained, access to equipment and tools, or simply more people understanding the transformative power of the bicycle, the League is proud to be able to support these organizations as they begin to spark change and make a long-lasting impact on their communities through the Community Spark Grant program. Bicycling makes life better for everyone, and we hope to see the benefits of these projects sustained throughout multiple generations. 

This year, support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds 8 awards, as part of the CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Initiative, which aims to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027.  Separately, support from General Motors is funding 7 awards in 2024.

Want to learn more about how the League’s grassroots network is building a more Bicycle Friendly America through our Community Spark Grants? Catch up by watching our webinar, Sparking Change with the League: Stories from the Field. Tune in to hear testimonies of people who have made a positive impact in their communities with Community Spark Grants in previous years, including:

  • Ryan Kelsey of the Crimm Foundation’s “Better Block Flint” project in Flint, MI
  • Dr. Michelina Messina Witte of University of Miami’s BikeSafe’s “Pop-Up Protection = Safe Cycling For All” project in Miami, FL
  • Justin Crowe, of Hope House & BikeWalkBG’s “Back on the Saddle Recovery Support” project in Bowling Green, KY