Cycling into Leon County’s 1st Educational Bike Park
Cycling into Leon County’s 1st Educational Bike Park
Tallahassee, Fla – The 2020 KCCI Community Catalyst team is leading the creation and implementation of a new educational bike park at Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School (SPECPS). KCCI is collaborating with SPECPS to re-purpose underutilized spaces to create interactive spaces that promote bicycle learning experiences for children ages 4-11.
“The KCCI Bike Park initiative is a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages,” said Anicia Robinson, Principal at Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School. “Biking is a great way to promote physical fitness but learning about bike safety can save lives.”
The initiative integrates with Sabal Palm’s strategic move of being a community partnership school. This model follows a proven framework that removes barriers to learning – including safety issues, health and mental health challenges, poverty, and more – by bringing together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and other integral services right on-site at the school. SPECPS was identified through community feedback as the school that would most benefit from an educational bike park of this caliber.
SPECPS adopted the innovative Community Partnership Schools™ model in 2019 with a partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida, FAMU, FSU Primary Health and Leon County School District. Together, these core partners collaborate to address key barriers to learning, often bringing in additional community support and resources to best serve students.
“We are excited to collaborate with Sabal Palm in providing education-based and safety-based bicycle experiences to our community’s younger population,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI’s Executive Director. “Placemaking often provides a social service, and by improving these underutilized school areas we will be increasing health, safety, and cycling education for the community.”
The KCCI Community Catalysts are creating a bike park with three zones: an educational, creative bike space that resembles real life-situations on a basketball court, an off-road experience, and a covered training area for younger students and for use on rainy or hot days. The SPECPS bike park could ultimately become a model for other schools in Florida as it improves community safety and enhances cycling in Leon County.
“After exploring the Sabal Palm campus and talking to teachers, students and parents, we realized how great a bike park would be for the community and school’s students,” said Bo Courtenay, KCCI volunteer Community Catalyst on the 2020 Bike Park team. “This is one of the new community features our team is recommending, based on feedback from nearly 2,000 Tallahassee residents.”
Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School, is a public Title 1 school, with more than 500 students that serves the 32304 zip code. Many of the children and their families at Sabal Palm rely on walking or cycling as their primary mode of transportation. The educational bike park will improve cycling safety, allowing more children to travel safely to school, where they can focus on reaching their full potential both inside and outside of the classroom.
The KCCI volunteer Community Catalyst team is securing funds or in-kind support from the community to make this project a success. If you are interested in financially supporting this project, please contact KCCI Catalyst Patrick O’ Bryant at (850) 559-0298. Naming rights are available for all three separate bike park sections for $1,500. In addition, the off-ramps may be sponsored for $500 each. More information can be found here.
Established in 2007, KCCI is a local organization committed to positive placemaking and community collaboration in Tallahassee. KCCI projects have generated nearly $1 Billion in economic impact for Leon County. A new group of volunteer Community Catalysts is selected to plan and implement each annual project. This year’s Community Catalysts are Theresa Bender, Bo Courtenay, Tarsha Davis, Chris Edwards, William Eichhoefer, Richard Fetchick, Suzannah Grasel, Eric Katz, Molly Lord, Patrick O’Bryant, Jamiron Richardson and Callie Watson.
KCCI is made possible by public and private partners including: Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, Archibald Foundation, Blueprint, Office of Economic Vitality, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Taproot, FAMU School of Business and Industry, Florida State University College of Business, NAI Talcor, Structure Real Estate, Nolia & Bill Brandt, Lewis + Whitlock, Wood + Partners, Brown & Brown, BowStern Marketing, Serena and Jon Moyle, Cassidy and Company, Tharpe Construction, Flightline Group, Inc., Drs. Chaney, Couch and Associates Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson and Rowland Publishing. For more information on KCCI or the Sabal Palm Bike Park, visit the KCCI website.
Based on a highly successful initiative launched in New York City, the Community Partnership SchoolsTM model requires the core partners — the school district, a healthcare provider, a nonprofit organization and a college or university — to commit their support to the school and community for 25 years, impacting a generation. Children’s Home Society of Florida brought the model to Florida in 2011 in partnership with Orange County Public Schools and The University of Central Florida. Children’s Home Society of Florida is a core partner in 18 Community Partnership Schools – more than any other entity in the state. To learn more about Community Partnership Schools, read here.