Friends of Myakka River recently received a 2022 Citizen Support Organization of the Year award from the Florida Park Service and Florida State Parks Foundation for their new program Bike Myakka for Good.
The organization designed Bike Myakka for Good to encourage biking at Myakka as a sustainable (and low impact) mode of transportation, while also supporting Myakka and our region’s natural resources by removing invasive plants or otherwise supporting Myakka River State Park. The program also supports the park through education and outreach. And importantly, through this program, Friends of Myakka River has been successfully building a sustainable membership-based volunteer corps to support its own initiatives, and growing as an organization.
“We designed Bike Myakka for Good to offer our community an opportunity to give back to this beautiful place, while learning a bit more about Myakka's delicate ecosystems and history in the friendly company of like-minded individuals.” said Executive Director, Miri Hardy. “We’re thrilled by the positive response to this program this past year and are honored to have its significant impact recognized by our Florida Park Service and Florida State Park Foundation colleagues”.
Since the program’s inception, Friends of Myakka River has been making efforts to further increase its sustainability. For example, to minimize use of plastic bags, they procured reusable bags, made from upcycled feed bags.
To further grow the program and its sustainability, the organization is currently pursuing funding for two cargo bikes, which would be used to transport tools and supplies for the service projects, thus further reducing dependence on motor vehicles. The cargo bikes will minimize wear and tear on Myakka’s infrastructure and park owned vehicles, reduce fuel usage and emissions, and will save valuable staff time.
To register for an upcoming Bike Myakka for Good Service Ride, see EVENTS or contact Miri Hardy.
(L-R) Friends of Myakka River Assistant Treasurer Sandra Bernardi, Executive Director Miri Hardy, Vice President Steven Schaefer, Treasurer Sandy Plette and President Bob Frank celebrating Bike Myakka for Good's Success.
Photo: Jean Blackburn