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Mt. Pleasant parks staff "go green" with bicycle initiative

July 30, 2013 – Parks staff in the City of Mt. Pleasant are going green with the use of bicycles to carry out daily maintenance tasks in area parks. The Green Maintenance Bike Initiative reduces noise and air pollution, preserves financial resources and makes parks staff members more approachable to visitors.

“Overall, it’s a safer, healthier and more environmentally-friendly alternative,” said Chris Bundy, director of parks and public spaces. “With the bikes, we’re able to perform our daily maintenance tasks while promoting a healthy lifestyle in our community.”

Not only is the initiative “green,” the bicycles themselves are too. Working together with the City of Mt. Pleasant Police Department, parks staff members refurbish police bicycles and parts, equipping them with specialized trailers to enable the transportation of parks equipment. These bicycles are then used on the trail system that connects the city’s parks to perform daily tasks.    

Prior to implementing the bike initiative in 2011, the Parks and Recreation Department relied solely on gas-powered, motorized utility vehicles for moving material, equipment and personnel. Nearly 10 gallons of gasoline was being used per day and the vehicles created pollution in the form of exhaust and excess noise in the otherwise peaceful park areas. The bicycles are now used in conjunction with the motorized vehicles, helping the transition into a more environmentally-friendly maintenance program for the city parks.

“Our goal is to preserve the integrity of our parks, making sure they meet the needs of our city residents and visitors,” Bundy said. “Reducing our use of motorized vehicles is just the first step toward achieving our goal and helping us lead by example as a City.”

The Parks and Recreation Department recently received a grant for more than $1,700 from the Mt. Pleasant Community Foundation to help further the bicycle initiative. The grant will provide safety, repair and specialized equipment for the bicycles and staff.  

The parks staff is working toward making the initiative self-sustaining by learning how to repair and recycle the bicycles in park facilities. The department continues to look for innovative ways to replace the use of motorized vehicles in daily maintenance tasks and adjusting the initiative for future park growth.