This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.
Lori Keys represents Aboite New Trails, a grassroots organization dedicated to recognizing the need for safe pedestrian and bicycle routes through the area of Fort Wayne.
The group has been responsible for raising over 11 million dollars as well as having constructed 20 miles of new trails in the nine years since Aboite New Trails’ formation.
Aboite New Trails, Inc. (ANT) is a grassroots organization founded in 2001 by area citizens recognizing the vast need for safe pedestrian and bicycle options throughout Fort Wayne and the surrounding region. Through its advocacy and fundraising efforts it has forever changed the local and regional landscape, having raised over $11 million in dollars and sponsored projects and having built 20 trail miles by the end of 2010.
Additionally, its successful advocacy and public relations initiatives have played a significant role in influencing public policy both locally and at the state level in terms of infrastructure, ordinances, government staffing, funding, and ultimately a mindset that now embraces and prioritizes trails and greenways.
It’s oftentimes hard to quantify the significant role ANT has had on local, regional and state trail initiatives. Locally, it’s a leader in bicycle and pedestrian access efforts and plays an active role in Fort Wayne’s Greenway Coalition, Towpath Trail Taskforce, Utility Coordination committee, and the “Bike Fort Wayne” and “Walk Fort Wayne” task forces. Last year, the City of Fort Wayne chose the trails and specifically the ANT-led Oprah’s Big Give campaign as one of three community assets to highlight in its application for the All America City Award, which Fort Wayne received for the third time.