A new map and guide of Bangor-area trails, a project spearheaded by Bangor Greendrinks, was released this week and is now being distributed to area businesses. Available for free, the map gives a big picture of the many public trails in the region, helping local residents and visitors find places to enjoy the outdoors, whether hiking, biking, dog walking or birdwatching.
“Nothing like this existed before,” said Gregory Edwards, treasurer of Bangor Greendrinks and a Bangor resident. “Bangor Land Trust would have their isolated maps. Orono Land Trust had a map that covered all of their land. But nothing tied it all together.”
Edwards, who also is secretary for Bangor Land Trust, led the project, which included the collaboration of 14 different trail managers and maintainers and the support of a few key partners. The map was funded by a $4,200 Bangor Greendrinks Green Grant, $750 from the nonprofit organization Heart of the Penobscot and $2,250 from Bicycle Coalition of Maine for the printing of the first 6,000 copies.
“It’s more than two and half times larger than any [Bangor Greendrinks] Green Grant we’ve done,” Edwards said. “And I feel like it’s got the broadest reach. Usually what we do is [fund] tangible goods like recycling bins and bike racks. This is something reaches all the way out to Hirundo [in Alton] and all the way down to Brewer. It really touches a lot more of the area in a positive way. It’s a nice step up, a nice step forward for us.”
Founded in 2011, Bangor Greendrinks hosts networking events on the second Tuesday of each month at various locations in the Bangor area. These family-friendly events feature local drinks and showcase local residents dedicated to sustainable business. And all funds raised at these events are given back to the community through Green Grants. To date, the organization has awarded area businesses and projects approximately $30,000 in Green Grants.
The first copies of the Bangor Area Trails Map & Guide, which was designed by The Center for Community GIS of Farmington, were handed out at a Bangor Greendrinks event in celebration of the project on Tuesday, May 29, at Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer. Following the event, Bangor Greendrinks planned to start distributing the maps to local businesses so people can easily find them and pick them up for free.
The map, which measures about 28 inches by 18 inches, folds down into a manageable 9 inch by 4 inches. It’s glossy and full color, but not weatherproof.
One side of the resource is a map that provides a big picture of the area’s many public trails, and the other side is succinct guide to 37 of those trails and trail networks, with driving directions and key information about trail length, difficulty and which activities are permitted. Then if map users want more in-depth information about a trail, the guide provides contact information and websites for all 14 of the owners and maintainers of the trails shown on the map and listed in the guide.
“I don’t know how long 6,000 maps is going to last in this area, but I hope it will last a while,” Edwards said. “And then hopefully somebody will come in and sponsor it going forward so we can continue keeping these out in the community.”
Businesses on the list to offer the free map include, but aren’t limited to, Epic Sports and The Briar Patch on Central Street in downtown Bangor, Slipping Gears Cycling at 753 Stillwater Ave. in Bangor, Ski Rack Sports at 24 Longview Drive in Bangor, and Pat’s Bike Shop at 373 Wilson St. in Brewer.
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