In celebration of 20 years of service to Hendricks County, the Hendricks County Community Foundation is presenting $1,000 grants to local nonprofits in 2016. These 20th Anniversary Board Engagement Grants allow each member of the HCCF Board of Directors to designate a Hendricks County nonprofit that is important to them and to the community.
The fourteenth HCCF 20th Anniversary Grant was presented to the B&O Trail Association on behalf of Board Member Ryan Tanselle. Located between County Line Road and South Green Street in Brownsburg, the B&O Trail was founded in 1992. The trail converted the abandoned Baltimore and Ohio railroad corridor into recreational hiking and biking trails, and connects a total of three miles of pathway for local residents to explore and enjoy. The Trail Association plans to one day stretch the corridor more than 60 miles from Indianapolis to Montezuma, connecting to other parkways such as The Eagle Creek Trail and The National Heritage Trail.The B&O Trail Association has been working diligently since 1994 to create an east-west trail in Hendricks County that has the potential to stretch from Indianapolis, IN to Montezuma, IN.
“As a resident of Hendricks County, I am thrilled to help support the B&O Trail Association as they near the completion of a corridor linking the eastern and central sections of our county,” said Ryan Tanselle. “This corridor and the future expansion plans of the B&O Trail create safe and accessible recreation opportunities for the residents of Hendricks County. As a runner and cyclist who has used the Monon Trail, I personally am excited to use the B&O Trail and help it develop. But even more important to me than my personal enjoyment is the enjoyment it offers to kids. I’m often in contact with disadvantaged children in my line of work, so I really love the fact that this trail offers a free, safe and fun way for all kids in our community to enjoy nature, regardless of their socioeconomic situation.”
Diana Virgil, the President of the B&O Trail Association, is just as passionate as Ryan is about the trail. She began planning and developing the trail back in 1992 and, along with other Board Members of the Trail Association, has worked over 24 years to raise the funds to buy the corridor and construct the trails. “I enjoy having a safe place to bike, but my passion is really to save this railroad corridor for future generations,” said Diana. “We don’t know what the future holds for our grandchildren and great grandchildren, and if we don’t save this ribbon of green for them now, it may be lost forever.”
“Our partnership with the B&O Trail goes back at least 10 years–supporting land acquisition, the trailhead in partnership with Brownsburg Rotary, the Paint the Tunnel project and most recently the HAWK traffic light system making it safer for trail users to cross what used to be State Road 267,” said Eric Hessel, HCCF Program Officer. “Trails are vital to any community. Not only do trails get people moving; but in our digital society, trails will continue to be a way for our community to connect to nature and to each other.”
The Hendricks County Community Foundation partners with generous people to realize their charitable goals while addressing community needs in meaningful and lasting ways. The Community Foundation manages assets of over $11 million in a collection of funds created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations for charitable purposes. In 2015, the Community Foundation gave over $825,000 in grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to local students. For more information, call 317-268-6240 or visit www.hendrickscountycf.org.