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Friday, July 17, 2009

Columbus’ First Annual “Gears & Gardens” Bicycle Tour


Via the American Community Gardens Association’s Annual Conference, August 6-8

Columbus, OH—July 9, 2009—Columbus’ bicycling and gardening communities will join forces for the
first annual “Gears & Gardens” bicycle tour of community gardens, to be held during the American
Community Gardening Association’s (ACGA) national conference August 6-8 at Franklin Park
Conservatory. The ride, offered this year exclusively to conference attendees, will showcase six gardens
uniquely contributing to the local economy, foodshed, and sense of place. It will culminate at Surly Girl
Saloon with a lunch made from locally grown food and speakers Catherine Girves of The Enrichment
Association and Dr. John Tolbert of the Columbus Health Department discussing how bicycles and
gardens contribute to healthy, socially just neighborhoods.

Trish Dehnbostel, Programming Manager at Local Matters and Gears & Gardens coordinator, says,
“Community gardening is a dramatic way to empower our neighborhoods through growing our own food,
saving money, beautifying our community and getting to know each other. It’s more than gardening: it’s a
transformative experience that changes not only neighborhoods, but people.” Dehnbostel aims to promote
collaboration and resource sharing through the ride, which will be an annual celebration of healthy living.

Meredith Joy of Yay Bikes! speaks similarly about the transformative effects of bicycling, and finds a
natural fit between the cycling and gardening communities that made partnering on this tour, for her, a “no
brainer”. “We may forget, as we drive around in our cars, our connectedness with one another and the
environment,” she says. “Bicycling, like gardening, reconnects us with what’s important in life.”
Gears & Gardens will start at the Franklin Park Conservatory and continue on to: Garden of Communion
(Bryden & South Ohio), Garden of New Freedom and New Freedom (East Mound & Carpenter), Indianola
Alternative Elementary School Garden, Dragonfly Neo-V, Summit United Methodist Garden, and the
Weinland Park Community Garden (East Fifth Street). The gardens will have a docent leading a tour of the
grounds and sharing how the garden has achieved success. Each garden was selected to highlight
current trends in the community gardening movement.

In addition to the bicycle tour, the ACGA is also sponsoring Columbus’ international award-winning Pedal
Instead bicycle valet for attendees who wish to commute to the conference and explore Columbus by
bicycle. This free service provides fenced, monitored bicycle parking to ensure the security of bikes during
special events. In 2008, Pedal Instead parked almost 4,000 bikes, preventing more than 40,000 miles
from being driven and almost 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Gears & Gardens is sponsored by Local Matters and operated in conjunction with the American
Community Garden Association, Mayor Coleman’s Institute for Active Living, and Yay Bikes! More
information about the ride and its featured gardens can be obtained by contacting Trish Dehnbostel at
614-738-0819 or trish@local-matters.org.

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