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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

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Your child can win a bike.
Your child can win a bike.

Milwaukee Bicycle Collective gives away 15 new youth bikes

The Milwaukee Bicycle Collective is currently overhauling its youth program, and to celebrate it is giving away 15 brand new bikes thanks to help from Potawatomi Bingo Casino's Miracle on Canal Street and OnMilwaukee.com. 

The 15 winners will also receive a light set, a lock and a helmet. Fifteen additional winners will receive a set of lights, a lock and a helmet.

Normally at the Bike Collective, all of the bicycles in stock are donated. Instead of throwing away a bike when kids break or grow out of it, their families will drop it off to be fixed for others to use.

But kids are hard on their bikes, so often while they remain structurally sound, they tend to bear gratuitous evidence of their former lives. The youth volunteers usually don't mind the scratches and dings too much, and they are happy to just have a bike. But there is something nice about starting out fresh.

Entering the contest is simple and requires three parts. First, write a story or essay that has something to do with bicycles. It can be any length, but the entrant should still work to impress the judges. The essay can be about anything as long as it expresses your feelings on bikes.

Second, draw a picture that has something to do with bikes. The picture can be about anything as long as there is a bicycle in there somewhere.

Finally, an entry form must be submitted with the essay and drawing. The entry form can be downloaded here. If you cannot print the form a hand-written form will be accepted. Full details and official rules can be found at bikecollective.org/contest.

Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Monday, Nov. 26, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Winners will be announced Dec. 3.

Programs are always changing at the Bike Collective as it searches for the best way to create incentives for youth and adult volunteers. Historically, the youth program has always been treated the same as the adult program, with a volunteer work trade: volunteer for an hour and get an hour's …

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Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski at the ARTery trailhead.
Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski at the ARTery trailhead.
Beintween collects trash to transform a green, useable and beautiful trail.
Beintween collects trash to transform a green, useable and beautiful trail.
How beautiful can old car tires be?
How beautiful can old car tires be?

Beintween needs your help to reinvent the ARTery park project

The folks behind Beintween have a way with words, and according to them Matireal is a win-win-win-win-win situation.­

Between being an artistic installation, a hazardous waste removal system, a provider of measurable carbon offset, a funder of manufacturing jobs and a catalyst to help integrate the city, Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski, founders of Beintween.org and the brains behind the ARTery, have lofty goals for their new project, Matireal, a "creational" trail. But now they need your help.

First, let’s define some of that:

  • Beintween: A social and special network started in 2010 dedicated to improv(is)ing spaces to build community, whose agenda is to make the most of leftover time and space. You may be familiar with Beintween's last project, the pop-up tire swing park under the Holton Street Bridge.
  • Matireal: A geo-textile made up of local flora, stone and discarded tires that can transform an environmental nightmare into an ecological dream and inspired a new park called the ARTery.
  • the ARTery:  A linear park project being planned by beintween for the old rail corridor between East Townsend Street and Capitol Drive, in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee. "We see this as a creational trail, not a recreational trail," says Hayes, who asks, "What sort of things can we create to stitch these communities together, which right now are terribly segregated?"

Simply put, Beintween wants to see Matireal laid as the surface of the ARTery recreational trail.

Got it? Good.

The city and many private property owners have been very cooperative with the project so far. The owner of the rail land, Brian Monroe of Earthbound Development, has been including a plan to integrate neighboring school LAD Lake into the ARTery while Mayor Tom Barrett is working with the city to acquire land use before the year's end. Even the Department of Natural Resources is interested in seeing where the project goes. "I thought they would require 10 years of research," Hayes joked.…

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