Our Mission:

Fort Wayne Trails will act as a community partner and advocate in the development of a connected, multi-purpose system of trails in Allen County.


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We're competing to win $100,000 for Trails

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 18, 2016: Fort Wayne Trails has joined the 2016 Art Van Charity Challenge, a fundraising competition on CrowdRise, the largest crowdfunding platform for good. For the third year in a row, Art Van Furniture is sponsoring a CrowdRise Challenge and is donating over $300,000 in prize money to organizations supporting children, health and human services in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Fort Wayne Trails has joined the Challenge on CrowdRise in hopes of raising money to support Fort Wayne Trails and its mission to act as a community partner and advocate in the development of a connected network of trails in Allen County, Indiana. We celebrate an awesome 90 mile trail network, yet MANY neighborhoods and destinations are still unconnected.

The trail network in Allen County serves nearly 500,000 trail users annually. As the trails continue to expand, they serve an ever-growing number of people, providing equitable transit and recreation for all. The short term milestone currently in sight is an increase from our current 90 miles of trail to 100 by the end of 2019. However, the number of miles of trail is not nearly as important as the community connectivity they bring. Long term, we hope for the majority of households in Allen County to be less than half a mile from a trail. This will truly allow everyone to be able to take advantage of the trails for recreation and transportation, provide access to schools, employers, religious institutions, parks, retail areas, and major community assets like Downtown Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. In addition, many of the areas now being focused on by FWT are under served in one way or another. The Pufferbelly Trail, for instance, is bringing more green space and providing recreation opportunities to the Northwest side. While not typically thought of as lacking in amenities, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has labeled this section of Allen County as “critically deficient” in the amount of publicly accessible green spaces available to the public. Development occurred so rapidly that not much land was preserved for the use of parks, playgrounds, and trails.

As another example, on the southeast side, the Six Mile Creek trail brings connectivity to an area that has little in the way of not just trails, but sidewalk connections in general. The trail corridor includes the very busy intersection of US-27 and Anthony Blvd where no sidewalks or crosswalks exist, yet people regularly cross here to access the restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores located in this area. The addition of trails here serves as a resource for safe, active transportation by the local residents.

All told, trails are multi-faceted pieces of infrastructure, providing opportunities for recreation and transportation for all. In many areas of our community, poor planning and lack of enforcement of ordinances (such as requirements for sidewalks) during development are now needing to be corrected to create a more equitable, livable community.

The 2016 Art Van Charity Challenge launched on CrowdRise on May 18th at 12pm ET and runs through June 22nd at 1:59:59pm ET. The team that raises the most during the Challenge wins $100,000 and 2nd-10th place prizes can win $1,500-$50,000. Weekly Bonus Challenges enable charities to win up to another $75,000.

CrowdRise Challenges are innovative fundraising competitions for charitable organizations designed to build capacity, create massive engagement and leverage, and use the power of the crowd to provide new meaningful funding streams for organizations in every sector.

To help Fort Wayne Trails win the 2016 Art Van Charity Challenge head to our fundraising page.

Fort Wayne Trails partners strongly with the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County to guide the prioritization, development and creation of trail expansion to benefit the community. Our private dollars raised are used to unlock local, state and federal tax dollars which helps build trails at a faster pace.

Art Van Furniture is the Midwest's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 100 stores throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, including freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores, Art Van Flooring stores, and Art Van Furniture franchise locations as well as a full service e-commerce website. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Visit artvan.com for more information.

CrowdRise is the world’s largest and fastest growing online platform dedicated exclusively to charitable fundraising. CrowdRise is used by millions of individuals, tens of thousands of charities, hundreds of companies and many of the most famous artists and athletes in the world to creatively leverage their resources and networks to unlock the power of the crowd and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to support positive social missions.

Founded by actor Edward Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, CrowdRise has conceived, implemented and powered campaigns that have raised over $250 million to date. For more information, visit CrowdRise.com.

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