When Jon Duraj ’09 joined Wittenberg as the director of student activities, he knew that outdoor pursuits were important to the active, engaged learning atmosphere that defines the university. He also knew that “going green” was not just a catch phrase on campus, but rather a full-scale commitment.
“In thinking about how to combine sustainability with activity, I learned about a new initiative underway with the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee (CCSTCC)," Duraj said. “Using a portion of an Ohio Department of Transportation and Federal Highway grant, I partnered with Louis Agresta of the CCSTCC, the group Green Wittenberg and our Student Senate in establishing a new bike program.”
To date, the grant has covered the purchase of nine bicycles to be used for the program.
“By implementing this new program, more sustainable modes of transportation will be promoted, helping to reduce car emissions, and to encourage exploration of the many restaurants, shops and attractions in Springfield,” Duraj said.
Bikes were purchased in varying sizes for men and women and will be available to check out for the day to assist with transportation and recreation throughout the area. The program is free for Wittenberg students, faculty and staff.
Wittenberg’s Bike Club (formed in 2011 by Kelsey Swindler ’12 and Peter Jensen ’12) will play an integral role in the new program by managing bike maintenance and inspection. The club will also work to plan various programs and events aimed at encouraging the growth of the expanding bike culture of campus. Initial ideas include faculty/student rides, progressive appetizer rides through town and the development of attraction-based trail maps to better connect students with local restaurants and events.
Bikes can be reserved through the Student Involvement webpage starting Aug. 20 on a first-come, first-serve basis. At this time, the program cannot accommodate extended reservations during the week, but does offer a weekend reservation.
“An idea for this type of bike program has been discussed by Student Senate for three years,” Duraj said. “We are deeply thankful that the partnership on this grant has allowed this student-driven objective to be realized.”