Pathways Over Pogue’s (POP) is a local, grassroots-led initiative to restore a historic bridge along the Pogue’s Run Trail, and advocate for the completion of the trail from the Near Eastside out to Pogue’s Run Art and Nature Park.
The bridge in question has been a barrier to taking the next steps toward the completion of the trail. From the Pathways Over Pogue’s website,
“One of the challenges has been that the trail includes an historic bridge just west of Rural known as the Nowland Avenue Bridge that has deteriorated to such an extent that it is becoming dangerous to use. Before the rest of the trail can be completed, the bridge must be rebuilt. But that will be expensive and time-consuming because the bridge is on the Historic Register, requiring approval from multiple agencies before construction can start. This has led to an impasse for the City, which is not able to pay for a design without a clear source to rebuild the bridge as well. So neighbors were encouraged to seek alternate funding for the design as a way to get the trail going.” (www.popindy.org)
In response, the POP group began reaching out to community foundations and corporations for financial support. They created their beautiful website as a node for information and donations, and have successfully partnered with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) for a matching grant of up to $30,000 through May 30, 2018.
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, POP organized a silent auction fundraiser at the Tick Tock Lounge located at 2602 E. 10th Street. The event took place on Tuesday, March 27 and drew in crowds of residents eager to support an initiative that will add an asset to their neighborhood. Near Eastsiders understand the benefit that a completed greenway could provide to their community – from the health benefits of hiking and biking, to increased development along a cultural commodity, a completed Pogue’s Run Trail could go a long way toward uplifting a large portion of the Near Eastside. The fundraising night brought in over $6,500 toward the goal to be used with the matching grant! Of course, the financial elements of the fundraiser were discussed before hand such as researching how to get a tax id number for a fundraiser and how to take hold of the money that has been raised. This is such a great start for this cause. However, there’s nothing stopping these organizers from considering an online fundraiser to try and get support from people who weren’t at the silent auction. If the fundraiser was shared around enough, it could even get national support on social media. That might be a better way to raise some more money. Perhaps the organizers could visit the GoFundMe website to learn more about crowdfunding and to see if there are any other ways of fundraising that they could look into. Hopefully, this will raise more money for this cause.
The grassroots effort to get this trail completed has been inspiring, and the progress that POP has made is incredible and hard-won. But there’s still a long way to go toward their goal of $30,000 to take full advantage of the CICF matching funds. Visit http://www.popindy.org to make a donation and learn more about this important initiative!