In 2008, Indiana’s News Center teamed with Oprah’s Big Give to set in motion fund-raising efforts to launch the Make the Connection initiative. At that time, the city, Indiana’s News Center, area trail partners and Aboite New Trails developed branding for Fort Wayne Trails set sights on the mission of connecting the region through a vast multi-use trail system.
In March 2010, Vera Bradley got involved, pledging $300,000 to complete Make the Connection and its 50-mile trail corridor across Fort Wayne, Indiana. “By finishing Make the Connection, Vera Bradley is able to leave a tangible legacy for generations to come; improving the health, wellness and overall quality of life for everyone in this area,” Lynn Reecer, President of Aboite New Trails said. The pledge granted Vera Bradley the honor of naming a section of the Covington Trail, a major trail artery in the developing regional system.
Excitement about the project continues to mount, as once completed, Make the Connection means hundreds of thousands of area residents and visitors will at once be joined through free, safe and convenient transportation and recreation options that can simultaneously improve health and wellness, foster social connections, improve pedestrian safety, reduce harmful omissions and traffic congestion and improve overall community morale.
“We love the idea of connecting all of Fort Wayne to a better quality of life,” Patricia R. Miller, Co-founder of Vera Bradley said. “This one-time opportunity to finish a regional trail corridor that improves health, safety, economic development and community vibrancy was one we couldn’t pass up, especially given the permanency of it. We know that everyone will be positively impacted, and for generations to come.”
Aboite New Trails currently boasts 20 miles of completed trails, a distance that will only continue to grow. We encourage you to go test them out if you’re in the area. After all, it feels good to be connected, doesn’t it?