Norte Executive Director Ty Schmidt shares some awesome news about a new Elk Rapids Bike Library.

In the winter of 2016, Norte moved out of the Schmidt garage into the old “Police Sector” building in the Grand Traverse County Civic Center’s south end. We renamed it the Clubhouse. It’s small, and it is mighty. It sits in one of our region’s unequaled parks. It is our home.

Last week, with the support of many incredible people, along with public and private organizations, we moved into another fantastic park, the Elk Rapids’ Rotary Park.

Our new Elk Rapids Bike Library is also small. It’s also already well on its way to being mighty.

Photo by Norte

Norte bike libraries ensure that every child has an excellent bike regardless of their family’s resources. With a bicycle at the ready, they are more likely to be active as part of everyday life. They are more likely to ride to school, the beach, or the library.

The Elk Rapids branch of the Grand Traverse Regional Bike Library is already a game-changer and significantly advances our mission—happy, healthy, ready-to-learn kids. The core of Norte’s work.

This small and mighty building in a beautiful park on the shores of Elk Lake is a signal of something bigger: Team Orange’s continued commitment to improving our region’s health, access, connection, and equity on a systems level. It is treating the symptoms of a seemingly ever more isolated and sedentary culture. Community advances like a humble bike library change the odds in favor of more happy, healthy, strong communities.

Huge thanks and undying gratitude to everyone who made the new Elk Rapids Bike Library possible. Special thanks to Re/Max Elk Rapids, all the contributors to the “Keep It Rolling, Elks” crowdfunding campaign, and builder extraordinaire, Noel Peters of Petrobis Contracting.

Photo(s) by Norte