Carl Henn was honored for his lifelong, dedicated public service at last night’s Mayor and Council Town Hall Meeting. Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio described him as the embodiment of “Think Globally. Act Locally.” He loved Rockville and blazed a trail we all strive to follow.
As we know, Carl died in July following a lightning strike. He was our leading environmental advocate and had served on the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and led the Environment Commission in addition to running for Rockville City Council.
Wanting to properly honor all of Carl’s volunteer work, the City officially renamed our 10-mile bicycle beltway, the Carl Henn Rockville Millennium Trail. One of the new signs was presented to his family. A plaque recognizing his work will be posted on the Trail. Future signage and maps will reflect the new name of the Trail.
When Carl testified at April’s Budget Work Session in support of adding directional signage around the Millennium Trail, he was excited about the project. Many people did not realize you could ride all the way around the City to reach landmarks. He thought if people knew how easy it would be to bike on the Trail and reach their destination, they would be more likely to choose their bike as a means of transportation. He described the nation’s energy and transportation problems as causing our economic problems due to the draining cost of peak oil. When he researched bicycle beltways, he found that Rockville was the only jurisdiction to complete such a beltway. He felt it rivaled the Capital Cresent Trail but people didn’t know about it. Also, sections were not properly marked to guide riders. He spent many hours working on the signage placement for the Trail to save consultant fees.
When Carl’s wife, Carol Henn, spoke, most in attendance unsuccessfully attempted to hold back tears. She explained that it wasn’t in Carl to let others do things. He would get up and do it himself. When they had their two daughters and he would wade through streams and walk through the woods, he wanted to ensure that his daughters would also be able to do these things. He dedicated himself to finding ways to get around without burning fossil fuels.
The Mayor and Council also renamed the City’s environmental award as the Carl Henn Outstanding Individual Environmental Achievement Award then made Carl the first recipient posthumously. Environment Commission members Kris Dighe and Beri Kravitz helped present the award to Carol and Allison Henn while explaining that Carl was “more dedicated than anybody to the environment.” The Award will continue to recognize “those whose efforts have improved the health or quality of Rockville’s environment or have increased public understanding or participation in environmental issues.”
During the Meeting, everyone asked “Who will fill Carl’s shoes?” in reference to the question made by Carl’s friend, Art Stigile, earlier this summer. All of us must do our part.
Carl was our most frequent and popular Contributor at Rockville Central. My small bit today is to guide you to Carl’s writing. Maybe someday we’ll have discounted solar options for our homes. Hopefully the Redgate property will never be developed.
Personally, I have looked at new cars. When I think of Carl, I can’t buy one. I’ll wait for better, affordable green technology and we’ll continue to use our bicycles more around town. I don’t think Carl would want us to put up these signs and think we are done. Rather he’d want us to evaluate our lives, make better choices for the environment, and work to change policies for the better.
What will you do to fill his shoes?
During Hometown Holidays my family decided to join the Ride and Stride which turned out to be a very pleasant tour of Rockville. The 12-mile route for bikes meandered through many of our lovely parks and tree-shaded paths. Each neighborhood revealed their best kept little secrets.
Ride and Stride starts early. The first event leaves at 8 AM, so the streets were mostly silent until our bikes momentarily clicked past. My friends from the Wootton Parkway area enjoyed the Fallsgrove and New Mark neighborhoods which were completely new to them, while I found the cuts through neighborhoods off Seven Locks and Fall’s Chapel to be a treat. The well-chosen route included the most fun features in Rockville, Friendship Bridge and the Maryland Avenue tunnel, which I described in my post Over and Under: Biking The Bridge. The rest stop was at the new Thomas Farm Community Center in Fallsgrove.
My nine-year-old completed the 12-mile route designed for families and felt a true sense of accomplishment. Most families included kids about 10 years old and up. Kids will surprise you with their dexterity and accomplishments if you give them the chance, but a kid’s ability to finish this 12-mile ride with these small hills would depend on their temperament. Adults and kids alike couldn’t hop on a bike and finish the course without any preparation or previous experience, which is the key no matter what your age.
Members of the Rockville Bike Advisory Committee rode along with the bikers and also stayed at the tail end to tell the police officers the entire group was through and they could leave their posts at the street crossings. Riders were friendly and supportive, engaging in conversation and encouraging the kids to keep going.
Looking over the other routes, the hard core more “challenging” 28-mile ride includes the 12-mile route plus an additional 16 miles in a larger circle around Rockville. The “strides” are either 2K or 5K runs or walks depending on your desired speed. The routes were well-marked except in a couple of places but it didn’t matter because you are given both a map and a guide telling you exactly when to turn onto each street. Luckily other riders, both friends and strangers, were always on hand to direct us so we made it through without a problem.
At the end I drank too much coffee from Starbucks and ate too many high fiber treats from Great Harvest while we were waiting around for the raffle. You could bring a t-shirt to be stamped with the Ride and Stride logo too. In general, participants stayed around to talk and share their experiences.
Other riders told me they save the route map and bike it on their own throughout the year. If this doesn’t tell you the route is a terrific choice for Rockville, I don’t know what would!
The RBAC and The City of Rockville present WRENCH AND RIDE the next two Saturdays at the Twinbrook Recreation Center. On the first Saturday they fix bikes, and on the second Saturday they ride. Rides are local and about 45 minutes long. Rain at the ride start time cancels the ride, wet pavement does not.
Bike Tune-ups: Saturday April, 3 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. FREE Safety Check of your bicycle to get you rolling into Spring. Minor adjustments and repairs to brakes and shifting plus flat tires patched.
Bike Rides: Saturday April, 10 from 10-11:30 a.m. Join us on an easy, fun and casual bike ride using safe street routes and multiuse paths. No one gets left behind.
Other Times to Bike:
Ride Rockville’s Bike Beltway
Sunday, April 11
Starts at Wootton High School
Ride the Millennium Trail with your friends and family. The Millennium Trail is a 10.6 mile loop around Rockville. Rain at start time cancels the ride; wet pavement does not. Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee encourages you to ride 150 or more miles in the 2010 challenge!
Pre-Ride … for Rockville
Sunday, April 11, 18, 25
Meet at the Sculpture in Welsh Park (Mannakee and Martins Lane/Nelson)
Get in shape on your bike for Ride and Stride for Rockville. Fun 45-minute rides. Rain at start time cancels the ride; wet pavement does not.
Wrench and Ride (Wrench)
Saturday, April 17
Thomas Farm Community Center
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
FREE Safety Check of your bicycle to get you rolling into Spring. Minor adjustments and repairs to brakes and shifting plus flat tires patched. Donations Welcome but not required
Wrench and Ride (Ride)
Saturday, April 24
Thomas Farm Community Center
Join us on an easy, fun and casual bike ride using safe street routes and multiuse paths. No one gets left behind. Rain at start time cancels the ride, wet pavement does not.
Jon McLaren, Community Recreation Manager for the City, sent along this announcement for a special Bicycle Safety Course, Traffic 101:
This course, taught by Washington Area Bicyclists Association instructors, gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing flats, skills and crash avoidance techniques. This is a two-part class meeting April 7, 2010 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and April 10, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Lincoln Park Community Center. Course includes a student manual. Bicycle and helmet required. Age: 14+ Course #31698 in the City Recreation Guide $95/$105
Hop on, log some miles and stay safe.
>On March 11th I completed duplicating Councilmember Mark Pierzchala’s efforts in riding the length of every street in Rockville. When he announced this last year I took inspiration from his idea and thought it was a fabulous way to see the city. In a total of 17 rides totaling 295 miles I duplicated Mark’s challenge.
The Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee (RBAC; see http://www.rockvillemd.gov/recreation/bicycling/rbac.htm) has issued a challenge to all to ride 150 miles in 2010 in celebration of Rockville’s Sesquicentennial or 150th Anniversary, which is being celebrated this year. The challenge states “To track your miles, you may register and log-in to: http://presidentschallenge.org/ and enter Group ID Number: 89582 (Rockville Bike 150); enter any number/name for the Group Member Number; and start logging in your bicycling activity. OR keep your own mileage spreadsheet to share with us later.”
Why not combine the two challenges and get to know Rockville by riding the length of every street in Rockville during 2010? When you complete the 150 mile challenge you’ll be roughly halfway there (depending on your starting point for each ride and how efficiently you can navigate all the individual streets and cul-de-sacs). And many thanks to Mark for having the idea!
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