Together they produced the bike racks with the green iconic designs right here in SJ, creating jobs for local citizens
■ By Debbie Vena / Reporter
A locally-made bike rack was installed and unveiled shortly before the holiday break at MSJC.
After two years of negotiation, MSJC Associate Professor Ginger Stack successfully navigated the channels of bureaucracy with help from Bill Vincent, vice president of student services/instructional services, to get the bike rack approved. Daryl Wilkes, district facilities supervisor, oversaw its installation.
Typically, institutions do not easily adjust to non-profits wanting to donate things that affect all students; it takes time to make sure all the state legal, building code and insurance concerns have been reviewed before approval is granted. In this instance it also involved the Riverside County Supervisors’ office as well.
Wiggs Mendoza, president of Green Coalition, a non-profit organization established in 2008, helped pay for the bike rack program set up with the goal of creating sustainability in the community for the San Jacinto Valley.
I would like to thank Supervisor Chuck Washington, who got involved by issuing a CID grant to the Green Coalition. What does that mean? A more efficient quality of life geared toward conservation. And part of that sustainability is having a bicycle-friendly community. President Roger Schultz supported the program from the beginning.” – Wiggs Mendoza, president of Green Coalition
Stack, a computer science teacher on campus, said it was inspired by a student who rode his bike long distances daily and was dismayed that there was no place close to the classrooms to secure his bike. She took action.
“We are tremendously happy and pleased, after this two year negation process to finally make it happen,” said Vincent. “Anything to help the students further their education process in a way that promotes health is excellent. This is only our first, so we are very excited today.”
This project is also in planning with the Healthy Communities grants in revitalizing the downtown area. Councilman Andrew Kotyuk recently held a public walk with planners to look at how to bring this plan and extend it throughout the city, so it was a major effort to coordinate all the parties involved in a master plan.
The Healthy San Jacinto Coalition is a component of San Jacinto’s Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP) Project, which is funded by the Strategic Growth Council. The Coalition’s purpose is to help build local capacity and stakeholder participation during the development of the DTSP and General Plan Health Element efforts. Western Riverside Council of Governments’ BEYOND Program provides matching funds.
After the bike rack’s unveiling, Wilkes said that “working with Ginger trying to get this finalized, we knew it was important to have these racks on campus available for students that don’t have a vehicle, ride the bus and use multiple modes of transportation. It gives me great pleasure to do this, and we look forward to another bike rack to be installed in the spring of 2017.”
The collaborative efforts were also the result of other Green Coalition board members in attendance: MSJC student Royce Bunyard, Brian Johnston and First Vice President Nancy Austin. Also present was DCS Enterprises board member David Smith, who collaborated with Jason Stewart of Stewart Fabrication. Together they produced the bike racks with the green iconic designs right here in San Jacinto, creating jobs for local citizens. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful day that will be long celebrated as these community volunteers, representing four generations efforts, bring positive changes to the city.