At the 10th Annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride this past Saturday, New Haven Farms’ staff, volunteers, supporters, and community members once again came together to bike as the Red Beet Riders.New Haven Farms’ fifty riders rode routes from five miles to a 100 kilometers to get from West Rock to East Rock, showing their dedication to healthy communities and a green future for New Haven.
The powerhouse Red Beet Riders came in 4th in fundraising out of fifty teams, receiving an incredible $13,715 in donations (and still counting!). This blew past not only last year’s total and the team goal, but even the wildest of expectations – one more sign that the community supporting New Haven Farms has limitless potential. This success wouldn’t have been possible without star fundraisers like Karen and Dave Nemiah, Josh Weinstein, and Abbie Paine, each of whom raised more than a thousand dollars. Josh also deserves special mention for this tireless work rallying a dozen coworkers from Sikorsky to join the Red Beet Riders, bolstering the team’s numbers and fundraising.
Riders started biking as early as 8am, with waves leaving hour after hour from Common Ground High School. Aiming for style as much as speed, some could be seen wearing outfits ranging from unicorn helmets and to ballerina tutus, and others rode with speakers attached to their bikes to jam out during the ride. Children came along on their own bikes or were pulled in bike carriers, making Rock to Rock a truly intergenerational event for a truly intergenerational cause. Each route showcased unique perspectives on the city of New Haven and residents’ close ties to the environment, whether through forests, streams, coastline, or gardens.
All the riders converged on College Woods in East Rock towards the middle of the day to celebrate the planet at Rock to Rock’s Green Fair. The event featured not just proud riders and their prizes, but live music from the Neighborhood Music School, food from local food trucks, and overflowing energy rallying around the environment. More than 1300 people rode, and many more showed up at East Rock to celebrate the planet.
Overall, in its tenth year Rock to Rock has seen major growth, raising more than $225,000 this year – more than twenty times what it raised in its first year. As years go on, Rock to Rock can only continue to increase its impact in building capacity in New Haven to protect and improve the environment.