Bikes for the World

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We Say Goodbye to King Farm

Bikes for the World is losing a part of the family. It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of the Bikes for the World facility at King Farm in Rockville.

This ends a seven-year tenure during which Bikes for the World operated the Rockville Youth Bike Project out of two of the farm buildings- the hay barn and a tenant cottage. BfW stored and dispatched more than 25,000 bicycles around the world from this location, to local recipients such as the nearby Montgomery County temporary workers' center, to institutions and individuals in places like Ghana, Mozambique, and Uganda.

Among the activities at "the Farm" were the gifting each May of reconditioned bikes to Rockville elementary school children who earned them through participation in a Department of Recreation & Parks values-promotion program. More than 250 reconditioned bikes were presented to local students over the life of the project.

In support of Bikes for the World's international activities, which saw the aforementioned 25,000+ bicycles collected, prepped, and stored locally, and shipped from the site, the RYBP provided local middle and high school students with opportunities to earn thousands of "student service learning" hours required for graduation from Maryland public schools, and reflect on issues of recycling and reuse, the environment, transportation, and humanitarian assistance.

Other activities included hosting Boy Scout service projects, including two young men who built storage racks and painted the barn fulfilling their independent community service project requirement for the Eagle rank, and a social action partnership, now about to enter its fourth year, bringing Stone Ridge School juniors and seniors to the Farm every other week during the school year to immerse the students in Bikes for the World's work, learning about bikes and their contribution to the environment and to human development.

During the first three years of the RYBP, under contract to the City of Rockville, Bikes for the World annually taught pedestrian and bike safety at public and private elementary schools around the city, reaching several thousand children overall and contributing to the City's outstanding pedestrian and cycling safety record.

A recent engineering study contracted by our landlord, the City of Rockville, determined that the roof and supporting walls of the barn, our principal locus of activity, were at risk of collapse. The study identified structural issues with the other buildings, resulting in the City's decision to suspend all activities at the farmstead pending a decision on the future of the site.

Bikes for the World is currently looking for a replacement space in Montgomery County to continue to operate the program and store bicycles. If you know of any potentially available space, whether short or long term, free or for commercial lease, please contact Bikes for the World executive director Keith Oberg at 571.212.4139 or keith@bikesfortheworld.org.


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