The city of DeBary is home to the bicycle hub for the state of Florida, and the West Volusia Association of REALTORS® (WVAR) had the perfect placemaking project to help the community make the most of the local bike trails.
With DeBary's new Main Street Community Plan spurring new construction and growth, there have been many citizens who have vocalized their need for transportation alternatives. DeBary is home to one of the area's SunRail commuter train stations, but the inner-community cycling trails are becoming more popular for locals and others across the state. The city felt the association could best help them by aiding with a safer transportation option: biking. After many discussions with the city of DeBary's staff and leadership and input from our local Young Professionals Network, WVAR proposed and designed a pocket park near a central location where many of the city’s bike trails meet, with a bike repair station, a sitting area, and a bike rack.
The total cost of the project was $10,000. Utilizing a $5,000 Placemaking Grant from the National Association of REALTORS®, WVAR was able to contribute a bike repair station. Local businesses donated tables and benches, as well as plantings to the project.
Once completed, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the morning of January 6, 2023, with the DeBary Mayor, city council members, city manager, parks and recreation director, and the WVAR leadership and YPN members all in attendance. Everyone was so pleased to see that during the ribbon cutting, there were already cyclists stopping by to check out the new bike repair station.
The city council tells WVAR that they have had a lot of great feedback from cyclists. The placemaking project is situated on a state-long cycling path and will greatly help continue promoting the trail’s use.
Members had a great time working with the city of DeBary, county, and parks and recreation departments. Biking trails and walkability are a large part of the DeBary vision, and as a REALTOR® association, it is our job to help make the communities thrive.
This was a fantastic project to work on with the local government and YPN team. WVAR will definitely be looking into doing more community grant projects with NAR and is pleased that local governments are now calling the association, rather than the other way around.