Project Launch: 1/25/16
This project will lead to the creation of tourist-friendly biking routes in Korca City, a bustling urban center surrounded by picturesque and remote historical mountain villages. Working with other local development and eco-tourism organizations, a local youth environmental group will work to identify trails, publish a trail map, create signs along the trails, and help maintain the routes throughout the seasons. With more established bike routes, visitors will have the opportunity to travel through remote villages to learn more about their unique culture and livelihoods, which is a big priority under the municipality’s overall tourism strategy.
Final Report: 6/9/16
The Korca Bike Club was formed, which consists of 15 students from three different high schools in Korca City. During weekly interactive meetings, the youth have learned about environmental advocacy, mapping basics, GPS coordinates, GPS device usage, safe bicycling practice, and trail signing. The whole community is very supportive of the initiative and the project has garnered support from the local government and community organizations. For example, the youth bike club recently partnered with the local Prefecture, Municipality, local businesses, media outlets, and National Tourism Agency to host a “Korca by Bicycle” day, where 50 members from the community participated in a group bike ride through one of the new routes. Halfway along the route, the group stopped in a mountainside village and enjoyed refreshments and a little history about the village. Over the next few months, the bike club will continue to select and design new bike routes, identify potential problems, create trail signs, and promote the new trails throughout the community.
“The project comes at a very important time for Korca, as more and more tourists are coming to our city looking for ways to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. A functional bike trail network is a great asset for the city and region to help attract more and more of these tourists.” – Nestor, Project Leader
“My favorite part of the club so far was the “Korca by Bicycle” event that was held, where we rode as a group through some villages. It was a beautiful day and very fun to be outside with the friends that I have made in the club.” – Thoma, Project Participant
“There isn’t a lot to do in Korca, and I am excited about being able to spend the day riding bikes. I am looking forward to going on more rides this summer.” – Eduard, Project Participant