We were founded back in 2017 by Brenda Dixon and her two sons as the Community Neighborhood Improvement Project (CNIP) that sought to improve the Major Taylor Trail. By 2019, the non-profit became known as the Major Taylor Trail Keepers Chicago, with Brenda as President and Chief Executive Officer.
We also expanded the board to include community leaders and cyclists. As a public non-profit, the organization was finally able to receive grants that allowed them to commence its mission. We’re grateful to Active Transportation Alliance for serving as our fiscal sponsor when we started.
Major Taylor Trail Keepers (MTTK) aims to improve the well-being of under-resourced neighborhoods in the South Side of Chicago by collaborating with its partners and engaging others in economically productive, healthy, and active ways of living.
Public transit users are healthier as they are actively moving through their daily lives. Whether, catching a train, riding a bike or getting on a bus, it is proven that those who use public transportation get over three times the amount of physical activity per day than those who don’t. This leads to an overall happier community with active and healthy neighbors.
Bike trails offer communities the ability to sightsee and get invaluable exercise in the comfort of their neighborhood. Public transportation like trains and buses also promotes positive interactions between neighbors. It is an opportunity for the entire community to be one – including people with disabilities.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the nation’s second-largest public transportation system – serving the City of Chicago and 40 neighboring communities by rail and bus.
To learn more about the CTA go here.
Over the years this environmentally friendly method of transportation has alternately risen and declined in popularity, but it is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the nation. Today bicycling has also become popular as a workout regimen and has been proven to provide significant health benefits. The MTTK mission is to advocate for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities where bicycling helps to enable individuals and families on Chicago’s South Side lead healthy and joyful lives.
Bicycling provides significant health benefits since it works almost all the muscles and systems in the body, including the skeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the mental/emotional state, and the immune system. Bike riding provides a family-friendly workout and fun exercise for all ages. It is also so adaptable that it can fit almost every need and physical limitation and does not require a lot of expensive equipment. You can bike almost anywhere you like.
The MTTK is working to promote bike trail safety and to increase the number of family-friendly bike trails in Chicago’s South Side communities. Since its founding in 1985, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF) has encouraged thousands of individuals and families to ride bikes through advocacy, education, and good old-fashioned fun. Chicago is known as one of the best large cities in the US for bicycling. The City of Chicago has achieved this goal by investing in bicycling infrastructure and promoting education, awareness, and advocacy.
For more information about the City of Chicago Bike Program, go here.
Walking is a way to stay healthy while getting exercise. A scenic, woodside rest next to a piece of beautiful, original public art in a community park makes for the perfect stroll through the neighborhood as you pace the local walking trail. Whether you prefer getting a relaxing breath of fresh air, or challenging yourself with a long steady walk to maintain your heart rate, the MTTK is working to make sure that you’ll find what you’re looking for just outside your front door on South Side walking and biking trails.
The MTTK is working diligently to enhance the region’s walkability.
To learn more and to find out how you can help, contact the MTTK at [email protected]