A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Devou Good Foundation created free, secure room for bicycles at the Academy on 4th in Newport

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

They did good. Make that very good.

And why not — it’s in their name.

The Devou Good Foundation has a dedicated secure room for bicycles – a place to store up to 48 bikes in parking spaces, according to Matt Butler, President of the non-profit.

“It’s free for the residents at the Academy on 4th in Newport,” Butler told the Northern Kentucky Tribune. “Since you can’t park your bike on the street, there not only was a need for this,” he said, “But a big demand.”

Butler said the investment was about $30,000.

“We’ve been funding this public bike project for all the river cities in Northern Kentucky,” he said.

What Butler – and his Devou Good Foundation – does is partner with local nonprofits to assess the unique needs of communities within Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati.

And to facilitate projects which target the identified needs.

“We’ll bring in other developers, and serve as a model showcase for the area,” he said.

In fact, Devou Good engaged YARD & Company to build and manage the Connect Challenge program that invites cities to compete for funding to design and install pilot street projects with the community that will inform permanent investment in safer, more active streets.

That program’s first recipient was the City of Newport – together with its nonprofit community development corporation – ReNewport. Over four months, YARD & Company engaged the community to identify the route, organize supporting the regionally significant Purple People Bridge and spanned over 7,000 linear feet of remade streets that included sharrows, buffered bike lanes, a two-way cycle track and bike boxes at intersections.

The program also included parklets at painted bump-outs, signage, marketing and regular programming such as slow rides, yoga and sidewalk dining.

As for ReNewport – also a nonprofit — its goal is improving the overall quality of life for all Newport, Kentucky residents.

ReNewport began and continues as a citizen-driven volunteer project.

“Anyone interested in seeing improvements in the City of Newport is invited to lend a hand or donate resources to the organization,” Butler said.

Their task forces plan projects around the city in the areas of Economic Development, Housing, Education, Community Engagement, Parks, Recreation, Beautification, Health, Wellness and Safety.

ReNewport’s most recent projects include: trees around the city, building a community park, building an outdoor fitness gym, creating a façade grant for local business improvement, creating a citywide education committee to improve the school system and helping restore abandoned houses for redevelopment.

“They (ReNewport) approached us on the outside bike parking for the city,” Butler said, “knowing that there was quite a need for the project.”

Butler said the Devou Good Foundation builds relationships with those in the community working to bring positive change. Initially, members of the DGF will collaborate with other nonprofits and members of the community to assess their needs.

Matt Butler

And once they have been identified, DGF will continue to work with the groups to achieve goals and establish partnerships to strengthen future projects.

“We provide staffing and resources for event planning and fundraising,” Buter added, “but also present opportunities for local visionaries to work together toward a common goal.”

DGF proves relationships between agencies within a community can be cultivated, strengthening the positive voice, and fostering change.

DGF did good.

If you own a bike in Newport – you already know that.

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