The Annual Gala & Awards Dinner celebrates Greater Philadelphia’s agents of change in the bicycling community, from youth athletes and their supporters to community organizers and advocates. The Connect the Circuit and I Bike PHL awards recognize individuals whose work moves the needle to make biking safe & fun for everyone both inside and outside of the city limits.

Delaware County Council Members Christine Reuther and Elaine Paul Schaefer will accept the Connect the Circuit Award for their visionary leadership in the suburban county. The pair has prioritized land preservation and trail creation, and work tirelessly to secure funding while making progress on several fronts – no small feat in a county that has historically made commercial development the prime focus. 

Proposal for the 213-acre county park on the former Don Guanella School property. Image via Delaware County.

Highlights of their Council tenure to-date include acquiring the 213-acre Don Guanella School property in Marple Township, which will become the county’s largest park. The Master Plan for the new community park incorporates the diverse ecology of the site, now one of the largest forests in Delaware County, and aligns with the community’s needs and interests to embody the vision of “Community, in Nature.” Walking and mountain biking trails are a part of the potential vision, as well as other recreational facilities.

Schaefer and Reuther have also been instrumental in prioritizing the connection of the East Coast Greenway along Route 291. Thanks to their efforts, what began as a standard PennDOT drainage improvement project along the route 291 corridor in Ridley Township evolved into the development of a critical link in the growing Circuit Trails network, the East Coast Greenway and the September 11th National Memorial Trail. The current Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) study will identify safety improvements that also positively impact economic development opportunities. Possible improvements include traffic calming elements and more bicycle and pedestrian facilities. (At the 2023 Vision Zero Conference, the panel discussion about this project was one of the best attended sessions.) 

Elaine Paul Schaefer, Christine Reuther, and DVRPC’s Executive Director, Barry Seymour, spoke at a press conference about the TCDI project in late 2022.

The Annual Gala & Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 5:30 to 9:00pm at The Ridgeland Mansion in West Fairmount Park. For tickets & more information, visit

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