The Baldwin County Trailblazers is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization founded by Teko Wiseman in 1995 with the goal of creating a pedestrian and bike friendly community. “Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of all Baldwin Countians by promoting, funding, and constructing a countywide network of multi-use trails connecting community to community, town to country, and people to people, and also to educate its citizens about the advantages and safe use of non-motorized transportation facilities to promote healthy lifestyles.” To this end, we host community outreach programs to raise awareness of our efforts, we raise money, and we write grants in order to fund construction of trails in the county.
• 1998- First annual meeting held at U.S. Sports Academy showcases recreational trail system in Florida.
• 2000- Trailblazers host first annual “Walk Your Child to School Day” for Spanish Fort, Daphne, and Fairhope schools. 3,000 participants walk in a safety survey of home-to-school routes. Findings reported to Baldwin County Schools and ALDOT.
• 2001- Trailblazers host second “Walk Your Child to School Day”.
• 2001- Wilbur Smith Associates (national trail design and engineering firm) helps host open house at Fairhope Civic Center to showcase yearlong feasibility study of EST.
• 2001- Trailblazers co-host statewide ADECA grant writing workshop with the City of Fairhope.
• 2002- Trailblazers host nationally recognized Smart Growth planner, Dan Burden at Faulkner State Community College in Fairhope to conduct his Walkable Communities presentation; Co-hosts: Baldwin County Association of Realtors, Homebuilders Association of Baldwin County, cities of Gulf Shores and Fairhope.
• 2003- Trailblazers host “Smart Growth” presentation by nationally celebrated urban planner Jeff Speck at Fairhope’s Faulkner State Community College.
• 2005- Baldwin County Commission approves posting Trailblazer’s “Share the Road” signs on county roads favored by cyclists.
• 2007- “Walkable Communities” Dan Burden returns to deliver nine messages in two days. Including power point presentations and walking audits in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Foley, Bay Minette, Robertsdale, and downtown Mobile.
• 2009- Liz Smith-Incer from the National Parks-Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance facilitates a board of directors brainstorming retreat at the Weeks Bay Foundation Training Center.
• 2010- Trailblazers partner with BayArt to host an art competition between local youths to create art for kiosk panels along the Eastern Shore Trail. Winning art panels displayed at Windmill Market in Fairhope before trail installation.
• 2012- Trailblazers partner with Weeks Bay Foundation to host a 1 mile Fun Run on the newly constructed Weeks Bay segment of EST.
• 2012- Trailblazers attend and set up display at the annual Alabama Trails Conference at Jacksonville State University.
• 1998- Trailblazers start fundraising project selling inscribed brick pavers to match Sybil Smith $25,000 challenge grant for “Daphne Greenway”.
• 1999- First “Big Band Swing Night” fundraising dance at Fairhope Civic Center on Nov 12
• 2000- Second “Big Band Dance” on Nov 10 with volunteer Randy Davis band at Fairhope Civic Center
• 2001- First annual Pelican Point Triathlon on June 30, organized by Jeff and Erica Pollack attracts 320 athletes.
• 2002- Second Pelican Point Triathlon on June 8 led by founders Jeff and Erika Pollock attracts 303 athletes.
• 2003- Third Pelican Point Triathlon on May 31
• 2004- Grandman Triathlon on June 19. Jeff and Erica Pollack pass Grandman responsibilities to Mobile Bay Watch.
• 2005- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Watch,/Mobile Baykeeper to host Grandman Triathlon on June 18.
• 2006- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper to host Grandman Triathlon on June 3.
• 2007- Group stages first “Fairways to Trailways” benefit golf tournament at Grand Hotel’s Lakewood Golf course on March 31.
• 2007- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper to host Grandman Triathlon on June 2.
• 2008- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper for Grandman Triathlon on May 31.
• 2009- Trailblazers partner with the Foley Lions Club to host first Tour de Foley bike ride on Oct 24.
• 2009- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper for Grandman Triathlon on May 30.
• 2010- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper for Grandman Triathlon on June 5.
• 2010- Trailblazers partner with Foley Lions Club to host Tour de Foley bike ride on October 23.
• 2011- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper for Grandman Triathlon.
• 2011- Trailblazers partner with Foley Lions Club for Tour de Foley bike ride on Oct 15.
• 2012- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper to host Grandman Triathlon.
• 2012- Trailblazers partner with Foley Lions Club to host Tour de Foley, Oct 13.
• 2013- Trailblazers partner with Mobile Bay Keeper to host Grandman Triathlon on June 1.
• 1998- Congressman Sonny Callahan earmarks $1,016,250 “federal demonstration project funds” for what would later become known as the Eastern Shore Trail (EST) Monies are to be distributed over 5 years with a $203,250 match over 5 years.
• 1998- ALDOT okays $200,000 ISTEA grant for Main Street trail in Old Towne Daphne with a $50,000 match by the city of Daphne.
• 1999- Fairhope is awarded a $200,000 ISTEA grant for US 98 with a 20% $50,000 local match, $10,000 covered by Trailblazer donation to city. US 98 from Gayfer Court to Middle Street, both sides of US 98.
• 1999- Fairhope is awarded ADECA grant of $100,000 for Section Street with a $25,000 match from the city. (Section Street from CR 104 to Gayfer Avenue)
• 2001- EST Gator Alley (Interstate 10 underpass) connecting Daphne and Spanish Fort is funded with $198,000 TE grant, 20% match by Daphne.
• 2002- Congressman Sonny Callahan delivers a $1,486,961 grant for Montrose segment of EST. Baldwin County Commission agrees to administer grant. No match required.
• 2005- Jill Hall Trail (EST, Scenic 98 from Fairhope to Grand Hotel) asphalt repair project begins, funded with $100,000 from ADECA and $20,000 from the Trailblazers.
• 2006- Trailblazers plant 50 crepe myrtles along the Point Clear segment of the EST, and various shrubs along the Montrose trail, funded by Alabama Power Company’s “Plant a Tree in Alabama” grant for $1,750.
• 2006- Trailblazers and city of Spanish Fort are awarded TE grant of $278,640 local match $69,660 to connect Gator Alley in Daphne US 98 to US 31 up to Spanish Fort Elementary’s School Street. -1.5 miles
• 2007- EST Scenic 98 from Grand Hotel to CR 32 is funded with $539,452 TE grant, 20% match. -1 mile
• 2008- EST Scenic 98 from Mullet Point to CR 13 is funded with $313,820 TE funds with county match of $28,450, Trailblazer match $50,000. -2.25 miles
• 2008- Group receives $20,000 grant from ADECA to fund printing brochures and nine kiosks along the trail designed by landscape architect Will Mastin. $3,200 match from Trailblazers
• 2008- EST Scenic 98 from AL 181 to Weeks Bay Education Resource Center is funded with TE grant $110,060 with local match of $27,515. - .85 mile asphalt trail.
• 2009- Trailblazers and City of Daphne awarded “Safe Routes to School” ALDOT sidewalk grant for CR 13 in front of Daphne Middle School and Daphne Elementary School for $148,250.