Dorchester County middle and high school students and their families will be biking the Underground Railroad Byway on May 22 as part of the Harriet’s Journey Home project to raise money for a new sculpture to be placed at the Dorchester County Courthouse.
The Biking the UGRR Byway Youth Ride, organized by Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation (AGCDC), is open to all 5th-12th grade students and their families. The ride will start at the Cambridge South Dorchester High School parking lot and conclude at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center & State Park in Church Creek. Participants will ride their bikes approximately nine miles to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Church Creek, with activities at rest stops along the route.
“This non-competitive event is intended to engage local youth and foster in them an appreciation for Dorchester County history and heritage,” said Adrian Holmes, founder and president of AGCDC. “We see this program as a positive way to channel energy of young people in the community while giving them a purpose, such as raising money to support the Harriet Tubman sculpture planned for the Dorchester Courthouse lawn.”
Along the 8.84-mile route, participants will make three stops, where they will have the opportunity tour the Stanley Institute, hear about local farming at Emily’s Produce and learn local underground railroad history in Church Creek.
The ride will conclude at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, where participants will be able to take an escorted tour inside the Visitor Center and participate in activity stations. The stations will include an archaeologist presentation and artifacts from the recent discovery of Harriet Tubman’s childhood home, Art Up Your Bike activities, Habitat for Humanity (vision board), WHCP Community Radio, Parks and Recreation (vision board and Moving Dorchester Forward.
The Harriet’s Journey Home project has received widespread support from a broad cross-section of the Dorchester County community and continues to build connections for the local community – and for the thousands of visitors who come to Maryland to experience the most powerful Underground Railroad storytelling destination in the world. This arm of the project – Biking the UGRR Byway – has been coordinated by a diverse committee that includes representatives from the Cambridge Police Department, Maryland State Highway Authority, Dorchester County Government, Dorchester Tourism, City of Cambridge Government, Heirloom Athletics, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, Dorchester County Public Schools and Cambridge Association of Neighborhoods.
Inspired by the traveling sculpture that graced the Dorchester County Courthouse entrance in Fall 2020, a grassroots movement arose to commission a permanent sculpture to honor Harriet Tubman in the community that was her home. The group seeks to raise $250,000 to commission, purchase and permanently install a bronze statue of Harriet Tubman at the Dorchester County Courthouse. Their fundraising effort was launched in December and is continuing with events like the youth bike ride.
Pre-registration for the bike ride is required, and the event will be limited to the first 30 participants to sign up. The registration fee is $20 a rider. Due to the generosity of our community, scholarships are available for 30 students! The rain date is May 23. More information about the Bike the Byway Youth Ride and how to register is available online: https://www.bikesignup.com/biketheugrr
For more information about Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation or how to support the fundraising efforts for the sculpture, visit https://alphagenesiscdc.org/