Oregon City school wins “Riding for Focus” grant from Specialized Foundation

A middle school student from Springwater Environmental Sciences School displays work for a unit on the Oregon Timber Trail.
(Photo: Gabriel Tiller, OTT)

A school in Oregon City will be rolling on a new fleet of Specialized bicycles next year. The bikes will help them delve further into the natural world.

The Springwater Environmental Sciences School, a K-8 public charter based in a rural area near streams and woods, was one of 37 schools across the country (and the only one in Oregon) awarded a “Riding for Focus” grant by the Specialized Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the global bike company. The grants aim to fund programs where bicycles are integrated into the school’s physical education curriculum.

The students at Springwater caught the cycling bug from an unlikely source: The Oregon Timber Trail, the 668-mile (mostly) off-road trail that spans the entire state from California to the Columbia River. Last summer the school partnered with the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance and used the trail as a vehicle to study the rich geology and history it passes through.


Students and school staff see tons of potential for making bicycles part of their daily approach to learning. Here’s more from Springwater’s winning application video:

Along with the fleet of bikes, the school will gain access to the Riding for Focus curriculum, a starter maintenance kit, and new helmets.

Next month, teachers from the school will attend a training at Specialized headquarters in Morgan Hill, California. The bikes are set to be delivered to a local shop for assembly in August and the program will be in place for Springwater’s middle school students by September.

Congratulations! We can’t wait to see what comes of this (we hear the school plans to build an Oregon Timber Trail-themed pump track)!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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6 years ago

Please, folks, realize that just because a company is big doesn’t mean they’re bad–Specialized has spent tons of money on cycling community projects all over the US of all kinds. Support them when you can, please! Not now and never have been a Specialized employee.

Toby Keith
Toby Keith
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Sure, but haven’t they also sued the pants off just about everybody? Would be nice to find this kind of money from somebody else.

6 years ago

This is great. Learning to ride and maintain bikes may be the most valuable thing these or any kids can learn the entire time they are in school.

Gabriel Amadeus Tiller

So happy for the school and the students! They’re making an already great program even better.