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City Hike


FAQ

 
Registration

How much does it cost to join?

A one-time registration donation of $35 comes with a Sierra Club membership. A $50 registration donation also gets you a City Hike T-shirt. Fundraising is optional, and you can set up a fundraising page if you’d like to make a bigger impact and earn prizes.

What comes with my registration?

With your $35 ticket, you’ll receive a membership to Sierra Club, access to the City Hike app for a guided experience as you hike, and an invitation to the City Hike Facebook Group for community support. You’ll also be funding national and local initiatives, like protecting the wildlife and wild places we love, advancing climate solutions, and making the outdoors accessible for all, and more. A $50 ticket also gets you a City Hike T-shirt.

What are the terms and conditions to participate?

To sign up for this event, you must be at least 18 years of age or have a parent or guardian sign up for you. Everyone that participates must agree to our Acknowledgement, Assumptions of Risks, Release & Indemnity, and Binding Arbitration Agreement and Volunteer Fundraiser Agreement.

CITY HIKE: NATIONAL

Where does City Hike take place?

Wherever you are! We encourage you to hike as many miles as you can during City Hike, September 23 – October 10, and discover your community and all the nature around it.

Where does the money go?

The money will support many of Sierra Club’s national and local initiatives like retiring coal plants, moving away from fossil fuels, and transitioning to clean energy, like solar and wind. Read more about the Sierra Club’s mission.

CITY HIKE: BOSTON

Where does City Hike Boston take place?

City Hike: Boston will hike through the East Boston starting at Belle Isle Marsh. When you register, you’ll receive access to the Glide app to give you a guided experience, as well as the official route on AllTrails.

Hiking Boston’s East Boston neighborhoods, fondly known as Eastie, you will discover and see, first-hand, the complexities that urban environs experience, full circle. Eastie is a magical place that was annexed by Boston in the mid-1800s. Its present-day imprint, created in the 1940s, is the result of connecting five inner harbor islands with land fill. It was, since its start, the hub of immigration for Boston and nearby areas. It was Boston’s “Ellis Island’ of sorts. The East Boston Immigration Station, in the East Boston Shipyard, provided immigration services in Boston from 1920 to 1954. Today, East Boston is still a home for immigrants from all over the world.

Yet, along with this rich heritage comes injustice, as often poor, immigrant, and black and brown communities end up housing much of the dirty infrastructure that powers the rest of the state. Eastie houses our international airport and serves as an entrance for much of the commerce (including the diesel shipping, trucking and rail) that supplies all of us across Massachusetts with food and goods.

Start your 4.5-mile hike at Bell Island Marsh Reservation, the first of many public parks and outdoor spaces you will visit. As you go from one point-of-interest to another, you will learn about the local community, environmental justice, climate change, and the rich history of activism here in Eastie. You will see how persistently the community prioritizes their right to access local open green space, healthy air, and water.

Throughout your hike you will experience the challenges this community has overcome, as greedy, thoughtless outsiders pushed to take away the history, economy, natural resources and culture of this charming, hard-working, diverse neighborhood. The threats of public-private partnerships, historically and even today, burden the community. Mass Port’s Logan Airport and facilities development , for example, impacts the area with noise and air pollution, and thoughtless destruction. These inequities have produced a culture of unity and activism. History shows a mix of wins and losses. Recently, residents are pushing back on developers advocating ‘green gentrification’ – undermining affordable housing and replacing long-term residents.

Despite these continual threats from outside forces, Eastie residents have worked to improve the coastal habitats of bird species like owls, osprey, salt marsh sparrow and others; protect marine life, flora, and fauna; and restore wetlands and natural areas to create flood control, better water quality, and rich recreational spaces where we can all connect with the natural world. This is Eastie. A force to reckon with when it comes to fighting for what is right for our environment and communities.

How do I get to the starting point?

Public transit: Take the Blue Line to Suffolk Downs T stop and walk about 1000 feet Northeast to Belle Isle Marsh.

Driving: You can park at the Suffolk Downs MBTA parking lot here for a fee.

The first stop on the hike is Belle Isle Marsh which is a 10 minute walk north of the Suffolk Downs Station, it also has its own free parking lot, and we suggest that hikers who are driving park at the Belle Isle Marsh lot and drive from this first POI to the parking lot at Suffolk downs to continue the hike. You may also leave your car at Belle Isle Marsh as long as you leave before sundown when the lot closes.

You can return via the MBTA Blue Line at the end of the hike from the Maverick stock.

Note: the hike ends at a different location than where it starts. The end location is close to the Clipper Ship Apartments in East Boston, and you can take the Blue Line from Maverick back to Suffolk Downs (an easy 10-minute ride). The T fare is $2.40 and you can purchase a ticket at the station.

How do I pay for the bus or T rides?

The simplest way to pay for your bus or T ride is to use a Charlie Card or Charlie Ticket. Charlie Cards are best for frequent subway and bus riders, and are available at select locations. The card itself is free, but you will need to load value onto it before using it. Charlie Tickets are great for visitors to Boston who will only need to use public transit for a limited time. You can purchase single-use, daily, weekly, or monthly passes. A full summary of fares, including reduced fares, can be found on the MBTA’s website.

How long will the hike take?

The hike is about 6.5 miles, and we estimate it will take 5-6 hours total. You may choose to spend more or less time at certain points along the route, depending on your interests and availability. The hike can be done across multiple days.

When do I do my hike?

You can complete your hike anytime between September 23-October 10. You can do it all in one day or split it up amongst multiple days.

Will there be other people doing the hike while I am?

We made the decision to spread the event out over the course of several weeks for both your convenience and safety with Covid-19. While we can’t predict when people will choose to do their hike, we do recommend that you follow CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19.

Keep in mind that Boston is a city, and there will be other people at each location and along the route who may not be doing the hike.

Can I track my miles?

You can use your own tracking device, like Strava, a Fitbit, or any app of your choosing, and report back on our community Facebook group. You can keep track the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Or if you set-up a fundraising page, you’ll have access to our endurance tracker. The endurance tracker can sync up with Strava. We’re excited to see the total number of miles at the end of the City Hike!

Where does the money go?

The money will support many of Sierra Club’s national and local initiatives like protecting open spaces, reducing plastics and toxic pollution, and transitioning to clean energy, like solar and wind. A portion of the proceeds from City Hike: Boston will go to the Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter as well as to Eastie Farms (an urban farm you will visit on your hike.) Read more about the Sierra Club’s mission.

CITY HIKE: Los Angeles

Where does City Hike Los Angeles take place?

Our 4-mile route starts at LA’s Union Station and will take you on a walk which raises questions about our urban environment. You’ll be challenged to examine the tension between LA’s famous freeways and the realities of transportation. LA’s newest urban park will welcome you and will prompt you to reflect on how we can connect green space to communities. Moving through Grand Park at the civic center of LA, you may consider how decisions are made regarding our water, electricity and other key services. We’ll visit important cultural landmarks to learn about the people who have shaped the city and who the city has been shaped for. At Central Market, we’ll examine first-hand sustainable food options to keep us energized.

You can walk the City Hike: LA route with the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter on Sunday, September 25, Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 9. Learn more here.

We also encourage you to log additional miles during the City Hike event period on your favorite trails throughout Los Angeles.

How long will the hike take?

The complete route is approximately 4 miles, and depending on your walking speed, should take you about 2+ hours with stops.

Can I track my miles?

You can use your own tracking device, like Strava, a Fitbit, or any app of your choosing, and report back on our community Facebook group. You can keep track the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Or if you set-up a fundraising page, you’ll have access to our endurance tracker. The endurance tracker can sync up with Strava. We’re excited to see the total number of miles at the end of the City Hike!

Where does the money go?

The money will support Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter.

The chapter has worked to stop expansion of freeways, including advocating with LA Metro to block the expansion of the 710 (successful this spring!) and change their overall policy from ‘adding more lanes’ to ‘investing in alternatives to cars’. While new freeway construction is hopefully becoming a thing of the past, we are starting to think about how to convert existing freeways to better uses. We are working hard to push the city of LA to implement a Mobility Plan to make pedestrians safer and busses more efficient.

We advocate heavily for passenger rail construction and expansion. We have strongly supported the CA High Speed Rail project which will connect Union Station in Los Angeles to San Francisco in less time than it takes to fly — this is under construction now. We have also helped defend the West Santa Ana Branch line, a passenger rail line from northern Orange County to Union Station — this was going to be delayed by 10 years but we succeeded in keeping it on track.

Our Urban Parks committee regularly tracks urban parks, and we are actively trying to stop two private aerial tramways from being built in our parks — we defend parks as public, passive natural space and not amusement parks.

We have lobbied LA’s Dept of Water & Power to phase out all of its coal-fired electricity, and now we are pushing them to phase out gas generation and prevent them from burning hydrogen which has even worse local air pollution issues than gas.

We work closely with LADWP to ensure water access is equitable and clean, and that our water comes from responsible projects and not destructive ones.

Fundraising

How do I create a fundraising page?

You can create a fundraising page here. It’s super easy and just takes a few minutes! Provide some info, use our template to customize your page and let people know why you are raising funds, and that’s it! Your page is ready to share and make a big impact for our planet.

I've never raised money before, where do I start??

How do you raise money? It’s simple — you ask. You raise money when you ask for it, and you don’t when you don’t. And because you’re taking on the City Hike challenge, you have the perfect reason to ask your friends and family to support you as you take your hike, and to support Sierra Club's mission to protect our planet.

Everyone is affected by the work that Sierra Club does. It’s the clean air we breathe, the water we drink, the beauty of the nature and wildlife that surround us. It’s the effects of climate change we see every day, with more extreme weather events and wildfires.

When you talk to your family and friends about City Hike, make it personal. What or who are you hiking for?
I’m hiking for cleaner water
I’m hiking for my kids’ future
I’m hiking for breathable air
I’m hiking for less wildfires
I’m hiking for equal access to nature
I’m hiking to protect the wilderness I love

Visit our fundraising page for lots of tools you can use, including graphics you can post on social media, and suggested messages if you don’t know what to say. If you need additional help, just email us team.sierra@sierraclub.org, and someone from our team will set-up a time to help you!

Who is the Sierra Club?

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. What makes us unique is that we have the grassroots power to create change, with millions of members and supporters, 64 state and regional chapters, and over 400 local groups.

We amplify the power of millions of members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.