On March 9, 2020 Bill Donels, a longtime member of the Springfield Bicycle Club, died quietly at his home. At his passing the Club lost a valued member and friend, and the cycling community lost a tireless and effective advocate.
During his career at Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) he served as the Trails Program Manager, and was instrumental in the development of 70 miles of greenways and trails at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek site. After retirement in 2002 he continued his work with the development of trails and greenways in Springfield and Sangamon County and worked with the appropriate agencies in the development of long range plans for trails, streets and other cycling opportunities. He was effective in the development of plans and implementation of the trails around Springfield, most recently the extension of the Sangamon Valley Trail. He served on the Springfield Bicycle Advisory Committee, and served as its chair; he directed the efforts that succeeded in the city receiving national recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.
He was an avid rider and early member of the Club, which he served as a board member and as legislative liaison, keeping the club informed of developments and conveying to public agencies the concerns of club cyclists. In 2009 he received the Club’s No Bell Award, our highest honor.
As we approach the anniversary of his death, the Springfield Bicycle Club, in association with the Bicycle Advisory Council, seeks to honor him with a memorial along one of the trails that were so important to him. We are seeking $2000 for a bench and installation that will bear his name. We hope you will be able to help to honor a man so important to Springfield cycling.