Film festival to help fund handicap-accessible bridges in Elizabethtown
A group in Elizabethtown is on a mission to make parks accessible to everyone by building a bridge to nature.
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the heart of Elizabethtown, Freeman Lake provides a moment of zen. The nearly five miles of trails provide a taste of nature on a clear day.
"The activity in the park has just taken off," said Matt Deneen, a member of Greenspace. The Hardin County organization is dedicated to developing the Greenbelt Trail System, 25 miles of paths surrounding Elizabethtown.
"We want people to know that Elizabethtown is your recreational destination," said Deneen.
The group has spent the last two summers renovating the trails with accessibility for all at the heart of the project.
"Over the last few years we have really been trying to make our trail accessible for those who might be in wheelchairs of all ages," said Deneen.
Three years ago, we first met up with Deneen who was working on installing a handicap accessible canoe and kayak dock. That project has become a vital part of the community not far from Fort Knox. "We have a lot of wounded warriors who come home and this again gives those folks the opportunity to participate with their families in outdoor activities at the park," said Deneen.
Now three new bridges will be the last piece of the puzzle: The Bridge to Nature project. "They are two feet wide and 60 feet long concrete-based bridges and they're all ADA compliant," said Deneen.
The group is hosting a fundraiser for the project, a film festival just in time for Earth Day.
"Elizabethtown has an environmental story that it wants to tell and anytime we can be a part of that and help that story get out and also move it forward is a really good opportunity," said Scott Duncan with Jim Beam, a sponsor of the festival.
The Wild and Scenic Film Festival started in California, but is now held around the country to promote conservation and preservation.
"It's not your typical sit and watch a plant grow. It's more like mountain biking, kayaking through British Columbia," said Deneen.
The Elizabethtown festival will feature eight films, as well as a one-hour reception before the feature presentation. Proceeds will go toward the bridges project. So far they've raised half of the $50,000 needed.
"You want to make sure that everyone in your community feels welcome and that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the outdoor activities," said Deneen.
The festival begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Historic State Theater in downtown Elizabethtown. Tickets can be purchased at the box office for $20.
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