Event to help fund bridge

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The second annual GreenFest is set.

The Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Ray Roberts Lake Greenbelt Park, recently announced the family-friendly event will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Greenbelt Park on FM455. All proceeds from the event will help preserve the Ray Roberts Lake Greenbelt. Specifically, organizers want the money to build a bridge across a ravine along the equestrian trail that was closed because of flood damage in 2010.

“This is our second run at it,” said Chris True, Texas Parks & Wildlife, park superintendent at Ray Roberts Lake Complex. “The first year [had] torrential rains that day. We’re really excited and feel like if we get good weather, we will have a lot of fun. We’re encouraging folks from North Texas to come out and experience some of the things they can do outdoors. We’ve got some great bands lined up. It should be just a great family event.”

Headlining the event on the main stage is Denton’s own Brave Combo, performing from 2 to 4 p.m. Other musical entertainment will be provided by Mi Son, Mi Son, Mi Son and AM Ramblers. The event’s master of ceremonies is Denton City Council member Dalton Gregory.

Other activities will include archery, rock climbing, kayaking, biking and geocaching. Bicycles will be provided for attendees to explore the Greenbelt, or people can bring their own. Demonstrations and other entertainment will include historians and artisans of the Cross Timbers eco-region, award-winning local storyteller Dalton Gregory, reptile exhibits, pony rides, a Backyard Bass competition and a kid-sized inflatable obstacle course and slide. Additionally, Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will be at the event with stunning birds of prey. Dogs are welcome, provided they remain on a leash at all times.

“We’re anxious to not only have an event that’s fun and family oriented, but also we want to try and raise some money as well,” True said.

The equestrian trail is currently closed between FM428 and FM455.

The plan is to move the trail out of the washout area and move it downstream about 200 feet. There is a narrow ravine about 60 feet wide that will need a bridge built across it.

“Last year we raised $7,000 at GreenFest and we retained that. This year we hope to raise even more and at the same time make people aware of this problem and the potential to solve it,” said Richard Rogers, chairman of the board for the Greenbelt Alliance. “The equestrian trail is a unique asset and provides a unique benefit to the economy. Aubrey is horse town USA. It’s important these people have a safe place to ride and that is what we are driving for to get the trail reopened.”

The event is organized by the Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County, Texas Parks & Wildlife and the City of Denton.

Tickets are $5 per person, if purchased in advance at www.friendsofthegreenbelt.org, or $7 per person if purchased at the event. Children under age 6 are free.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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