Lincoln residents run to raise money to improve Wilderness Park bridges

Runners hit the trails at Wilderness Park to raise money for the 10th annual Run for the Bridges fundraiser.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Saturday morning, Lincoln residents put on their running shoes and took to the trails this morning to raise money to protect bridges in Wilderness Park for the 10th annual Run for the Bridges fundraiser.

The yearly run was started as an effort to raise money to repair and protect bridges in the park.

“Bridges were being either broken, or in need of repair, or replacement, so we started this fundraising run and it turned into kind of an annual event,” organizer Rosina Paolini said.

Runners say that safe, secure bridges are essential to maintaining the trail system in Wilderness Park.

“It is very important to us that we make connections for our trails so they’re just not trails to nowhere,” says Dena Noe, who has run in the event several times in the past ten years.

Of course, raising money to build bridges was far from the only benefit for runners.

“I think more than anything in 2021, we are so excited to be here. So much was canceled in 2020,” Noe said. “Just to get to see people and smiles and excitement. I’m thrilled!”

Paolini says that with budget increases, two full-time employees specifically focused on improving Wilderness Park are now in the Lincoln Parks and Recreation department, the first time such employees have been in place since the 1990s.

This year, they have their sights set on repairing Hinterlands Bridge off of Old Cheney.

“It really builds community,” Paolini said. “We’re not only building bridges, we’re building community.”

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News