Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Hundreds of people arrived at the Coppell Nature Park ready to run on Dec. 1. The Deck the Trails an Off Road Challenge offered young and old alike the opportunity of competing in a three mile trail race while raising funds.
“We are raising money for the Friends of Coppell Nature Park (FCNP) to build an environmental education center,” said Bill Sundermann, President of FCNP. “All the proceeds from our sponsors today are going towards building an environmental education center at the Nature Park. It will be used by the school district and the City for environmental education and nature study.
“The event also raises awareness about the park while people are having fun. We have 700 registered runners. With volunteers and spectators, we are expecting 800 people today. We would like people to come out and enjoy the park.”
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were not the only celebrities who attended the event in support of the runners. Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt also showed her support.
“This event highlights the nature park and the trails,” Hunt said. “It is gorgeous back there. People need to see it. They should walk back there and enjoy it.
“This event is also a fundraiser for future projects. The planned nature center will have classrooms as well as meeting rooms, and it will highlight the entrance of the nature park. It is a joint effort between the City, the school district and the Friends of the Nature Park. The City donated the land, and the school district donated some money. The Friends of the Nature Park are doing a lot of the development work and are working with the architects and are raising additional money to make it come to fruition. It is all very cool.”
A runner for 16 years, Eddie Castillo, welcomed the challenge of a trail run.
“We came out to have fun at a Christmas race,” Castillo said. “This one is a bit different, because it is a trail race. It is a lot harder to gage your distance when you are running trails. I am going to do the best that I can. I may not win, but I will have a good time.”