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Friends of Connemara cut ribbon for new park shuttle

Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara and other donors bought a six passenger, handicapped-accessible shuttle to serve park guests. Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara and other donors bought a six passenger, handicapped-accessible shuttle to serve park guests.

The Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, local partners, and park staff cut a ceremonial ribbon  on Tuesday to celebrate the Friends’ donation of an accessible visitor shuttle.

The shuttle improves ongoing efforts to provide visitor access, which was impacted by the August 2022 failure of the historic Front Lake dam.
When the dam eroded, it washed away part of the park’s shuttle route, which was served by a golf cart. The park had to map out a new shuttle route via public roads, where golf carts are not permitted.  

The Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara provided emergency funding last year for a street legal visitor shuttle. For these efforts and for ongoing and outstanding park support, the Friends received the 2023 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.  

The Friends then raised $80,000 in six months to buy the accessible visitor shuttle. Numerous partners helped, including the Village of Flat Rock, the Community Foundation of Henderson County, the Perry N. Rudnick Fund and the Hunter Hometown Foundation. 

“Carl Sandburg once said, ‘I see great days ahead. Great days possible to men and women of will and vision.’ The will and vision of the Friends and other partners in donating this shuttle has significantly improved access for visitors of all ages and abilities,” said Superintendent Polly Angelakis. “We are grateful for their support.”  

The six passenger/two wheelchair shuttle will operate 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from  and will continue to serve visitors after the dam is repaired.