By Jennis Watson, Membership and Development Manager
The Trail Conference will soon unveil a Limited Use/Limited Access (LULA) elevator at the new headquarters at Darlington Schoolhouse for the benefit of visitors with mobility-related disabilities. The project has been made possible through grants from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the William Froelich Foundation.
In 2006, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation awarded the Trail Conference funds to support the development and construction of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)-accessible summit trail at Bear Mountain State Park in New York. Completed in 2011, this 1.3-mile Appalachian Trail loop includes a 0.4-mile section of accessible walkway
Nature lovers of all abilities now have the opportunity to experience a wooded trail to a majestic viewpoint that was previously accessible only by foot. The path was enthusiastically welcomed by trail lovers of all levels of ability and was featured on the ABC news program, Good Morning America.
When the Trail Conference embarked upon its headquarters campaign in 2012, special attention was paid to accessibility issues in the historic two-story building. The construction plan intentionally called for the installation of a LULA elevator, though this feature was not required by the local building code.
In addition to the elevator, the parking lot, walkways and entrance to the schoolhouse are all ADA accessible, allowing individuals to easily enter the first floor of the building. The elevator will provide access to the second floor for individuals who require a mobility accommodation.
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has pledged $12,500 toward the completion of the elevator project. This gift has been matched 100% by the William Froelich Foundation for a total of $25,000. These funds will help pay for the LULA elevator cab and its electrical connections, doors, sheetrock, and concrete pit sump pump.
To reach the $50,000 needed to fully install the LULA elevator, the William Froelich Foundation has further pledged a 100% match of up to $12,500 for additional donations pledged toward the project. The Trail Conference has established a fund to accept the final $12,500 in donations needed to trigger the second half of this matching pledge.
To donate to the LULA Elevator fund and help us complete this project, please call the Trail Conference office at 201-512-9348.