A new venue in the city of Eliza­beth­town is in the works.

Elizabethtown city coun­cil­man and Green­­space Board of Direc­­­tors member Matt Deneen said he anticipates the Emerald Cathedral Amphitheater, which can be found along the Freeman Lake Greenbelt trail, to be completed in the spring.

Deneen said the area initially was used as an amphitheater in the 1970’s, used by boy scouts and girl scouts. He said they’ve taken that concept and cultivated it.

“All the benches had rotted away and we’ve brought it back to life and expanded,” he said.

The amphitheater, which Green­space, the city and several other community members and organizations are supporting through time and effort, will seat 300 to 400 people and still have room to grow, he said.

Right now, Deneen said plans are for the area to be used as a multi-purpose facility.

“We’ve got a lot of great things planned going forward,” he said, mentioning the opportunity for concerts, plays and more. One idea in particular Deneen mentioned was a Concert in the Cathedral series sponsored by Green­space.

Deneen said he already has been asked if the location could be used as a wedding venue.

Deneen said the acoustics at the location already have been tested and are great.

Construction on the project began in late September prior to the announcement the Green­belt Trails in Eli­za­beth­town was formally be­ing added to the Kentucky Trail Town Program, designating Eli­za­beth­­town as Kentucky’s first Urban Trail Town. It stemmed from the creation of the switchback trail that now can be found in the heart of the Emerald Cathedral Amphitheater, which Greenspace received a $10,000 UPS Delivering on Inclusivity grant to create.

Deneen said people typically work on it three days a week. What time they are working on it typically is listed in advance on the Greenspace Facebook page for anyone interested in volunteering their time.

He said anyone is wel­come to volunteer, no matter their skill level.

“There’s something out here for anyone who wants to volunteer no matter your ability,” he said.

One of the many volunteers who already have donated several hours toward the project is Doug Frederick. He said it’s been rewarding to go out there and see all the people who come through and use the trails.

He said in working with the amphitheater he has a good feeling of doing something for the community in creating something the community is going to be able to use and use in a positive way.

“I think it will be a good venue for the community,” he said.

Deneen said there are numerous people to be thankful for in helping move this project along. He said it’s been a real community effort.

“It’s the perfect time of year to be thankful for all the volunteers and community support that have helped make this new venue a reality,” he said.

It’s interesting to note there used to be a limestone rock quarry in the same location, Deneen said. According to an information plaque at the site, which they eventually plan to clean up, the quarry was operated by J.C Patterson from 1912 to 1920. The creek furnished water for a steam-powered rock crusher, which was located there. The plaque says local farmers used the crushed limestone for their crops.

Although much of the rock now is covered with vegetation, evidence of it still can be seen.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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