Six groups of horse enthusiasts received a combined $15,000 from the American Quarter Horse Association [AQHA] to establish or repair riding trails.
The Amarillo, Texas-based association awarded the grants through its Stewards for Trails, Education & Partnerships [STEP] program, which was created to encourage stewardship and conservation of riding trails.
This year’s awardees include:
* Back Country Horsemen of Northeast Georgia of Clayton, Georgia – $1,325
* Buckeye Horse Park Association of Canfield, Ohio – $2,910
* Friends of Goodwin Forest of Hampton, Connecticut – $1,950
* Horseshoe Trail Club of Duluth, Minnesota – $4,500
* Maricopa Trail & Park Foundation of Phoenix – $1,000
* Woods Ferry Horse Park Association of Rock Hill, South Carolina – $3,500
Groups receiving this year’s funds plan to use the money in a variety of ways, including to clear brush from trails, restore trail networks, increase signage, improve facilities, restore trail soil and create a conservation internship program.
Officials at AQHA awards money to groups and organizations they feel will have the most impact toward community involvement and trail sustainability. The overall goal of STEP is to promote equestrian involvement in the restoration, repair and establishment of trails. It also seeks to unify riders and other trail users to build and strengthen relationships between the local horse enthusiasts, forest service and other land managers for long-term stewardship of trails.
For more details, visit aqha.com/step.