The AQHA’s Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships program offers grants to conserve and improve recreational riding trails. • Photo by Molly Montag.

AQHA Offers Grant Funds To Conserve Riding Trails

Applications are available for an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) grant program that conserves and improves recreational riding trails.

The mission of the Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships (STEP) program is designed to promote equestrian involvement in the restoration, repair and establishment of trails. It also aims to unify horseback riders and other trail users to build and strengthen relationships between local equestrian communities, the forest service and other land managers for the long-term stewardship of trails.

The AQHA encourages horse enthusiasts to volunteer their time and resources to trail maintenance and the development of public and private land. For STEP, this can include anything from clearing shrubs or branches on existing trails to developing new trails.

Each year, AQHA groups or individuals wanting to participate in the STEP program can organize and complete trail conservation projects on any public and/or private land. Simply coordinate with your trail’s land manager, submit your project to AQHA and then head to the trails.

Projects will be funded based on community involvement and sustainability of trail design. Applications must be received by AQHA on or before August 1 to be considered for funding.

Anyone who enjoys horseback riding on trails and wants to see these trails preserved for years to come is welcome to participate. Trail conservation projects are great for riding clubs, 4-H groups and youth organizations.

For more information on STEP or to apply for a grant, visit www.aqha.com/step.

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