The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Training Local Equine Land Conservation Advocates

Grant Information
Categories Environment
Location United States
Cycle Year 2010
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Equine Land Conservation Resource
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Deb Balliet
Phone (859) 455-8383
4037 Iron Works Parkway
Suite 120
Additional Information
Used for The funds will be used for curriculum development. Master Trainers will be educated on community land use planning to train local volunteers and prepare them to become active participants in local land and trail conservation for horse-related activity.
Benefits Across this country, we are losing 2,190,000 acres of farm, forest and open lands a year (USDA figures). Equestrian access to trails on public and private lands is continually being challenged. Conserving land for horse-related activity preserves quality of life (through human health benefits, open space and scenic viewsheds) as well as having a positive economic impact.
Proposal Description In 2011, ELCR will embark upon the next step in our Strategic Plan, to develop an education & consulting program. We will begin a curriculum development project which will be the basis for a nationwide “train the trainer” program focusing on the issues above with the ultimate goal of placing an equine land conservation expert in every state and in the leadership of trail, breed and discipline organizations across the nation.

ELCR will start with its 144 Conservation Partner organizations, training their leaders to act in their own communities and train others to do the same. Many of these are national organizations with local chapters. The “Master Educators” will, in turn, educate their chapters and affiliate organizations about how to ensure places and spaces for horse-related activities in their home communities, becoming advocates for the increased economic, health and property values that horses bring. The final outcome of the program will be well-trained advocates in every community who can use the passion they already have for their particular breed, discipline or trail group and their passion for their community and riding spaces to have a positive and lasting impact in their towns, counties and states.

ELCR has developed the knowledge and networks to assist equestrians and the equine industry in protecting their future. Without understanding, knowledge and action by horsemen to protect our farms, recreation, training & competition spaces, trails and hay fields; our equine hobby, sport and industry are at risk. At ELCR, we resist the idea that only rural dwellers and/or people of wealth will have the opportunity to experience the joy, exhilaration, physicality and occasional heartbreak of riding, driving, training, racing, competing, and loving a horse. The horse and human interaction, at every level, should be possible in every city and town of this country.

In addition to the unique bond between horse and human, horse land contributes positively to local economics. Horses bring small business and industry (local tack shops, farriers, equine veterinarians, boarding stables, riding and competition lessons, and equestrian tourism just to name a few). The open space and hay required for horse keeping is also beneficial to the local agricultural community.

ELCR’s primary focus is to provide the education, through information, resources and networking that are essential for success in protecting land and maintaining access for horses and equestrians. ELCR provides information, resources and networking opportunities for equestrians on the following topics: Farmland Protection, Community Land Use Planning, Equine Economic Development, Land Stewardship/Best Management Practices, Trail Access, and Liability Issues.

From our on-the-ground successes, we know that all land is conserved at the local level. There are many tools for land conservation, and an understanding of community land use planning will evolved into one of the most vital tools. Equestrians and horse enthusiasts must be made aware of the issue and educated in the full range of solutions to become horse land advocates.

Our Request
Our request is for operating support for $5,000 to produce and disseminate curriculum to train volunteers from every state, through breed, discipline and trail organizations. We have obtained the funds necessary to craft the curriculum. We are seeking support for the electronic, classroom and paper dissemination of curriculum materials and the costs of recruiting volunteers.

Our goal is for ELCR to prepare equestrians before their riding, racing, competing, foaling or hay lands are threatened. Equestrians have a greater opportunity for success if they are prepared in advance to address these issues from a base of knowledge.