Apply for Trail Conservation Funding

Horse enthusiasts are encouraged to volunteer their time to preserve trails and apply for trail conservation funding by August 1.

American Quarter Horse Association

STEP is designed to encourage good stewardship and conservation of recreational riding trails.

Grant applications for Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships are due August 1. STEP, a program of the American Quarter Horse Association, is designed to encourage good stewardship and conservation of recreational riding trails.

The program’s mission is to promote equestrian involvement in the restoration, repair and establishment of trails. STEP hopes to unify horseback riders and other trail users in an effort to build and strengthen relationships between local equestrian communities, the forest service and other land managers for the long-term stewardship of trails.

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

Here’s how some STEP grant reciepents used their funding:

  • The friends of Kings Mountain State Park in Gaffney, South Carolina, were granted $6,000 to build, manage and maintain an additional 17 miles of trails in the park.
  • The Back Country Horsemen of Alabama in Warrior, Alabama, received a grant of $5,000 to build five bridges for safe crossings in Rickwood Caverns State Park.
  • The Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado received a grant of $2,000 to construct 1,700 feet of new trail and five climbing turns in Cheyenne Maintain State Park, which is one of the newest parks in Colorado and the only state park in El Paso County.

Groups or individuals can organize and complete trail conservation projects on any public and/or private land. Simply coordinate with your trail’s land manager, register your project with AQHA and then head to the trails.

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.

Applications must be received by AQHA on or before August 1 to be considered for funding. Download a printable application.

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

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