The Highland Equestrian Conservancy will celebrate its 10th anniversary as the state’s first and only equestrian land and trail conservation resource on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Camp Wathana in Rose Township.
The event will include a special lunch, speaker, and silent auction to help raise funds to continue the conservancy, which was started in 2002 at the urging of the Highland Township Planning Commission.
The conservancy started with the mission of conserving and protecting natural resources while preserving the rural character and equestrian heritage of Highland Township. The conservancy promotes open spaces, interconnecting greenways and wildlife corridors that include multi-use trials and equestrian trails around new developments.
Sharon Greene, director of public relations for the conservancy, said former township planning director Eugene Beach initially pitched the idea of a conservancy and tasked the organization with a number of “homework assignments.”
Among the work was an economic study showing that about $4.5 million could be pumped into the economy through a conservancy.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” Greene said of the 10-year anniversary. “We have accomplished so much.”
In 2003, the conservancy partnered with Oakland County Parks and Recreation to create the 260-acre Highland Oaks Park, which includes more than two miles of equestrian trials — and more planned for 2013. The conservancy also partnered with local school districts to establish equestrian teams, building programs from about a dozen students in Milford to more than 1,000 across the state today, Greene said.
The anniversary event starts at 11:30 a.m. Admission is $10, or $5 with the purchase of a 2013 membership. For more information, visit www.highlandequestrians.org.
“I feel our organization is blessed for the community support we receive,” Greene said. “We couldn’t do this without their support.”