Volunteers help equestrians get a leg up on trail maintenance at athletic complex


March 22, 2002|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

UNDER AN overcast sky early Saturday morning, more than 50 horse lovers got down and dirty clearing hiking and horse trails along the perimeter of the Lake Shore Athletic Complex on Woods Road. The spring cleanup, sponsored by the Pasadena Horse and Pony Association, drew riders young and old, a few non-horse people, even a politician and a county official or two to cut debris and pick up trash along the almost five miles of trails at the complex.

The volunteers, many accustomed to the barn-mucking aspects of horse ownership, were armed with trimmers of various sizes and plastic trash bags, ready to attack sticker bushes and trash along the trails. Other volunteers built cross-country jumps, put up fencing near the flagpole visible along Mountain Road, and created more cutbacks and switches on the meandering trails.

The maze of trails at the complex was developed a few years ago, thanks to the grass-roots efforts of the horse association. With the ever-increasing loss of trails in the area due to development, many riders had to truck their horses to Prince George's, Carroll, Baltimore or Howard counties to ride on public trails. To address the rapid disappearance of public riding trails and the growing horse ownership in the area, the association was born.

Working with the county, the association cleared long-abandoned trails on the Woods Road property and obtained state and county funds to help create the naturalized trails used by a variety of visitors to the complex.

"The trails were created for everyone to use, and they do," said Cindy Holt, association president.

Trail riders are noticing more people jogging, hiking and walking dogs on the quiet trails. "We're happy to see more people using the trails that we worked so hard to get," Holt said.

Besides neater trails, the association's cleanup effort last weekend resulted in a new sign that will soon grace the entrance of the athletic complex. The sign will feature a map of trails open to visitors and a bulletin board for other users of the complex.

"We have been working hard on keeping a good relationship with the sports groups that use the complex, and to let more people know about the trails," Holt said. "The sign should help us keep the lines of communication open."

More trail improvements by the horse group include clearing more trails and working with the county to add a bridge linking trails at Jacobsville Park on Magothy Beach Road to the Lake Shore acreage. A group's long-term goal is to expand the trails to include acreage at Looper's Field, located on North Shore Drive.

"That's our dream, to link these three areas together with a trail that a large number of people can use and enjoy," Holt said.

The horse association meets monthly for business and trail riding. New members are invited to attend.

Information: 410-222-6235.

Spring craft fair

The Chesapeake High School Band Boosters are holding their annual spring craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the school, 4798 Mountain Road.

Crafters and artisans will sell a variety of handmade items for gift-giving and home decorating. Food and refreshments will also be sold. Proceeds will benefit the band.

Church spaghetti dinner

Galilee Lutheran Church is having a spaghetti dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 5 at the church, 4652 Mountain Road.

The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children 5 to 12. Children younger than 5 eat free.

Carryout dinners will be available.

Proceeds will help redecorate and refurnish the pastor's office.

Information: 410-255-8236.

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