HHA Upholds a 50-year Legacy of Equestrian Trail Stewardship
The Haney Horsemen Association was born from the Maple Ridge Riding & Driving Club (“Ridge Riders”), an equestrian community club formed in the 1940s. Its volunteers were tasked by the District Municipality of Maple Ridge in 1965 to build the Centennial Trail, with government funding, in commemoration of Canada’s 100th birthday. The Ridge Riders continued to fundraise internally, as well as apply for and secure government grants to support development of the horse trail network. The club became registered as a non-profit society in January 1981 under the new name (HHA), and cooperated for the next 32 years under a “fee for service” contract with the District of Maple Ridge, providing its volunteer membership to build and maintain the network of horse trails. This horse trail network would serve to enhance the outdoor opportunities available to residents who wished to appreciate nature while horseback riding or hiking.
The HHA Trail Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with the city of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows about any trail issues that arise throughout the year and participates in scheduled quarterly meetings with the city, as well, to discuss the equestrian trail network.
HHA members are encouraged to promptly report any issues they encounter on the trails during their rides, such as fallen trees, trail degradation (e.g. washouts/sinkholes) or willful damage. Please notify the HHA Trail Committee.
In addition, signs of trail alteration or inappropriate activity on the Maple Ridge equestrian trail network, or unauthorized trail building on municipal lands, should be reported to the City of Maple Ridge Bylaws Department at 604-467-7305 (report a violation of Bylaw #6704-2009). Please see Trail Concerns for more information about reporting bylaw violations on the equestrian trail network and photo examples.
Renewed Agreement with Maple Ridge
In 2012, due to the rising costs of liability insurance, the HHA entered into a revised agreement with the district. (Read the new agreement.) Key features of the new agreement are:
- HHA provides recommendations to Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Commission Staff on equestrian community priorities related to trail deficiencies, proposed improvements, desirable future routes and trail relocations in order to maintain the high quality of recreational trail opportunities in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
- HHA works with Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Commission Staff to explore available grant opportunities to fund major capital projects that would enhance existing trails in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
- HHA enlists the assistance of volunteers from the equestrian community to participate in pre-planned work parties to assist in the maintenance or enhancement of existing trail networks under the direct supervision of a Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Commission staff member.
In an August 2011 interview, shortly before the new agreement came into effect, Dave Boag, Director of Parks and Facilities for Maple Ridge, said that district staff and the HHA “would continue to work together at a high level of engagement to determine priorities for maintenance and renovations of existing trails. The difference in the future will be that the HHA would no longer be administering the inspections, work parties or have the burden of dealing with liability insurance issues, which is a major concern. This new direction is considered to be a very positive opportunity for both district staff and the HHA. Suffice to say, the equestrian community has created a great asset to the community with the vast network of trails that exist today.”
Objectives of the New Agreement
- To provide a venue for the HHA and Parks and Leisure Services Staff to collectively address issues of common interest, and to seek mutually beneficial solutions.
- To maintain and enhance the quality of equestrian and multi-use trails in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows including the development of future trail opportunities that become available through either the development or future acquisition of municipal lands.
- To Provide the Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Commission and Staff with technical advice on appropriate trail location and construction methods/standards for equestrian/multi use trails as needed.
- To assist Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Staff with trail maintenance and construction through work parties and other Commission staff supervised activities on equestrian and multi-use trails.
- To advocate and work with other interested community volunteers as well as prison crews who wish to participate in trail maintenance or trail building initiatives.