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For Release: Monday, June 9, 2014

New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club Donates $1,800 and 188 Hours of Labor for Work at Charles E. Baker State Forest

Clubs Donations Since 2000 total $10,300

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today applauded the New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club (NYSPWHC), an equestrian club, for recently donating 188 hours of labor to the clean up and repair facilities at Charles E. Baker State Forest in the town of Brookfield, Madison County. Twenty- five members of the club concentrated their efforts on the Camping Area at the forest. Last year club members concentrated their efforts at the Assembly Area, the area where equestrians load off their horses before riding out on one of the many trails for which Charles E. Baker is famous.

This successful partnership between the club and the DEC dates back to 2000 when the New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club first made a donation to the DEC for repair and improvement work at the forest. Every year since then the club has donated funds to the DEC. The total donations to date are $10,300. In past years, some of these funds were used to build new horse stalls and railings at the assembly area.

"DEC truly appreciates the work and donations made by the New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club," noted Regional Director Ken Lynch. "These gifts of time and funding have greatly improved the quality of recreational offerings at Chares E. Baker State Forest. Not only is this facility used by local equestrian clubs, but significant numbers of users come from out of state and spend money locally adding to the economy of the area."

"The members of our Club consider the Brookfield Trail System a great gift and have never taken these wonderful facilities for granted. It is the goal of the NYSPWHC to help support and assist DEC with the many maintenance needs associated with keeping the Brookfield trail system and all its support facilities open for all recreational users, now and into the future," said Wayne Eastman, current Club President.

This year a chainsaw crew worked on taking down trees and cutting branches as marked by DEC foresters. They then stacked the blocked up trees for firewood. There was another crew that cleaned out all the horse stalls before item #4 gravel was added. The same crew and others also racked up and disposed of last winter's blow down of branches and trees. The volunteer's also picked up trash including dirty diapers, broken glass and clothes.

Other work completed by the club included: rebuilding footings in all the horse stalls with gravel, adding gravel and building up the parking pads, spreading at the access to the creek, repairing the tie rail in front of one set of stalls, cleaning out all horse stalls, and staining picnic tables and stalls.

DEC used this year's $1,800 donation to purchase the gravel used in the repair and improvement work at the forest. DEC delivered the gravel and club members spread it using their own equipment which included a skidder, and a compact tractor and a tamper.

The assembly and camping area at Charles E. Baker State Forest can accommodate campers and approximately 150 horses. The facility includes covered tie stalls, stallion box stalls, a pavilion and picnicking and camping facilities. Drinking water, accessible toilets and a mounting platform are also available.

Information , including maps and directions, for Charles E. Baker State Forest is available.


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