2008-04-12 / Top News

Park Land Leased for Community Stable

By Ryan Schlehuber

The Mackinac Horsemen's Association was granted a 20- year lease for three acres of state park land on which to build a community stable. Attending the Mackinac Island State Park meeting that day are (front, from left) Maryanke Alexander, MHA President Cathy Arbib, Leanne Brodeur, Michelle Stirch; (back) Linn Sheppard, and Steve Rilenge. (Photograph courtesy of Marta Olson) The Mackinac Horsemen's Association was granted a 20- year lease for three acres of state park land on which to build a community stable. Attending the Mackinac Island State Park meeting that day are (front, from left) Maryanke Alexander, MHA President Cathy Arbib, Leanne Brodeur, Michelle Stirch; (back) Linn Sheppard, and Steve Rilenge. (Photograph courtesy of Marta Olson) For the next 20 years, Mackinac Horsemen's Association will lease land from the Mackinac Island State Park Commission for a 20-horse stable and riding ring. Rent will be $1 a year.

The lease for the three-acre parcel, part of the old Early farm on British Landing Road, north of the city solid waste facility, was agreed to by the park commission at its meeting Wednesday, March 19, in East Lansing.

The nonprofit Horsemen's Association will provide corrals and stalls for public use as well as the 10 horses it keeps for riding lessons and for the 4- H horse program. The proposed stable will also have an apartment for a summer caretaker.

Horses are now stabled at a privately-owned barn on Mission Hill, but a corral there is slated for development. Zoning and health codes prohibit stables on any other available private land on Mackinac Island.

The 10-year-old association has three years to build the stable for forfeit the lease, under the terms of its agreement with the park commission.

A fundraising campaign for the stable will be spearheaded by a committee of horse enthusiasts called the Mackinac Community Stable Committee, created in 2004 to seek a permanent home for the stable. That committee's efforts will be aided by a newly established fund through the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

"Right now, we're at the planning stages for the design of the stable," said committee spokeswoman Marta Olson. "We want to set up some goals where we do this in phases. We're going to take this very carefully and conservatively."

Committee members include Jennifer Bloswick, Leanne Brodeur, Brad Chambers, Bart Huthwaite, Kim Kolatski, Jane Manoogian, Trish Martin, Marta Olson, Jim Reitman, Steve Rilenge, Sandra Roe, and Dan Wightman.

Last summer, the Mackinac Horsemen's Association had asked to lease the old city incinerator site for a community stable and turn-out area, and Wawashkamo Golf Club had requested land east of British Landing Road near the solid waste facility for a driving range. Both parcels are on state park land, but both have been deemed unsatisfactory, the stable site for environmental reasons, the driving range for safety issues. The land was used 40 years ago by the City of Mackinac Island to incinerate garbage. Wawashkamo did not pursue the driving range this winter.

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