The areas newest and most unique equestrian recreation facility is being developed through a collaborative effort between West Virginia University and Fairmont State College students, the WVU Extension Service, members of the Bunners Ridge Riding Club and local citizens through a grant recently awarded by the WVU -W. K. Kellogg”Expanding Community Partnerships”program.

The students, area landscape specialists and community volunteers will begin constructing an overnight primitive campground for equestrian riders. They will design the facilitys layout, develop a plan, install drainage pipes, identify trees to be preserved for soil conservation and clear property for a pavilion. Facilities will also include bathhouses and electrical hookups for campers. Future plans include a dining and recreational facility, horse barns and other amenities.

The facility, called the Bunners Ridge Riding Club Horse Park, is located on a 12-acre site in northeastern Marion County, which was donated by the late Col. Jack”Hardrock”Bunner. The club hopes that the facility becomes a preferred destination for trail-riding enthusiasts, a stopping place for horse transporters on long-distance trips and a catalyst for additional tourism and economic development in the area.

The riding club is holding a groundbreaking ceremony at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the site. Several regional government officials, including Marion Countys legislative delegation, county commissioners, community members and the public are invited. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded WVU a four-year, $1.25 million grant in 1998 to incorporate service learning into the curriculum across all WVU colleges and campuses. Since itsinception, this grant, known as the W.K. Kellogg WVU “Expanding Community Partnerships”Program, has created partnerships amongcommunities, faculty and students around the state.