The County of Grande Prairie is waiting on final approval from the province to sublease a parcel of land adjacent to the Pine Valley South subdivision to Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society.
County officials say the lands had recently, and often, been deemed a ‘red zone’, meaning a significant fire hazard with human activities causing significant concern to local residents.
Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the proposed change is likely to give the area a new lease on life.
“Because of the fire hazard, we knew this area was not appropriate for recreational activities such as off-highway vehicles, which is why we are encouraging people to go to the Dunes staging area instead. This is a beautiful area for walking as well as horseback riding, which is why our thoughts immediately went to PARDS.”
PARDS executive director Jennifer Douglas says normally riders and walkers often come face to face with a dirt bike, quad or even in some cases a 4×4 truck. She adds now that those off-road vehicle types have been prohibited in the area, it will make a world of difference.
“The area provides a safe and controlled space for our riders to experience horsemanship in a natural environment. The area has long been popular for walking and trail riding and we look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbours in their continued enjoyment of the area.”
A previous version of this story noted that the County of Grande Prairie had successfully leased the land to PARDS. The county has since retracted that statement, saying “The County of Grande Prairie has applied to the Province to sublease the land and is waiting on final approval.”