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Tipp City Horse Trails
were developed in
cooperation and with
volunteer assistance by:


MCEITF Logo
MCEITF
  Horse Trails in Tipp City Parks-- Request for Approval

Purpose 
The purpose of this white paper is to provide Tipp City Council Members an overview of the request to permit horses in Tipp City Parks.

Background
In June of 2011, inspired by the success of the Miami County Recreation Trail Task Force, equine enthusiasts organized a grass roots effort to develop a comparable trail network for equine pursuits. Consisting of several Tipp City residents, the Miami Count Equine Initiatives Task Force (MCEITF) was formed. It was discovered that Kyle Park’s original strategic plan included horse trails. On January 9, 2012, the MCEITF co-chairs were invited to the Tipp City Parks Advisory Board to discuss the horse trails. The possibilities were well received by the members of the Parks Advisory, especially due to the fact that trails already exist and new trails were soon to be developed and open to the public. Following this meeting, the Board requested a full presentation at their March 12, 2012 meeting. The presentation was well received and resulted in the Advisory Board’s recommended that the request advance to the Tipp City Council for final approval.

Parks Advisory Board Minutes January 9, 2012


Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

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Fully Coordinated - The addition of horse trails in Kyle Park is fully coordinated with Tipp City Parks. 
 
   
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Trail Already Established - -A multi-use trail (with hikers/walkers) has been established and only signage remains.
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Zero Cost - There is no cost to the City for the addition of horse trail usage.
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Residents Supported - A recent Tipp City resident survey indicates strong support for horse trails in Tipp City Parks.
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Tipp City Council Approval Sought - Upon approval, fund raising activities can begin, signs will be ordered/installed and a grand opening ceremony can be set for as soon as  Memorial Day weekend.

Questions Council Members Might Have
The next section addresses questions Council Members may have. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to fully discuss during the workshop.

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Why Horse Trails in Kyle Park?
The foundation has been laid - equine trails were integral to the original strategic plan for Kyle Park. From the beginning, guided by the Tipp-Monroe Park Committee (predecessor to the Parks Advisory Boarder) the City was responsive to the petition of citizens to provide horse trails. Over time, with the addition of conservation easements, expanded passive recreational opportunities now abound. These new land acquisitions consisting of prairies, woodlands, and waterways, are ideally suited and compatible land uses for recreational trail riding.
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Are Tipp City Residents Supportive?
Yes. The inclusion of horse trails in the original strategic plan indicated strong citizen backing. The Advisory Board asked the MCEITF to gauge the current level of support. While there were ~20 supporters at the March Parks Advisory Board meeting, the board was seeking further assurance. In response, Kristen DesAutels, Tipp City resident, conducted a survey and to date has ~125 signatories (who are Tipp City Residents).
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Has this been Fully Coordinated?
Yes. Since January, representatives of the MCEITF have met with following Tipp City officials: Jon Crusey, City Manager; Scott Vagedes, City Engineer; Jim Asher, Parks Superintendent; and Mo Eichman, Director of Utilities, retired. These meetings were to address questions and concerns and perform site surveys to identify and make recommendations for horse trail considerations. 

After initial contact was made, Tipp City reps suggested the many acres of prairie lands (~300 acres) that align both sides of State Route 571 for horse trails with parking in Kyle Park. Trail riding is a compatible usage in conservation areas with trails on firebreaks and access drives. Scott Vagedes identified Kyle Park (~85 acres) as the initial area offered for horse trails.
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Why is this Good for Tipp City?
Aligns with Tipp City’s Strategic Plan 2010-2011. Tipp City residents are proud of their town’s heritage and City planners have smartly branded it a historical 1840s era canal town. Horses were on the scene and integral to that period and a part of daily life. Today, no longer a necessity, horses have simply faded from the scene. MCEITF is offering assistance to add back this missing element, to reintroduce horses onto the scene. This would be in keeping with the historical heritage and provenance marketing theme.  Horse trails encourage increased tourism with existing park amenities by making it a recreation destination.

Miami County is designated a rural county and horses are the fastest increasing type of livestock.  Yet, surprisingly today there is not one foot of public horse trail in Miami County. There is an opportunity to capitalize on this form of agri-business thereby benefiting individuals, municipalities, and cities.  This type of economic development will enhance quality of life, provide additional services, and foster the small town feel.  Through the leadership of Tipp City, much needed horse trails can find a starting place.
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What are the Costs?
Zero. MCEITF will fundraise for initial costs, estimated at ~$1K for signs, and mounting block. Costs are minimal due to the fact that the trail has already been established for hikers. No additional improvements are required for trailer areas or trail establishment by adding horse trails.
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What about Maintenance Costs?
Zero.  While trails are shared with hikers and already being maintained by the City, any additional maintenance related to horse trail use will be supported through OHC/MCEITF.  Support can either be through cash or in-kind services/material.
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Why is a County group asking Tipp City for Horse Trails?
Horse trails in Tipp City Parks is part of the trail network concept and will serve primarily Tipp City residents. Yes, neighboring township (Monroe, Elizabeth and Bethel) equine enthusiasts might benefit, but so too will the city with increased tourism. MCEITF is currently in discussions with County Commissioners, and Miami County Parks officials and receiving enthusiastic support and interest in ensuring horse trails in public parks to support a trail network. Tipp City can lead the way in the county with horse trails, simply because it was the first with the foresight to include it in a strategic plan.
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What is this website www.tippcityhorsetrails.com?
A gift to the City - The Tipp City Horse Trails website was developed for Tipp City and is a gift from the MCEITF.  It will be maintained free of charge in appreciation of the City’s approval of this type of trail usage. The site can be linked to existing Kyle Park web page and will serve as a resource of information for the citizens of Tipp City as it relates to horses in the park. It is at no cost solution to foster communication between the City and the community.  Web developer talent is Artistic Inspirations, LLC, www.artisticinspirations.org

In Closing
On behalf of the members of the Miami County Equine Initiatives Task Force, we wish to thank the Tipp City Council for considering horse trails in the Parks.  We look forward to this partnering opportunity. We believe this expanded recreational use will benefit Tipp City residents by making it an even greater place live, work and play.

Respectfully submitted,
Flora & Lorna


Lorna Furderer & Flora Rectenwald
Co-Chairs, MCEITF