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Park Pride Awards community building grants to DeKalb parks, including Little Creek Horse Farm

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Park Pride Awards community building grants to DeKalb parks, including Little Creek Horse Farm

Jane Donofrio and Cooper are two personalities you'll find at the Little Creek Horse Farm in DeKalb County. Photo by Sara Amis

Decatur, GA – DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs will receive $145,000 for capital improvements to three neighborhood parks, on behalf of its Friends of the Park partners, a press release says.

The Park Pride’s Grant Program awards funding to community groups seeking to revitalize their neighborhood parks. Contributions were provided in part through Park Pride’s Community Building by The Home Depot Foundation.

One of those grants when to the Little Creek Horse Farm. The Friends of Little Creek Conservancy was awarded a $50,000 grant and contributed another $50,000 to enhance the park with an ADA-accessible overlook, visitors’ center, and signage.

Other grantees include:

– The Friends of Briarlake Forest Park, awarded a $45,000 grant and was allocated $280,000 from Commissioner Jeff Rader’s district funds. The friends group contributed $5,000 toward the plan to convert a historic homestead into a nature center and a pavilion.

– The Friends of Hairston Park group, awarded a $50,000 grant. Commissioner Steve Bradshaw provided $50,000 match to develop a serenity garden with walking paths and bench swings.

Tucked away on Lawrenceville Highway across from North DeKalb Mall, Little Creek Horse Farm is an unusual part of the DeKalb County park system.

According to Jane Donofrio with the Little Creek conservancy, the county purchased the forty acre farm in 2004 as green space. The property, most of which is on a flood plain that makes it unsuitable for development, had originally belonged to the Sargent family (for whom Sargent Hills is named). It was a dairy farm up until the 1950s, when it became a horse farm.

“I moved here in 1962, and I really had not ridden but my parents were looking for something for me to do,” Donofrio said. When DeKalb County bought Little Creek, a group of people who had horses there formed the Conservancy to help out, “because there was nobody in the county government that knew how to run a horse farm.”

Little Creek Horse Farm has a large barn that houses the 45 horses boarded there, an indoor arena used for regular riding lessons, an outdoor arena used for hunter-jumper riding, 14 acres of pastures and an additional 14 acres of walking and riding trails. Boarders pay a monthly fee, and other funds come from both DeKalb County and the Little Creek Farm Conservancy.

To learn more about the horse farm, visit littlecreekfarmconservancy.com.

Sara Amis contributed to this story. 

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