Herndon Letter: SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program Needs Help

Herndon Letter: SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program Needs Help

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program would like to ask for your support by sharing our story in community and supporting our efforts to provide continuing service for families in need in our community. SPIRIT is a recognized non-profit dedicated to its mission. We are a transparent, professional organization, with International recognition, which serves all of Fairfax County. In order to provide continuing service to Fairfax County residents, we need to begin a public dialogue with any entities who can provide a sustainable solution for this situation.

SPIRIT has been providing Equine Assisted Learning, Riding for Beginners and Therapeutic Riding programs for Fairfax County residents for eight years. That has been possible due to the opportunity to accommodate our horses and office at the property, adjacent to Frying Pan Farm Park. In December, 2014 we signed a seven year contract with Fairfax County to provide our services, which are accessed through Park Takes. SPIRIT also has a two year contract through the Fairfax County Comprehensive Services Act. We have an excellent relationship with Frying Pan Farm Park and have demonstrated that SPIRIT can manage its’ horses in a safe and healthy way and keep the land the horses use clean per industry standards.

The services SPIRIT has provided in Fairfax County have touched over a thousand families in less than a decade. SPIRIT has a strong support

system of families that have benefited from services and volunteerism. We are writing you regarding SPIRIT’s impending situation. The land SPIRIT leases goes before the Fairfax County Zoning Board on Nov. 18 for a rezoning request which, if passed, would enable a subsequent sale to a developer. If SPIRIT loses the opportunity to rent the land near Frying Pan Farm Park, it would be the end of the services we provide utilizing the Equestrian Center and a great loss for many families in the community.

Hopefully, we can raise up awareness about options we have to assure our future therapeutic and learning equestrian programs and services at Frying Pan Farm Park.

Our parents are about to start Petition to support SPIRIT’s work in community, and would be thankful for your attention and support.

Davorka Suvak

Program Director