Fundraiser aims to help clean up parks

Fundraiser aims to help clean up parks
BENTON CITY -- The extra hour of sunlight proved essential at cleaning up a well-known park. For years, budgets cuts means Benton City's Horn Rapids Park hasn't been maintained. But that all changed today with a giant fundraiser.

Hundreds of horses and even more humans. They came in herds to Horn Rapids Park for a fundraiser that's meant to keep this area pristine.

"We've been doing this for almost 27 years now."

Danny Chappel is the director for the Rattlesnake Ridge Riders, an organization that works to maintain local trails and parks when times are tough. And in an age of budget cuts, Danny will tell you this fundraiser is needed more than ever before.

"Budgets being what they are these days, they value our help and our support," he says.

State budget cuts have taken their toll on this area. Trails are seldom cleaned and often times trees and bushes aren't trimmed. It's the reason why this fundraiser is so essential.

"We support a lot of trail work for the county. We also support the maintenance and upkeep on trails throughout the state of Washington," Danny said.

A chili feed... Two morning rides.. And two auctions later, officials hoped to bring in five thousand dollars from this weekend's event... Money that will go toward keeping Horn Rapids clean.

Danny went on, "we support state parks, Forrest service. All these different entities to help them defer some of the maintenance and expenses for keeping trails open for equestrians and all users."

Event Co-Chair, Cindy Gauthier talked about some of the work their organization helps with. "They actually take the trees off the trail so the hikers and backpackers and horse people can get through because the forest service doesn't have money to do it."

The chapter hopes to continue the fundraiser again next year. All so you and your family can enjoy this park in the months ahead.

If you want to keep local parks open, event organizers say the solution is simple. All you really have to do is visit the park with your family, and show that you care that it's maintained.