Central Virginia Horse Rescue’s Soil and Water Conservation Project

Central Virginia Horse Rescue has been working with the team at Soil and Water Conservation and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on a project that will have a long lasting impact on the environment and the health of the Rapidan River.

The total cost of this project is $117,672.95 making it a significantly large project that will be partially funded by Soil and Water Conservation and the Department of Environmental Quality.  Central Virginia Horse Rescue will need to raise one third of the total project cost making our share a total of $39,224.

What is the CVHR Soil and Water Conservation Project?

The CVHR Soil and Water Conservation Project is comprised of three different projects with each one having an impact on the environment allowing CVHR to be good stewards of the land and resources available.

The first project is the stream exclusion fencing that will fence off two streams that run through our pastures with water flowing into the Rapidan River.  As part of this project, CVHR will be putting up 1,920 feet of fencing that will be 50 feet from either side of the streams.  The fenced off area of the pastures will total approximately 2 acres.

The second project will install 5 automatic waterers into our 7 pastures providing constant clean drinking water for the horses in those fields while providing CVHR the ability to conserve water across the farm.

The third project will provide management for pasture grazing and ensure that the fields are maintained adequately each year through soil testing, spraying and fertilizing.

Why is this project so important to the environment?

Historically, it has been found that the farm that CVHR now inhabits has a history of producing large amounts of e. coli that are flowing from the streams in our pastures to the Rapidan River.  The area of the river adjacent to our property is a popular recreational area for kayaking and fishing enthusiasts who travel to the area to enjoy these sports.  Additionally, the Rapidan River is a tributary river to the Rappahannock which is a Chesapeake Bay watershed.

CVHR is one of the 104,000 farms located within the watershed area. These farms combined are estimated to produce 42% of the Nitrogen load, 58% of the Phosphorus load, and 58% of the sediment load in the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the overwhelming concentration of these three materials, the Chesapeake Bay is a hypoxic zone. More information on this can be found at the Conservation Partners LLC website.

By fencing off the two streams running through our pasture, we will lesson the negative impact that the CVHR farm has on the Rapidan River and thus also lessoning the impact on the Chesapeake Bay.

The installation of the automatic water troughs will significantly reduce the amount of water that is consumed through daily farm operations. On average, CVHR uses approximately 1,000 – 1,500 gallons of water a day! By installing the automatic water troughs, we anticipate that our farm’s total water consumption will be reduced by nearly 75%. The automatic water troughs will still be cleaned daily but will not require the dumping and cleaning of 200 gallon tanks across our 7 pasture fields.

Your contribution to the project will provide sustainability to the Central Virginia Horse Rescue farm and prevent further contamination of the Rapidan River by the CVHR rescue farm.