Saddle up as the city opens a park for horses

— The city has opened a 27-acre equestrian park just south of Lake Chautauqua Park equipped with facilities to allow horse-owners and their horses a place to enjoy a ride through a nature preserve.

Lake Chautauqua Equestrian and Nature Preserve, located at the end of Landmark Drive about two miles southeast of Westfield Countryside mall, features parking spaces for horse trailers, a shaded pavilion with picnic benches, and even a self-watering trough.

The project was funded through a $200,000 Recreational Trails Program grant by the state Department of Environmental Protection, awarded in 2011. An additional $50,000 for the project came from Penny for Pinellas sale tax.

The city purchased the 27 acres of woodland just south of the nearly 45-acre Lake Chautauqua Park, situated is between U.S. 19 and McMullen-Booth Road south of Enterprise Road, in 2009 through a state Communities Trust grant in the amount of $1,467,872 million and nearly $2.2 million in local impact fees. The grant is a state effort to preserve green space.

“Pinellas County is the most densely populated county in Florida. The City of Clearwater is committed to giving its citizens areas to enjoy natural ecosystems and biodiversity through land preservation. We have 110 parks in Clearwater, with 28 of them labeled nature preserves,” says Felicia Leonard of the city’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Lake Chautauqua Park is located at 2312 Landmark Drive, south of Enterprise Road in Clearwater. The park’s amenities include parking, trails and picnic areas. The park is open every day from dawn to dusk.

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