Wisconsin Horse Council Capital Improvement Grant

DESCRIPTION: Promoting and Creating Horse Trails in Wisconsin

The primary purpose of the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC) capital improvement grant is to provide funding to increase trail access and amenities for equestrians. ADA compliance is important to keep in mind as a trail or building enters design or construction phases. WHC developed this grant to fund property enhancements, including the building of permanent structures. The Capital Improvement Grant program is not an annual grant, but one that allows the WHC Trails Committee to recognize and support larger projects that will be of benefit to the equestrian community. The Capital Improvement Grant is a 50% matching grant. WHC encourages volunteerism and effectively turns volunteer time and effort into project funds, when a log of volunteers’ names and donated hours are maintained and submitted with the Grant Completion Report. This means that the 50% of matching funds(approximately 175 hours) may be achieved in volunteer time. Volunteer hours are valued at $29.00/hour.

WHC Trails Committee accepts and reviews applications throughout the year. Grant application acceptance or denial is determined within three months of receipt. Approved grant projects requiring multiyear fundraising will receive a pledge of funding. Funds are mailed when work on the project begins.

To be eligible for the Capital Improvement Grant, projects must be projected to cost over $50,000. Grant funding is available up to $10,000.

Please click on the links below to access the guidelines and application.

WHC Capital Improvement Grant Guidelines - PDF

WHC Capital Improvement Grant Application - PDF


Trail Grant Overview

WHC Trail Grant Program Guidelines

WHC Trail Grant Program Application

These grants are meant for public equestrian trails or shared use trails which include equestrian riding/driving.

The grants are awarded in two distinct categories, new trail development and trail improvements, enhancements, or repairs.

The money cannot be used for routine trail maintenance, administrative or operating expenses, trails on private property, non-equestrian trails, food for work days, thank you gifts or awards, or liability insurance for volunteers.

See the Program Guidelines for specific information. Applications must be postmarked by February 1st.

Completion or Interim Reports must include the Volunteer Log Sheet and are due by December 1st. Contact the Program Coordinator for more information or with questions or contact the WHC office.


Please click on the link below to see a breakdown of the funds that the WHC Trail Grant Committee has given out over the years.

The Wisconsin Horse Council has given out over $416,300.00 from 1995 to 2024!!!

WHC Trail Grant Recipients Summary- Updated 3/11/24

In 1998 Wisconsin Horse Council Trails committee started a trail grant program that has since grown to more than anyone expected. Since that first year when a total of $3500 was given out for 6 grants in 4 parks including Underdown , Oconto County Forest, Ahnapee Trail and Yellowstone. The program has been beneficial to countless parks around the state.

Since then, the Wisconsin Horse Council –Trails Committee has awarded $416,300 for improvements on our trails. Each grant recipient must match the grant with at least 50% in kind amount. But wait it gets better! Many of the projects that have been undertaken far exceed the 50% match, making that total closer to a half a million dollar in improvements to the public equine trails in Wisconsin!

In working at Midwest Horse Fair, we promote joining the horse council, and the most frequently asked question is - What does Wisconsin Horse Council do for me? This $500,000 is only a small part of the contributions of WHC to the equine industry, but the results quietly affect many in a positive experience on the trails.

It was a tough year for grants during the COVID years, the Trails Committee had the difficult job of cutting $32,650 in requests down to awarding the $17,000 we had available. Watch for things to be changing in Gibbs Lake, Horseshoe Falls, Underdown, Narrow Gauge, Duck Egg, Southern Kettle Moraine, Halls Creek/Bush Lake. Please be sure to contact the friends group of your local park, and see if there is anything you can do to help out! With all of the potential budget cuts, we all are going to have to step up and make sure that our trails stay in good shape for our use!


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Great News for WHC Members!

Did you know that if you are a member of the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC), you are also eligible for the American Horse Council's (AHC) Advantage Plan?


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Wisconsin Horse Council | P.O. Box 72 | 121 S. Ludington St. | Columbus, WI 53925
Monday-Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Phone: 920-623-0393 | E-mail: info@wisconsinhorsecouncil.org | Form login