By Lake and Residential Committee, John Nelson, Chairman;
Photos by Ernie Block
Today, Lake Quivira’s boundaries encompass almost 1,200 acres. As we are all aware, within those boundaries exists one of the most distinctive communities in the Kansas City area. Other than the obvious; a beautiful lake, professional golf course and 394 unique home sites, there exists parks and greenspace second to none for a community of this size. Of these, the 126 acres located on the Southeast corner of our community offers our members one of the most natural and protected greenspace and watersheds in the local area. Home to the Saddle Club, the Equestrian Center located on this property provides a place for the boarding of horses, open pastures for grazing, and areas to ride for all experience levels. Additionally, this area is the primary hub for our extensive Nature Trail system which now encompasses over 13 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and riding paths. Participation in these combined activities is now approaching almost 150 members.
Founded over 40 years ago, the Saddle Club, operating out of the Lake Quivira Equestrian Center has grown the past couple years to the point that at any one time, up to 15 horses are boarded on the property. Current facilities include a series of fenced and open pastures, a 21 stall horse barn, a riding corral, a barn for hay storage and a 30+ year old barn used for the integration of new horses to the facility, medical treatment and short term over flow.
Established less than two years ago, the Lake Quivira Nature Trail system, overseen by the Natural Resources Committee, is made up of 12 active trails. Due to the natural uninhibited setting available in this greenspace, eight (8) of these trails originate or pass through the Equestrian Center area. Additionally, located immediately adjacent to this property is the LQ Campground which has been utilized in the past by our local scout groups and family events including the annual Father-Children campout held every Labor Day weekend.
In order to provide an improved member experience and greater access to these amenities through education; the Saddle Club in conjunction with the Natural Resources Committee, with support of the Lake and Residential Committee, has been evaluating various opportunities for the future. It was determined after much discussion; that the construction of a Nature Center building to replace, due to its present condition, the front barn at the Equestrian Center would meet these goals. Funding for the project would be obtained through a community wide fund raising effort directed by the Saddle Club and the Natural Resources Committee, with no capital money being required from Quivira Inc. Specifically, no dues increase or assessment would be required of our members for this amenity.
After construction, the Nature Center would provide stall space for the proper medical treatment and integration of our horses. The center would be further complemented by an all-purpose room, much needed storage space for trail and Saddle Club equipment, and an open air porch. The new facility would establish a focal point for our trail system, by providing a gathering location, educational displays and maps, and a place to sit and relax after a long hike. Other opportunities would be available for the Photography Club, our local scout troops, and the Summer Rec Discovery Program. In all cases, the facility would allow these groups to have a meeting location in the environment they experience through their normal activities. Lake Quivira members would also be afforded the opportunity to establish a community outreach program for nature education through our local school systems by allowing the science teachers access for group field and study trips furthering our “Tree City” status and other environmental initiatives.
As required under the Quivira Inc. By-laws, a majority membership vote is required for the replacement of any existing building located on common grounds, even when project funding would not be provided by Quivira Inc. or its membership through dues and/or capital project funds. For this reason, at the August Board of Directors meeting a motion was approved for the placement of a ballot item on the November General Meeting Agenda allowing for the removal of the current front barn at the Equestrian Center (Saddle Club) and replacing it with a new Nature Center building funded 100% through 3rd party fund raising efforts. All design and construction parameters would be reviewed and approved by the Restrictions Committee prior to construction. Once completed, the building would become a Quivira Inc. asset and be available to all members.
A Lake Quivira community Nature Center would be a true amenity, provided at no direct cost to the membership, and further establish ourselves as a one-of-a-kind, family friendly community that continuously promotes our core values of Commitment to Environmental Stewardship, providing Quality Amenities and Services, and Preserving the Lake and its Natural Assets.