There are countless charities and volunteers around the world working tirelessly to support and protect communities, families, people and animals in need. And here at HomeoPet we do what we can to help support those that support others.
At HomeoPet we donate to and support many worthy causes each and every year. The work these charitable organisations do is incredible, and we want to share with you a little bit about what they do and why we get involved…
Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc.
Trails are among the best ways to experience the outdoors, particularly on horseback, but they need maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition and are available for horse riders to use.
Bay State Trail Riders (BSTRA) was established in 1973 by a group of equestrians who recognized that there was a need for grass roots organizations to take an active role in the creation, acquisition, maintenance and preservation of trails in Massachusetts. BSTRA became a non-profit whose #1 priority is keeping access to trails open for equestrian use. They also advocate for multi-use trails that are horse friendly and used for hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
BSTRA completes a number of projects annually – performing trail creation and maintenance projects primarily in Massachusetts, but also in Rhode Island and Connecticut. BSTRA also promotes responsible use of trails – educating their 500+ members on trail etiquette and safety for all trail users.
As an equestrian based non-profit organization, it is important for BSTRA to make sure that there remain trail systems open for equestrian use. State funding for state forests and parks is limited, so it is their mission to share stewardship of trails – helping with trail maintenance and preservation, while also facilitating communication, cooperation and goodwill between trail users and landowners.
As of the end of 2017, BSTRA has put more than $570,000 into trail projects – creating and maintaining trails open to equestrians and other non-motorized trail users – since 1989. Their projects have made improvements in forests and parks in 34 towns across Massachusetts, as well as in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Some highlights of their recent work include the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), a 22 mile long National Recreational Trail which runs through six towns before continuing into CT for another 20+ miles, the Douglas (MA) State Forest, Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area, Mendon, MA and Upton (MA) State Forest. BSTRA is a proud recipient of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s 2017 Shared Stewardship Award.
HomeoPet has been a proud supporter of BSTRA for several years now and we are continually impressed by their enthusiasm and dedication. Lynn Paresky of BSTRA comments “HomeoPet has been a generous Platinum Business Sponsor for several years. Their generous donation has directly impacted our ability to take on trail projects benefiting equestrians and others who use the trails for outdoor recreation and fitness. BSTRA is proud to have HomeoPet as one of our valued sponsors.”
The biggest challenge faced by BSTRA is being able to reach enough people to gain more support. With more support they could invest even more into trail creation and improvement projects than they are currently able to do. If you love using the trails for outdoor recreation and fitness (whether you’re a horse rider or not), you can support BSTRA and the work they do in a number of ways:
- Make a tax-deductible donation at bstra.org/donate – 100% of your donation will be used for trail projects.
- Buy raffle tickets for whatever BSTRA is raffling off. Current raffles can be found at bstra.org/support – then select Raffle from the drop down menu. 100% of raffle ticket sales will go towards trail projects.
- Go to Amazon through bstra.org/support – then select Shop and Save Trails from the drop down menu and chose Amazon. By accessing Amazon through our website, BSTRA receives 5% to 6% of your purchases and puts 100% of that amount towards trail projects.
- Be a volunteer – come out and help at one of their work days or events. You can find their Events Calendar at bstra.org
- Participate in one of their fun riding events. There is a full schedule on the BSTRA Calendar each year.
- Become a member. Learn more about BSTRA by visiting bstra.org and find out about the benefits of membership. We think you will want to be part of this non-profit that is run entirely by volunteers and which puts 100% of the money raised from its fundraising efforts directly into trails.