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Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award for Leadership in Equine Land Conservation to Marjorie V. Kittredge

Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award for Leadership in Equine Land Conservation to Marjorie V. Kittredge

Wild Horses By Yellow Horse Marketing for the Equine Land Conservation Resource

LEXINGTON, KY—The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is proud to name the late Marjorie V. Kittredge of Massachusetts as recipient of the Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award for Leadership in Equine Land Conservation.

The award, being awarded posthumously, will be presented to her son Charlie Kittredge and daughters Lucinda Sullivan and Ellen Scott by ELCR CEO Deb Balliet and ELCR Advisory Council member Susanna Colloredo-Mansfeld during a special ceremony during the General Assembly of the Massachusetts Special Olympics Fall Tournament, Equestrian Finals, on October 15 at Kittredge's Windrush Farm in Boxford, MA.

The goal of ELCR's Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award is to recognize an individual or organization that demonstrates outstanding leadership in land conservation and access for equine use, and/or set an inspirational example for others to do the same. Initially established in 1999, this award was renamed in 2010 in honor of the late Anson W. Taylor, Jr. of Pennsylvania. Taylor, a founder and past president of ELCR, was a visionary leader and tireless advocate for land conservation for equestrian use. Taylor also was a generous volunteer and national leader with the United States Pony Clubs, and an avid horseman and foxhunter as a member of the Radnor Hunt.

In 1950, Marjorie V. Kittredge, a life-long horsewoman, and her husband bought the 195-acre property that would become Windrush Farm in North Andover, MA to raise their family. In 1964, she founded a therapeutic riding program with three horses for a small group of students with emotional challenges and learning disabilities. She then worked to expand those services and become one of the first therapeutic riding centers in the United States.

Today, Windrush Farm is a non-profit working horse farm with 25 mounts and seven licensed instructors that provide an array of educational and therapeutic activities to more than 1,480 people each year, specializing in teaching physically, emotionally, and learning disabled children and adults to ride and work with horses. A pioneer in the field of equine therapy, Windrush Farm has achieved accreditation as a Premier Therapeutic Riding Center from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and certification from the American Hippotherapy Association, as well as recently adding Horses for Heroes (H4H) to its roster of services, a program available to all veterans with disabilities that serves wounded personnel from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

As time passed, Kittredge became increasingly concerned by the threat of possible division and development of the Windrush property. Kittredge was keenly aware of the farm’s proximity to Boston’s dense and sprawling population and that local land use laws that would permit a minimum, twelve-lot subdivision on the property. If measures were not taken to protect the farm, as an official with the North Andover Community Preservation Committee and Planning Board reported in 2009, "there is a strong likelihood it would be developed...which would change the area measurably."

To ensure the legacy of Windrush, Kittredge, supported by her three children, partnered with the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for communities and future generations to use as parks, gardens, and natural areas, in a unique and revolutionary effort to protect all of Windrush's acreage for future public and equestrian use and continuation of the therapeutic riding program. In a true collaboration for the good of the property and community and a subsequent major effort by all involved parties to secure funding and grants, the Kittredge family agreed to make their beloved farm available at a significantly reduced price to allow TPL, the towns of North Andover and Boxford, MA, and Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation, Inc. to partner with Essex County Greenbelt Association to acquire ownership of the property and become holder of a conservation easement to protect the property in perpetuity. Located next to 1,600 acres of conservation land, including Boxford State Forest, Windrush is also a critical component in safeguarding the area's wildlife habitat; protection of a regional water source; preservation of an extensive network of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding; and to allow permanent public access to the land for community use.

"Windrush Farm’s invaluable services, the outstanding natural resources on the property, and the towns' dedication allowed TPL to leverage funding locally, from the state, and across the country," said TPL project manager Darci Schofield upon announcement of the successfully-completed campaign. "Windrush Farm underscores the unique connection between land conservation and the vitality of a valuable economic and community asset, and we are grateful the property is forever protected."

"Marjorie Kittredge was a caring and generous leader who understood the importance of the land in the Boston metropolitan area to the future of Windrush Farm, and the consequent impact it would have on the entire community," noted ELCR CEO Deb Balliet. "She had the vision to use all tools and resources available to preserve Windrush forever. This complex undertaking with its many partners, agreements, transactions, and successful multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign is a marvelous example to all equestrians, therapeutic riding organizations, and the communities they serve.”

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): The Equine Land Conservation Resource is a national not-for-profit organization advancing the conservation of land for horse-related activity. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse for land and horse owners on issues related to equine land conservation, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development.

For more information about the ELCR visit their website at or call (859) 455-8383.


SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Higher Oil Costs Could Speed Up the Use of New Green Materials in Fords

Ford Focus

Rising oil prices have Ford upping the ante in its push to reduce petroleum dependence and use more sustainable materials – including retired U.S. paper currency – to make parts.      

A wide range of alternatives to products now made with petroleum are under review for potential application in Ford vehicles – from shredded retired currency to cellulose from trees, Indian grass, sugar cane, dandelions, corn and coconuts.

"Ford has a long history of developing green technologies because it’s the right thing to do from an environmental perspective,” said John Viera, Ford’s global director of Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental matters. “Now, finding alternative sources for materials is becoming imperative as petroleum prices continue to rise and traditional, less sustainable materials become more expensive.
“The potential to reuse some of the country’s paper currency once it has been taken out of circulation is a great example of the kind of research we are doing,” Viera added.
In the early 2000s, when Ford started heavily researching sustainable materials, petroleum was readily available and relatively cheap; a barrel of oil was $16.65. Earlier this year, a barrel hit a high of $109.77.
Adding to the appeal of the new potential resources is that they are so plentiful. For example, 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of retired paper currency are shredded daily – more than 3.6 million pounds annually. The shredded money is either compressed into bricks and landfilled, or burned.
New sustainable materials that can meet Ford’s stringent requirements and testing could join a growing list of alternatives to petroleum-based materials already in use.
Ford’s use of soybean-based cushions in all of its North American vehicles including the all-new Fusion, for example, saves approximately 5 million pounds of petroleum annually. The all-new Escape has door bolsters partially made of kenaf – a tropical plant in the cotton family – offsetting the use of 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America.
It’s just a start.
Pie-in-the-sky no more
“Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing our environmental impact,” said Carrie Majeske, Ford’s Product Sustainability manager. “We recognize the use of sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks can also help reduce our environmental impact. These are steps that are not only better for our planet in the long run but are cost-effective as well.”
Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials to reduce its dependence on petroleum products. Examples include:

  • The new Fusion contains the equivalent of slightly more than two pairs of average-sized American blue jeans as sound-dampening material to help eliminate unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise
  • Kenaf is used in the door bolsters of Escape
  • Ten pounds of scrap cotton from blue jeans, T-shirts, sweaters and other items go in to the Escape’s dashboard
  • The equivalent of 25 recycled 20-ounce plastic bottles helps make the Escape’s carpet
  • Focus Electric uses a wood-fiber-based material in its doors and recycled plastic bottles in its seat fabric
  • Flex has wheat straw in its plastic bins
  • Taurus SHO uses a micro denier suede made from 100 percent recycled yarns

These days the phones are ringing off the hook for Ford’s sustainability research team. As the business case for using sustainable materials strengthens, interest is growing in the potential of some unexpected and interesting sources, including the shredded paper money and coconut fibers. Ideas once considered pie-in-the-sky now merit serious consideration.

“We have been working with an ever-increasing list of collaborators – chemical companies, universities, suppliers and others – to maximize efforts and develop as many robust, sustainable materials as possible for the 300 pounds of plastic on an average vehicle,” said Dr. Debbie Mielewski, technical leader of Ford’s Materials Research and Innovation team.
That leaves sustainable materials like shredded money being tested to determine how well they perform under certain conditions. Researchers can then recommend potential use. Shredded money, for example, is being considered for interior trays and bins, said Mielewski.
There is no guarantee any or all of these sustainable materials will end up in Ford cars and trucks, she added. But Mielewski is excited about how much more attention and support her team – and the whole subject of sustainable materials – is receiving.
Ugly bean – pretty useful
“When we first started talking about this stuff 10 years ago, it was mainly automotive and trade magazines showing interest in our research,” said Mielewski. “Now it seems to be everywhere. We are working on very exciting research and it will be interesting to see what comes next and how fast.”
Soybeans could be considered the root of Ford’s effort to use more sustainable materials, which lower environmental impact while providing a performance equivalent to the materials they are replacing.
Henry Ford first experimented with soybeans in the early part of the last century, but the current soybean project began 10 years ago when a group of farmers approached Ford seeking new uses for the abundant soybean crop in the U.S. Midwest.
Ford researchers challenged themselves to develop soybean-based foams that met every performance and durability requirement. They chose to use the material in seat cushions because they account for two-thirds of the foam (or about 25 pounds) used in a single vehicle.
“We had to come up with a product that performed as well as or better than the products we had been using for decades,” said Mielewski.
Early versions of the soybean cushion were fraught with problems – from strong odor to falling short of Ford’s stringent quality standards. Labs full of the failed attempts still exist on Ford’s Dearborn campus.
“Because Ford has such high standards, it took a long time,” said Mielewski. “But after five years, we were finally able to meet every single requirement – compression, durability, everything.”
Still, in the early 2000s the fact remained: Petroleum and plastic were inexpensive, and it was just too costly to change the way things had been done for about 100 years. The lack of urgency at the time became an advantage, said Mielewski.
“We were left alone to get creative, take our time and figure out where and how these – and future – sustainable materials might fit into our vehicles and processes, and that’s great news for both our customers and the environment,” said Mielewski.




References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainability Campaign

Ford Motor Company

Urbana University

Defenders of Wildlife

The Earthday Network

Bloomberg Businessweek

Small Busienss Trends

The Dodson Group      

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