Major upgrades coming to equestrian park in Greenbelt

Major upgrades are coming to the equestrian park and campground properties on Corkstown Road in the Greenbelt.

The Wesley Clover Foundation has signed a long-term lease with the National Capital Commission to expand and redevelop the land, now called Wesley Clover Parks.

Steve Langford with the Wesley Clover Foundation told CFRA they want to make it more like Spruce Meadows in Calgary.

"We certainly do have an appetite to evolve the equestrian side of things, bring in international competitions," he said. "We're going to build a covered grandstand for a focus on the horses, so it inadvertently kind of circles back to [Spruce Meadows] ."

The $20-million initiative will see the creation of the Ian Millar School of Horsemanship, a world-class equestrian event campus for local and international competition, along with eight premium full-sized grass sports fields, a lake and a new home for the royal swans.

There will also be also be multiple yurts built on the campground site, which will be available for assorted activities, an improved trail network at the city and adjacent woodland and a new forest school focused on early childhood education through connections with nature.

Langford said they want to create something that the residents of Ottawa could enjoy.

"It's a chance for us to take an opportunity to seize on something that's available and really turn it into something that will be something for the city to use, enjoy for years to come," he said. "It'll include concerts and festivals and whatever we might be able to do."

The Ian Millar School of Horsemanship and improved campground site open next month, but major construction is set to take place over the next few years.

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