Our Vision

The CHAPS believe that horses and the disappearing natural world in which they thrive are necessary for healthy communities. Historically, horses have been essential to life in the United States for transportation, work, recreation, and encouraging connections to nature. In San Mateo County, examples of this heritage can be found at Folger Stable, The Woodside Store and Jack Brook Horse Camp. The CHAPS seek to recognize the continuing contribution of the horse by supporting the development and maintenance of equestrian facilities and activities in the County.

This hundred-year-old barn, once used by the Folger blacksmith, was in danger of being lost forever due to decades of deferred maintenance. Home to several horses and three species of bats, it is part of the Folger Estate Stable Historic District—a complex of buildings and structures located on a three-acre site in Woodside. A priority project for the County, this public-private partnership spearheaded by CHAPS leveraged the enthusiasm of local equestrians, businesses and non-profits to provide funding, expertise, and labor. The renovation was completed in January 2014. Check back for details about the ribbon-cutting ceremony showcasing the renovation.

Click here to see a video of the renovation of this beautiful blacksmith barn at Wunderlich Park:



2014 01 17 Upper Barn at Wunderlich 007The Folger district is located within Wunderlich Park, a 945-acre branch of the San Mateo County parks system. While the main barn and the carriage house were recently restored with a similar partnership, the blacksmith barn remained essentially untouched and had deteriorated to the point that it was in danger of collapsing.

The project was led by CHAPS member Linda Rizzoli, a Senior Project Manager at Swinerton Builders (an employee-owned construction company). Rizzoli donated her considerable expertise and time to bid and manage the contracts and work needed to perform the repairs. She collaborated with Project Manager / Superintendent Steve Germano of Lathrop Construction Associates and Architect Adolph Rosekrans, who also donated his time to create the drawings for the repairs and assist with field issues, as well as a crew of craftsmen.

The team dealt gracefully with the unexpected. In addition to the challenges of repairing a historic building that had suffered serious structural deterioration, it was discovered that dozens of bats were residents of the barn. A certified bat biologist, Greg Tartarian of Wildlife Research, was hired to determine the permissible time windows for construction and to assist in temporarily evicting the three species of bats happily roosting there. Timing was tight: construction had to start early enough so the bats could find alternative locations for hibernation for the winter, the construction site had to be lit 24x7 so they wouldn’t reestablish themselves prematurely, and everything had to be ready in the event of an early spring. Bat fans can be reassured that the bats should return after their winter torpor, while the horses will move in when painting is completed.

“It was a joint effort with County staff to find creative solutions for keeping horses in the Folger complex during the construction and management transition for the stable,” says Holly Nash, President of CHAPS. “We look forward to participating in the planning process with other stakeholders to keep public horse boarding and riding programs as part of Wunderlich’s unique character.”