"The property shall be used exclusively...in perpetuity as a recreational, nature, and equestrian area...."
- from the founding land grant for FENCE
Our Mission Statement
"FENCE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing facilities and focus for education, recreation and preservation in nature studies and equestrian activities with the aim of enhancing these endeavors to enrich the quality of life for the community"
FENCE came into being in 1985 as a non-profit nature education and outdoor recreation center, built around an original land grant of 112 acres generously contributed by the Mahler family, who had come to Tryon in the 1920's. Since then, FENCE has grown to its present 380 acres and serves some sixty-five thousand people each year with programs in nature study, outdoor recreation and equestrian competition. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors working with a small salaried staff.
Classrooms, meeting rooms and administrative offices are located in the FENCE Center, which overlooks a varied terrain of open meadows, marsh, and woodland.
Six miles of hiking and riding trails thread their way through the property, including a hard-paved trail for the physically challenged. The trails are equipped with information stations and shelters.
A nature pond with an observation boardwalk serves nature pond as an outdoor classroom for observing wildfowl and native plant species.
The Equestrian Center
The Equestrian Center comprises three lighted showrings with all-weather footing (including a covered arena), stabling for over 300 horses in eleven barns, and spectator seating. The nationally-famous Block House Steeplechase, sponsored by the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, is run each Spring over an eight-furlong course which encircles the equestrian area. Hunter/Jumper competitions, cross-country events, dressage and carriage driving are among the equestrian disciplines which make use of the Center.