Land Conservation Project – Filled Mounting Blocks
The following is Kayla Bean’s land conservation project. She did this as part of the steps necessary to be eligible for getting her HB Certification. What a fantastic project! Way to go, Kayla!
For my H-B conservation project, I volunteered to do maintenance work at a local equine campground & trails, at Matsell Bridge Park in Linn County, Iowa. I contacted the park ranger to find out what jobs needed done, and he said that the biggest need was some mounting blocks. People had been using picnic tables as mounting blocks! (That is definitely not Pony-Club approved!) So I googled how to build a mounting block. I found a plan that I liked, which is a permanent mounting block, filled to the top with sand. Sand is an excellent non-slip surface and much safer than wood in wet conditions. I ended up building two mounting blocks—one at the campsite area, and one on the other side of the park, at the day-ride trailhead where people bring their trailers when they don’t want to stay overnight, but still ride on the trails. Matsell Bridge Park provided the wood and screws, I used the power tools I have at home. Also the park took care of filling the blocks with sand after I set them up.
Here are the instructions.
- Four 12′ 2 x 6 treated wood boards
- One 10′ 4 x 4 treated post
- Tape measure
- Box of 2 ½ wood screws
- Circular saw
- Screwdriver or drill
- Safety glasses
- 18 cubic feet of Sand to fill the inside of steps
Cut the 2 x 6 boards:
- Four 2′ lengths to be the short side for the top step (it’s easier to cut the 2′ section first)
- Four 4′ lengths to be the long side of the bottom step
- Eight 3′ lengths to be the short sides of the bottom step
Cut the 4 x 4 post:
- Two 11″ lengths for inside support for the bottom step
- Four 22″ lengths for inside support for the top step
Partially assemble the structure on a flat surface:
- Use all four 4-foot lengths and four of the 3-foot lengths to build the base 12 inches high
- Use the short 4-by-4 posts at either end of one 3-foot length to screw the boards to
- Use two of the longer 4-by-4 posts for the corners at the other end so you can screw more boards to those
- Place a two-foot length of board on top of the 4-foot length starting at the tall post, to work out the location of the other tall 4-by-4 post on each side to frame the top step.
- Screw the remaining lengths of 2-foot and 3-foot boards to complete the top step.
Locate the structure where you want the mounting block to be:
- Finish assembling mounting block.
- Fill it to the top with sand. The weight of the sand will anchor the structure. Sand is a stable surface for the rider to stand on for mounting that will not be slippery in wet weather.
Tips: Give careful consideration to where you want to locate the mounting block, as you’ll set it up as a permanent structure. You can change the dimensions of the mounting block to suit your specific requirements. It is best to partially assemble the mounting block structure on a completely flat surface (cement floor would be preferable) before you put it into its permanent spot.