Boathouse Row Philadelphia, PA

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So much horse manure

Since Elaine and I decided to make Aiken our home several years ago I have often been asked by friends and relatives what Aiken was like? Most often I offer a standard response that includes friendly people, warm climate and vibrant downtown etc. Frequently my answer also makes references to golf and horses, though I personally am involved in neither activity.

Today’s local paper, the Aiken Standard, ran a front page story that clearly summarizes the position horses have in Aiken. How often do you find a city of 29,000 residents with a horse manure ordinance? Aiken’s horse manure ordinace (part of the city zoning code) reads

The premises must be maintained by keeping manure piles in covered containers at least 50 feet away from any dwelling or any pool, patio or other recreational structure or an adjoining lot and at least 25 feet from any property lines.

Other provisions of the ordinance require stables to be cleaned twice a week and the covered manure containers be emptied weekly.

A manure ordinance isn’t the only indication of the importance of horse culture in Aiken. Many residential streets are unpaved and included elevated “cross walk” (or ride) push buttons to accommodate equestrians. Hitchcock Woods, a 2,100  acre wilderness park within Aiken only allows hiking and horse back riding. And finally, professional polo and steeplechase racing a major local spectator sports.

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