WELCA is a non-profit organization. It is home to a herd of 30 well trained lesson horses, and offers a variety of riding and non-riding programs for people ages six to 65. Its programs benefit many Edmontonians including high-risk youth, aboriginal youth, war veterans, the physically and mentally disabled, and the elderly.
WELCA has been home to the Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association for persons with disabilities for over 36 years. Therapeutic riding offers children and adults with mental and physical special needs, a fun form of recreation which improves coordination, muscle strength and self-confidence. WELCA partners with therapists specializing in equine-assisted psychology services. Thirty per cent of WELCA riders have special needs.
WELCA has significant opportunities to deliver more programming, but is constrained by poor facilities. Existing facilities are old, stretched to capacity, and need upgrading.
Major redevelopment to create new facilities for WELCA will enable it to meet the local growing demand for equine education, training and events. Our goal is to build an outstanding public facility, open to anyone with an interest in horses, which offers high quality horse-related activities.
WELCA is located in the river valley park, along Fox Drive. Edmonton is the only Canadian city with these services so centrally located. It is one of the only places in North America where citizens can enjoy equine programming in a river valley park.
The River Valley Alliance has identified Whitemud and its need for redevelopment as an important project along Edmonton’s river valley to help bring Edmontonians closer to nature.
For more information, visit www.welca.ca