May 19, 2015

DPR’s vision of being “integral and indispensable to the communities where we work” extends to our jobsite communities, where our skilled builders and subcontractor partners are in a unique position to make an enormous difference.

For example, Pasadena, Calif.-based Move A Child Higher, Inc. (MACH 1) was just seeking a few truckloads of dirt for its new therapeutic equestrian arena project when one of its board members came to visit DPR’s MonteCedro retirement community jobsite in late 2013.

That visit ultimately netted much more than just excavated dirt, however. It sowed the seeds for a new alliance between DPR, its vendors, subcontractors and MACH 1 that proved critical to bringing the organization’s long-sought project to fruition.

Part of the volunteer crew. Photo courtesy Kelley Radtke

Having signed a 20 year lease for an expanded therapeutic riding center, MACH1 had much work to be done and limited resources to make the project happen. DPR’s expertise and involvement proved critical.

“I approached Joy (after the dirt donations) to see how else we could help, and at that point we could see they had gotten as far as they physically could for not having any construction experience,” said Kelley Radtke, DPR’s MonteCedro project field office coordinator who headed up the volunteer effort. “She said we were literally a miracle.”

MACH 1 had already purchased and installed the new riding arena that would allow 24 / 7 access to and dedicated space for the therapeutic riding center customers. But they had a laundry list of other improvements needed to make the new facility usable as a full-time home for the organization.

DPR set to work, engaging a variety of the MonteCedro project subcontractors in the effort. Some of the major work items included:

  • Donation and installation of about 400 feet of horse friendly fencing with access gates (La Habra Fence)
  • Arena mounted sprinklers for dust control (Pierre Landscape)
  • Power feed and distribution to pre-wired horse paddocks and security lighting (AJ Kirkwood)
  • Relocation of mobile horse tack sheds
  • Installation of 400 feet by 2-inch by 12-inch manufactured lumber around the arena to prevent the base and sand from eroding from under the arena
  • Grading to accommodate wheelchair access (Hertz Equipment)

Trenching on the first day of major construction. Photo courtesy Kelley Radtke

Additional donors on the project included:  OES Equipment (donated an office trailer for MACH 1 future office space); DPR self-perform crews (material and labor for self-perform drywall and concrete work); Orange County Erectors; The Rouse Company; and Architectural Coatings.

Volunteers included craft professionals from DPR's MonteCedro retirement community project. Photo courtesy Kelley Radtke

MACH 1 Founder Joy Rittenhouse said DPR’s involvement was a key factor in the successful completion of the new therapeutic equestrian center in the Hahamongna watershed park this spring.

“We desperately needed to finish the project, and DPR was there to bring it to pass,” she commented. “We are so grateful for their generosity, their spirit, good will and positive attitude. It has brought such wonderful hope to our staff, board, volunteers, students and families. We are forever grateful, and I know we will be able to be there for the many children and adult with disabilities for many years to come. ”

Rewarding Work

In the end, the project was extremely rewarding for all involved, Radtke said. “Our subcontractors have all said that it’s an honor to give back to an organization like MACH 1,” she commented. “It’s been so nice to be able to partner with them, and to know that this will help so many people.”