It was a beautiful Southern California Spring day, as guests arrived at Merriewold Morgans’ new Huasna Valley horse ranch,”La Ranchita” in Arroyo Grande. Frank Cullen of Cullen Construction,Inc. hosted the party and invited subcontractors, clients, the media and professionals in the building industry who are interested in environmentally sound practices.
The property development was planned from underground to the tops of the roofs with environmentally sustainable horse and ranch management in mind. This exciting and innovative concept was the focus of the day’s event.
Guests were first presented with a catered bounty of appetizers and wine. Then they were given the opportunity to meet and greet during a short social time.
They were all fascinated by the eco-friendly concept and anxiously awaited for the tour to begin. Many spoke of their own pro-active efforts and interests in reducing the environmental impact of ranching in general.
Their short wait was rewarded with an introduction to the architect (Tom Brajkovich), Project Manager (Paul Trent), sub-contractors and designers of the project by the General Contractor, Frank Cullen.
Frank explained how the 2 year project was managed as a collaborative team effort to achieve the goal of creating this very unique ranch.
Then Tom Brajkovich followed with a quick overview of his journey with Don & Diana, owners of Merriewold Morgans, beginning 3 years ago when they first came to him with their vision of building a Green Horse Property.
Tom was brought to Huasna Valley and then they explained their concept of state-of-the-art facilities designed from the ground…up with sustainability in mind.
Structures were to include a Grooms quarters/shop/hay barn combo, the horse stables, run-in barns, round pen and pastures, a regulation size covered arena, a house for the Ranch Manager/Trainer, Jackie Brittain and the main residence for Don & Diana.
Frank then spoke briefly about some of the engineering that went into the re-use of water, environmentally safe materials, and other sustainable technologies and management practices.
He also touched on some of the challenges of the landscape designer, Linda Shotwell to follow the eco-friendly concept, but also use native plants that would be draught tolerant, wildlife resistant and non-toxic to horses.
And finally he spoke of the sub-contractors, carpenter’s and interior designer, (Michele Fanning’s) role in the property development.
Then he directed the crowd to the first building on the tour and everyone enjoyed a leisurely stroll with wine glasses in hand toward the next gathering.
At each structure Frank gave a short overview of the processes and technologies specific to that building.
We will be posting short video clips in the near future of Frank’s tour talks at the Green Horse Property website.
You can also visit the Open House Photo Album to see pics taken throughout the tour and talks
Merriewold Morgans, Owner