Educate. Enrich. Empower.
10KO is dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering military active duty, veterans, first responders, underserved youth, and their families through engagement with nature and hands-on learning about conservation.
Our goal is to help restore the kinships affected during times of absence while serving.
A Sanctuary of Diversity
The Barn at Rock Fence’s 450+ acre property in Chambers County, Alabama consists of diverse wildlife habitats, the Rock Fence Farm, 14 wildlife plots, a fishing pond, a trap and skeet range and shooting range, a hunting lodge (a relic from the 80s, when the property was a private hunting preserve), dog kennels, quail hatcheries, and miles of trails through hardwood forests.
Healing Through Nature
Rock Fence is a place of hope and healing. Research has demonstrated that the health benefits of spending time in nature include:
- Reduced stress
- Better sleep
- Reduced depression and anxiety
- Greater happiness
- A sense of well-being and life satisfaction
- Reduced aggression
- Enhanced social connectedness
- Improved postoperative recovery
- Improved pain control
These benefits are especially important for participants and their families, many of whom struggle in these areas. We are humbled and grateful to be able to serve people from all walks of life and from all over the U.S. through our programs.
Our Mission In Action
We are honored and humbled to fulfill our mission by welcoming veterans from across the United States into the embrace of 10 Klicks Outdoors. Our programs provide opportunities for veterans and their families to reconnect with nature and, in turn, with one another. Through shared experiences, our heroes find solace, support, and renewed strength.
A JOURNEY FROM HUNTING PRESERVE TO HEALING HAVEN
The name “Rock Fence” originated from a historic dam on the property that was constructed of stones stacked 12 feet tall on a granite shoal across an unnamed stream. In 1984, the site became a private hunting preserve, and a 20,000-square-foot lodge was built with repurposed railroad cars. Soon after, the nearby town was called Rock Fence after the property. The local community of Five Points, Alabama used the lodge and property for events like high school proms and graduations. Locals will tell you that the property has always been known for its uniqueness and diverse wildlife!
In 2018, the property was owned by a private real estate partnership. The property still contained the diverse natural resources and wildlife habitats that the locals remember – including forests, wetlands, shoals, savannahs, and a lake. Conserving the property would serve the policy objectives of the Alabama State Wildlife Action Plan, the Mobile River Basin Recovery Plan, and the Tallapoosa River Basin Management Plan. The Barn Group Land Trust, Inc. (TBG) was brought in to help arrange a conservation easement for the property.
When TBG looked at this sizable property that was home to so many beautiful creatures and filled with breathtaking views, they recognized its potential to be a place of hope and healing for public benefit. They imagined the respite and solace that the property could provide to military active duty, veterans, first responders underserved youth, and their families. Later that year, and with the support of the property owner, TBG’s initiative that had been passed to 10KO was born.
TBG helped the partnership develop a plan for a conservation easement donation to protect the land’s ecological functions while also providing benefits for the partnership and the community.
The easement helped achieve important goals for all stakeholders:
● Protect the idyllic qualities of the property’s woodlands, wetlands, streams, lakes, and open fields.
● Protect forest resources through strict adherence to best management practices and limited harvest.
● Prohibit any future conversion of the natural resources to development.
● Allow the property to serve its participants and their families through nature-based activities, programs, and events.
Before the ink was dry on the easement, the property was hosting its first event for veterans and their families. The Wounded Warrior Project, a national nonprofit working to help wounded veterans, immediately recognized Rock Fence as a source of respite and healing for its members. Heroes from WWP were the first to use the property, its programs, and land for inspiration and healing.
Through the generosity of our supporters, donors, and partners, the gates at The Barn at Rock Fence have flung wide open for our community and their loved ones. In acknowledgment of the sacrifices of those who have served and their families, we happily share what is protected forever and what TBG has been granted stewardship over.