April ’23 Week 3: Heather Ridge, Respite Program, Habitat For Humanity, EL Students & Earth Day

April continues to be a busy month for us!

On the 17th, Heather Ridge High School sent students out to work in our garden (and see our animals, of course!) That evening, a local respite program sent their students out for a similar experience. We are really enjoying sharing our garden with small groups this spring – it’s a new addition into our programs and proving a great fit. We really love getting kids in the dirt!

On the 18th, Habitat for Humanity was having its board meeting at ThorpeWood’s lodge. In the afternoon, some of their board members and staff joined us for some outdoor programming. The small group opted for a hike around the property and some time with our animals. With their big day over and a strategic plan in the works, they seemed liberated from the burdens of the day. It was wonderful to be silly with them and share the experience alongside these lovely folks.

From the 20th to the 21st, Governor Thomas Johnson’s English Learners department spent two days and one night at the farm! This was their second annual sleepover at the farm and boy howdy, was it a success! The kids played in the stream – lounging and splashing in the water, played soccer, blasted music, and stayed up late.

On the 22nd, we celebrated Earth Day!! We started with a community Forest Therapy Walk at 7am with a total of 11 participants. We enjoyed having many kids along the way, which turned the experience into more of a sensory walk with lots of sharing. Everyone had a lovely time. One participant reported the the walk had her feeling more connected to nature than she had ever felt before! After the forest therapy walk, seven of us headed out for a road clean-up on Catoctin Hollow Road. We had such fun cleaning up our beautiful mountain road. We filled five trash bags and brought back five tires. As we finished up, we took a dip in the mountain stream before the skies unleashed a rainstorm over us. We were beyond delighted by the day!