The work never stops. Last winter was a particularly hard one, wth snow loads damaging the bedding shed, fence posts breaking off and continued wear and tear eating away at the facility. However, we have raised a bit of money over the past year to deal with some of these issues.
We have had fence posts installed and are currently screwing on the rails to improve the security of the corrals and paddock for the horses. Silly bums figured out how to get out of the electric fence enclosures!
One of our grants was received (from MODL) to fix the stable floor and install wheelchair ramps. The floor has been done and the ramps should be going in very soon.
The Awesome Foundation of the South Shore is a group of local citizens who simply believe that the world, and specifically the South Shore, could use more awesome. And they’re opening their own wallets to help South Shore-ians make that happen.
We have pitched ideas to them on four separate occasions, losing out to great projects each time…. until May 2015 when we answered their call to pitch ‘something crazy’. Pattie suggested that she would like to install a zip line to provide sensory input therapy to the kids at Hinchinbrook. (We suspect some of the parents will want to try it, too.) So, armed with information about the great work everyone does at HF, and counting on their imaginations to show the trustees just how awesome this project would be, David Friendly attended their session in Chester and came away the winner!
Here’s how it looks to be a winner.
Installation is now completre with help on the observation platform from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Check out the “dummy” test on You Tube at this link>>. The kids all had a great summer riding this new sensory development feature in the woodlands behind Hinchinbrook Farm.
The We Dig Food Therapeutic Market Garden had a successful first growing season in 2014. Our fall harvest celebration included a wide selection of our vegetables and herbs. To this we added locally sourced sausage and cheese for our “hand-made-by-us” pizza party at the Blockhouse School kitchen. This delicious meal was topped off with late season local strawberries and chocolate zucchini cake.
With the help of community volunteers and Hinchinbrook participants, we turned the abandoned playground at the old Blockhouse School into an edible and sensory gardening area with 6 raised beds and a series of smaller container gardens plus an area for squash and sunflowers. From the bare ground to the peak of our growing season, this space became a popular extension of the natural and sensory activities for Hinchinbrook participants and their families.
We had a weekly presence of participants, volunteers (accompanied by their therapy horses, goats and dogs) building, planting, watering, tending and harvesting to share both with their families and Farmers’ Market customers. This generated amazing results and personal growth for participants. The positive results are not measured solely by the number of participants – but the individual and shared goals and efforts realized by all who took part, and the changes in their lives.
EVENT #1: “OPEN STABLE”
DATE: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Time: 09h00 to 12h00
Presented by ParticipACTION, CBC Television and True Sport, RBC Sports Day in Canada is a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high performance activities. RBC Sports Day in Canada is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the power of sport, build community and national pride, and promote healthy, active living. Hinchinbrook Farm, with assistance from the RBC Learn to Play Project, will be open to the public for the full morning of November 22 so that peopel can see what we are about, meet the critters and enjoy a nice fall day in the woods.
Event #2: Horse Boy Play Date
DATE: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Time: 13h30 – 16h30
The Horse Boy program directed to families dealing with autism will be open to all those interested in this therapeutic riding program. No prior experience necessary, but only available with a reservation and a waiver form must be signed before participating.