Exhale – Explore – Enjoy
A Call to Action:
Early in the summer of 2015, friends visited Lavender Crest Farm and were amazed at the sense of peacefulness they experienced in the lavender and while spending time with the Icelandic horses. Throughout the rest of that summer other visitors stopped at the farm to walk in the lavender gardens and talk to the horses always leaving the farm with that same sense of peacefulness. At this point, David and Sharon realized something they always knew – the passion they had for their farm, gardens and animals had a magic appeal…..an idea was born!
The formative years
Both David and Sharon have been active educators for the past 30+ years. David working on the college level, Sharon a high school science teacher both enjoyed the outdoors; long walks with dogs in tow, work in the lavender gardens, and all the peacefulness that animals and gardening brings to our lives. Things changed in 2012 when Sharon needed a second hip replacement and then revision surgery that
required her to be bedridden without a permanent hip for three months. This began a very long process of rehabilitation to gain some mobility; first a wheelchair, then a walker and eventually a cane, leaving her permanently disabled and forced to retire from teaching. This experience opened both of their eyes to the lack of open spaces with proper trails so that people with disabilities can enjoy what nature has to offer.
While doing some research, David came across “care farms” (therapeutic farms) that allow people to use their various senses to experience the outdoors and the plants and animals that live there. They both realized that, if available, care farms would be an answer to the problem. However, while popular in Europe, care farms are relatively new in the United States. So, the idea that evolved was to turn Lavender Crest Farm into a therapeutic/care farm devoted to providing a safe and healing place for animals and people that is accessible to all. A farm where young and old can experience sensory areas, provide intimate spaces where individuals can be immersed in the fragrances, textures and colors of plants, natural areas that will provide effective and creative animal-assisted therapy, encourage the development of human-animal relationships and a positive, non-judgmental environment for individuals and animals, and a place that will provide educational and community outreach programs to teach humane care and the prevention of cruelty to animals. Lavender Crest Foundation was born!