First Nature Notes
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Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
Almost 1/6 of the year is over! This morning it really felt like spring here, with the cold weather almost entirely behind us in Central Florida. The birds were singing their spring songs, the grass and some of the trees are slowly awakening from their winter dormancy, and the pollen is flying, producing significant allergies for many.
Well, every season has its pros and cons, right? Hopefully, we will have some lovely temperate weather before the heat settles in. We are starting to replant some of the flower beds that got hit by a hard frost last month and prepping our landscaping equipment for the vigorous workouts to come as the growing season gets underway.
For me, the last couple of months has been about adjusting to the new reality of living alone and no longer having any immediate family. But that is mixed with also gearing up for a much more active year ahead with programs and events, as well as being more social on a personal level.
In terms of facilities, last month I mentioned we added some shelters, but we failed to include a photo of them. And we’ve just had some re-grading done in the south pasture dry lot.
As a program and event updated, our Horseplay for Leaders introductory playshops on communication have been a big hit, and we are piloting the more advanced module on emotional intelligence in a few days.
This month we hosted Seeds of Change at the ranch, a group of the local, area mostly faith-based organizations, community leaders, and community-minded individuals that come together nine times a year to discuss and work on challenges in the community for those living in poverty in the greater St. Cloud area. Some folks from The Transition House in Saint Cloud attended and we discussed getting a cohort of their veterans to the ranch for our Horse Wisdom for Heroes program, which should start next month. We have been approved for a grant from the county that will cover half our program costs and is reaching out to individuals and businesses to raise money to cover the rest of the program costs.
The PASOS grief support group continues to serve those who have lost a spouse or child to suicide. Here are some photos of January’s Donor Appreciation Event by Kristen Benson, a professional photographer, during which we offered our donors the opportunity to get their photo with the horse of their choice (almost everyone chose Goldi!).
Our Grand Opening, which had been scheduled for this month but was postponed (again!) has been rescheduled to April 2, from 5-7 pm. Reminder: it’s an invitation-only event so let me know if you’d like to be included on the list.
Do you know any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two or hold an event at the ranch now that we are starting to actually schedule them? We are willing to consider hosting events at the ranch, as long as there is some kind of alignment with our mission. I’d be happy to give you a private individual tour. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or instant message me on Facebook to set up a time.
Take care and stay healthy!
Kerul and crew