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February 2023
First Nature Notes: Is it Summer Already?

Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,


While much of the country has been lashed by winter storms, here in Florida it is just about spring. I’ve rescued a gopher tortoise (a threatened species) yesterday and a soft-shell turtle the day before, both dangerously crossing roadways. Alligators have been active in the ponds and lakes; my roses have had their first bloom of the year and my Tabebuia tree is already losing its flowers. We’ve had temperatures in the 90’s this week! That means that the brand new walled sheds I had built for the horses to take shelter in during chilling winter winds and pelting hurricane-force rain are late for the purpose, but at least they will be in place for thunderstorms this summer. Most of the year here we need maximum ventilation, but sometimes we need shelter from freezing cold, high winds, and heavy rains. Lightning rod protection will be installed on the new sheds soon.


The first 2023 cohort of veterans started this month in our Horse Wisdom for Heroes program. We have also set a date to offer a program for another local nonprofit called Rebuild Yourself. Their purpose is to ensure that no teen ever feels like they are alone and to provide teens with a true sense of belonging. Their goal is to break the stigma surrounding mental health challenges and promote good mental health to teens and families, providing them with the support they need to thrive into adulthood. It’s been very easy to see how our missions align! Currently, we are in the program design process for this group…so exciting!


We are thrilled to announce that we began riding lessons at the ranch, too! This has been a long-time goal, and as soon we started letting folks know that lessons were available, they filled immediately. The lessons are not just about riding, but about enhancing leadership skills through riding and applying them to other life situations. Our fantastic Horse Psychology Specialist, Michelle Smith, is our instructor, and we have already had several riders have subsequent lessons and sign up for lesson packages. Michelle and I will be scheduling our next horsemanship clinic this month at the ranch for later this spring, as well.


As always, we are seeking organizations that might be interested in our Horseplay for Leaders programs, or any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two (ours or their own) at the ranch, so please refer them to us. Our facility is also open to host events as long as there is some alignment with our mission. Please email us for availability and details:


We continue to offer tours, as it’s the best way to understand our vision and to see it in person, so please reach out to schedule one. Feel free to share my information with those you think might be interested: or message me to set up a time.


Stay healthy and take care!

Kerul and Crew





First Nature Ranch / First Nature Foundation  

“Where the past, present, and future of leadership come together for the dignity and benefit of all.” 

A big thank you to our sponsors! (1640 × 800 px) (1640 × 924 px)_edited.jpg
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