First Nature Notes
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Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
It’s hard to believe we are on the last day of January of this new year already. The month has flown by. Between my mom’s last days over December, her passing earlier this month, the funeral and memorial events, plus several events at First Nature Ranch and planning for the year, it feels like we are about 2 weeks ahead of where we should be. My mom passed peacefully and rests in peace.
Life is shifting for me now, and events are ramping up at the ranch. More about that shortly. We do have ever more improvements at the ranch, this time in the form of shade shelters within all paddocks. We added five of them late in December so that we can keep the horses in the paddocks while we rest the tracks and dry lots. We also finally ordered mats for our two indoor barn stalls, with more for other high traffic areas to prevent erosion.
In program and event news, we led another Horseplay for Leaders introductory playshop on communication for Career Source Central Florida this month. Like the one in September, it was a big hit with participants, and we have 3 dates each in February and March for more of these playshops and additional more advanced modules on emotional intelligence and in using conflict productively for their leaders.
This month we hosted our first 4H event at the ranch, and a week later we hosted a Donor Appreciation Event where our donors and sponsors were invited to get their photo taken with the horse of their choice and enjoy some refreshments and quality time with the horses.
Our twice-monthly PASOS grief support group continues to serve those who have lost a spouse or child to suicide. We are in talks with a regional foster care agency about bringing our Leading for Change for Teens to some of their teen girls, and with some local veterans’ organizations to pilot our Horse Wisdom for Heroes program. This month we even hosted our first bridal party…for a neighbor down the block (we are not a party venue, though…just FYI).
Next month we will also host a Seeds of Change meeting. This is a group of 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. The idea is to develop better networked local resources to help an individual or family break out of the cycle of poverty.
Remember that we have just started offering what we call Serenity Sessions, an hour-long time with a horse during which you can pet, groom, love on, and pour your heart out to the horse of your choice. Book one today!
While we tentatively scheduled our Grand Opening for February, Omicron has prompted us to postpone for a second time. 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 alignment with our mission. I’d be happy to give you a private, individual, socially distant 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