(President Cara meets some of the goats at Sky River Farm in Utterson. Photo courtesy President Cara)
 
Rotary Club of North Muskoka members welcomed Angee Pell, founder of Sky River Meadows in Utterson, as a guest speaker in January.
And here's what we learned ...

Therapeutic Animal Farm

 
Sky River Meadows is a therapeutic animal farm, says Angee. And it was created "to allow both people and animals to come together safely to learn, connect and heal" and is based on certified Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning also known as the FEEL approach.
 
The farm's herd of Norwegian dwarf goats, raised by hand and friendly to humans, is supported by both staff and volunteers.
 
Programs, though temporarily halted by recent provincial COVID-19 restrictions, include therapeutic walks with the herd for individuals, families or teams, as well as facilitated workshops, toward personal growth or team building. Goat cuddles included. The focus, says Angee, is interaction with the herd and its individual members in a natural setting and disconnected from technology, which can provide mental, emotional and physical health benefits as well as perspective. 
 
Angee notes the herd has also worked with children with developmental delays and adults with developmental disabilities as well as older adults with cognitive impairments in assisted living environments, in addition to individuals faced with mental health challenges such as anxiety, among others. 
 
Development of new programs is underway, though availability will depend on provincial pandemic rules. 
 
Learn more at skyrivermeadows.com.