Lakemary Ranch is our animal and garden therapy center. Commonly referred to as “The Ranch,” it serves as an extension of Lakemary School and provides therapy, education and recreation for students and all the individuals we serve.
The Ranch includes a chicken coop, rabbit hutches, a goat paddock, a pig pen, a sensory and play garden, a nature/bird watching space, a composting area, and a high tunnel greenhouse. Therapists use the animals to help individuals express their feelings, learn healthy behaviors and improve self-esteem. Lakemary School students take turns tending to the flowers and caring for the animals that live at the Ranch. Each classroom also plants, tends and harvests a raised bed of vegetables, providing students with exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables to eat.
Another prominent aspect of the Ranch is the André Dight Memorial Barn. This beautiful building boasts space for therapy, bathroom facilities, several animal stalls, multiple heating units, and wireless internet. The barn hosts daily group activities such as classroom instruction, special presentations, individual/group/family therapy, and more.
The addition of the Ranch has led to exciting partnerships with organizations including the K-State Extension Master Gardeners, Spring Valley Rabbits, and Terabithia Goat Farm. These groups not only help us maintain a fully functioning ranch, they also helped us form an official 4-H SPIN Club. The group, made up of dedicated Lakemary School students, meets regularly and participates in various competitions at local and county fairs. They have even won several awards!