One of the newest initiatives at Lakemary is our animal and garden therapy center, commonly referred to as “The Ranch”. It serves as an avenue for therapy, education, and recreation for all of our individuals served. The Ranch includes a chicken coop, rabbit hutches, a goat paddock, a sensory & play garden, a nature/bird-watching space, and a composting area; soon it will also include a year-round greenhouse and a high tunnel.
The focal point of The Ranch is the Andre Dight Memorial Barn, complete with dedicated therapy space, bathroom facilities, and a number of animal stalls. The barn hosts daily group activities such as classroom instruction, special presentations, individual/group/family therapy, and more.
Serving as an extension of Lakemary School, the Ranch is utilized by trained therapists who use chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, and dogs in both structured and non-structured play therapy. The animals help Lakemary children and adults to express their feelings, utilize calming strategies, build positive relationships, and improve self-esteem. The gardening activities encourage exercise and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Another exciting aspect of this initiative is the relationship with several organizations like the K-State Extension Master Gardeners, Spring Valley Rabbits, and Terabithia Goat Farm to not only help us maintain a fully functioning ranch but to also have an official 4-H SPIN Club. The group meets regularly and is made up of dedicated students from Lakemary School. They also participate in various animal/gardening competitions at local fairs and have won several awards.
To learn more about Lakemary Ranch, give us a call at (913) 557-4000 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly: