Program for Underprivileged and Special Needs Children

Thanks to a grant from the Ellis Gimbel Trust Locket’s Meadow is able to offer a free-of-charge, half-day visit to our farm specifically for underprivileged children and/or children with special needs. The program will be offered every Wednesday through the end of September. The visit includes a farm tour, pony rides, story telling and a choice of beginner-level goat yoga or hand drumming.  Groups are welcome to request visits, as well as individuals, for whom we will schedule several opportunities throughout the season. Please refer to the following information so you can full prepare for your visit. As you read, please realize that we have worked with special needs individuals for many years and understand some will have limited ability to understand rules. It’s OK, we will work within each child’s capability. It looks like an onerous list, but this information saves us time so we can hurry past the details and get down to having an incredibly fun, happy and memorable day.

  • No child will be allowed to participate unless we have a signed waiver from a parent or guardian.
  • The animals on our farm have been rescued and rehabilitated. They are part of our family and we treat them with utmost respect. They will never again be in a position where they can be slaughtered for food or abused in any way. As you prepare your group/child for his/her visit, please explain that all animals on our farm are family members and are dearly loved, including (or rather, especially!) those with disabilities.
  • Please provide enough staff and/or chaperones to make sure all children are completely supervised during the entire visit. Our animals are well-trained and gentle, but this is a farm and there is always potential for danger if a guest wanders away or shows inappropriate behaviors. Our instructors are there to teach, but overseeing each guest and facilitating appropriate behavior is the responsibility of staff/guardians.
  • Please explain to participants that animals will poop when they need to. I usually tell them that I am pleased they poop outside because if they tried to use my bathroom toilet they would crush it. If they understand this beforehand it will save a lot of time explaining why there is often manure on the ground. (This may sound silly, but we only have three hours and it’s more fun to use our time talking about other things!)
  • NO running or shouting is allowed near the animals.
  • We have a lovely picnic area that is available for snacks or lunch, but we ask that it be cleaned up and trash bagged and removed before you leave the farm.
  • Any aggression toward an animal requires that the participant be removed immediately. We understand some individuals struggle to control themselves, which is why we ask for involved supervision from staff/chaperones. Once under control, that participant can be reintroduced at the discretion of their guardian.
  • Please have all participants wear closed shoes. It’s a large farm and we can’t get everything picked up as quickly as we’d like. Also, those without closed shoes, (preferably hard, such as boots or work boots) will not be allowed on the horses for their own safety. Don’t make yourself crazy, just do the best you can and absolutely no sandals or flipflops.
  • We do have some electric fences and we will tell guests and chaperones what to watch out for. They won’t really hurt you, but most people don’t like being surprised by them!
  • If any participants have any special health issues such as seizures, aggression, etc., please inform us in advance. They will, of course, be allowed to participate, but we need to know what to keep an eye out for in consideration of their safety.
  • Any form of bullying of others in the program or of animals will get an immediate time out.