For the first time, ADAPT Community Network individuals and staff took a two-day trip to the Root Farm, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people of all ages and abilities through agricultural, equine and recreational experiences that are both healing and educational.
The Root Farm, located in Sauquoit, New York, is an innovative complex that features an equine-assisted therapy center, a diverse agriculture center, an accessible challenge course with tree top zip lines and rock wall for individuals of all abilities, and much more. The farm and its facilities provide educational, recreational, therapeutic, vocational, and volunteering experiences.
“This was our first time visiting the Root Farm and it was such an incredible experience for our individuals as every activity on the farm itself was adaptive to the needs of people with disabilities,” said Shirley Saint Jean, Exercise Physiologist at ADAPT who led the trip. ADAPT’s Shaniqua Freeman, Beatrice Ethridge and Crystal Cano attended this action-packed trip.
During the first day, the participants had an introduction to the basics of horseback riding and practiced interacting with the horses. ADAPT’s individuals also had an amazing experience zip lining at the tree top level through the adventure park and rock climbing, and navigating through the extensive obstacle adventure course. The obstacle course consisted of 10 obstacles at tree top height and 11 on the ground level, such as the balance beam, tight rope, utility latter, gymnastic ring, and a monkey bar. During the team building exercises, the individuals and staff formed pretzels holding hands without letting go, conducted a scavenger hunt, and played chess.
Day two consisted of horseback riding where individuals trained on horseback, building up their skills to eventually hop over beams and ride without the instructor’s company. The day continued with an amazing experience at the farm’s greenhouse – watering plants, and pulling / packing vegetables to be sold at the local farmer’s market. The participants also cleaned up the chicken coop, changed the water in the basin and collected the eggs. The day concluded with an adventurous wheel chair dirt bike ride on the rough terrain. Everyone had a blast making memories at the Root Farm!