By Shelby Deering | August 2017

Sometimes, we look around and think of Heartland as an oasis in an often chaotic, less-than-fuzzy world. Ducks, goats, and chickens live in perfect harmony among one another, often forming interspecies friendships (look no further than our Instagram page for proof). Volunteers experience feelings of compassion and wholeness as we work to help these animals in need. And our country surroundings, complete with green, rolling hills, are just stunning.

Peace is something we all could use more of around here, especially in the wake of sweet Baine the goat’s passing. We would love it if you would help us honor his memory through a donation to Baine’s Memorial Fund. Every little bit counts.

We are thankful for our friends here at the farm that continually bring us comfort, longtime residents and new faces alike, including Hugs, a 10 year-old goat who recently lost her sister and was very lonely. We have hopes that Hugs will live up to her adorable name and bond with April the goat, who’s now without her daughter, Maude. Hugs was very scared when she first arrived, with all the new and strange people around her, the noise, the other animals. But each day, we witness her coming out of her shell more and more. As she goes through the process of receiving vaccines and deworming treatments, she’s quarantined, but we look forward to the upcoming day when she’ll meet the goat and sheep herd.

We experience peace every time a necessity we require is added to the land, like the new well we installed in July. It was certainly a big project, and we’re grateful to have it. Other improvements include an updated electric system—in part courtesy of an award from 100+ Women Who Care – Madison (thank you so much!). The remainder of the project was paid for by a generous Heartland supporter (we appreciate you, too). We’re making lots of upgrades this summer through work groups, groundskeeping, and building projects.

The laughter and fun we experience here at Heartland on our Summer Camp days is its own kind of peace—peace in knowing that the animals are making an impact on the next generation. This year, we’ve been focusing on ways the kids can connect with others, including our animal friends.

During our pasture visits, we practice awareness and being present with the animals around us. Through these mindfulness activities, campers are delighted to find that when we slow down and focus on our surroundings, even the most timid of the animals will often come over to bask in the peaceful energy we create.

Speaking of soothing practices, we even do yoga at camp. It’s been a popular pastime, thanks to our amazing yoga teacher, Amber Krueger. And a special thank-you goes out to our very own Carrie Calkins for the lovely gift of yoga mats for all the kids. We balance these calming activities with lots of exciting games and outdoor adventures. The kids just love running and exploring our big, beautiful pastures.

We’re so thankful to the wonderful, giving families who help us provide materials at camp to make special keepsakes, such as essential oil medallions, dreamcatchers and artwork of our sanctuary residents. Your selflessness has brought joy to the kids, counselors, and animals at the farm.

You can experience the peace at the barn for yourself. We have our public tours continuing this month and into September, and we recently added new dates to our registration page.

Heartland is a magical place, where life slows down and kindness reigns. The animals bring us peace, and we in turn bring them peace by providing a soft, safe place to call home.

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