supported by HCS are part of the Day Habilitation Program on the farm. There they interact with the public (Springdale Farm has around 40,000 visitors a year), feed and care for the animals, and operate the petting zoo, among other things. Dan Peters, director of the farm, calls it a “reverse integration” program, where people of all ages come to experience the farm but also get to see people with disabilities performing meaningful jobs there.
What to Do
Karen Warren wears many hats at the farm, the primary ones being tour director and farm development. She says there’s a nice assortment of animals residing at Springdale, including miniature horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, peacocks, a pig, and a dog. Seeing these animals up close and personal can be a real sensory experience for children of all ages, especially those from an urban background, Dan adds. Spring, when many of the animals give birth, is a particularly good time for families to visit the adorable newborns. The friendly animals always welcome treats from the dispensers too. Springdale Farm has nature trails to walk, a pond to relax by, a playground to climb on and a pavilion to picnic in (no grills please). Dan and Karen say that there’s no timeframe at the farm; you can stay for half an hour, or spend the day there.
THE SHEEP SHEARING FESTIVAL For over 20 years, Springdale Farm has hosted this popular event. Dan explains that, since they had to shear their sheep every year anyway, they decided to host a fundraiser that would expand on the shearing theme. For just $5 per person, kids can see demonstrations of sheep shearing, wool dyeing, spinning, and weaving, as well as visit the petting zoo, make a spring craft, and take a tour of the Robotic Milking Center. And, if your children decide that they want to be shorn just CONTINUED >>>
Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent • March/April 2017
Rochester NY's Premier parenting publication. This month featuring our Annual Camp & Summer Activity Guide