Helping Hands Healing Sanctuary in Newberg, Oregon, has a tribe of goats. The owner of the farm wants a play structure built so that the goats and the people who come to the farm for goat therapy have a place to better interact rather than standing in the currently empty pen.
Building a play area fulfills an expressed need of the farm and serves both the goats, and anyone who comes to the farm to interact with them. In addition, the goats now have a place for behavioral enrichment and exercise as they love to climb and jump.
When the owner, Rose Sullivan, was talking with me about the need of a structure, I decided this should be my project as I have volunteered at the Helping Hands Healing Sanctuary farm over the last six summers, and I wanted to give something long lasting back to farm.
Stress continues to be a global concern with all walks of life. Animal therapy in general, and goat therapy in specific, helps calm us humans. The goats are in-tune with our internal rhythms and have a unique way of understanding what we need.
My experiences there have added to my growing maturity and confidence around animals. My experience volunteering on the farm and learning how it runs has helped form my desire to work with animals in the future, possibly running my own animal therapy environment someday.
Designing and building a large wooden structure, will help me in designing and building animal enclosures in the future. Planning, and budgeting, will allow me to gain project management skills. Leading a team through the building process will help me gain experience as a leader.
To get more information about the farm, visit https://helpinghandshorse.org.