Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center Serving all individuals with unique abilities and health needs

Ivy Hill Receives Grant from Foundations Community Partnership

Foundations PERKASIE, PA – Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, located at 1811 Mill Road in Perkasie was awarded a $10,000 Capital Improvement Grant for the installation of a Sure-Hands Body Support Lift from Foundations Community Partnership. The award was presented by FCP Executive Director Ron Bernstein on December 13, 2017.

The Sure-Hands Body Support Lift, which will be mounted in the indoor arena on Ivy Hill’s  ADA-compliant mounting ramp, will provide a safe and secure way for immobile and mobility-impaired riders to be mounted and unmounted on the back of a therapy horse without the fear or danger of injury to rider, horse or staff.

“The Sure Hands Lift that this grant from Foundations Community Partnership will help us purchase will allow us to introduce the most physically challenged individuals in our communities to the benefits of equine therapies and expand the reach of our programs for those individuals” said Chris Brockett, Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. President and CEO.

“It is both the industry standard for performance and safety, and is built specifically with the need of the immobilized or mobility-impaired rider in mind,” Brockett added.

Program Director Megan Hance explained that as a therapeutic equine program and community center, it is imperative that all clients, visitors, employees and volunteers have total access to use of Ivy Hill’s  facility and our horses.

“Nowhere is this more important than in the service of our most challenged community members” said Hance.

” The installation of a Sure Hands Body Support Lift removes the threat of injury and overcomes the physical barriers that create exclusion and limit inclusive participation”  continued Hance.

Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center’s riders include those individuals with diagnoses of autism, epilepsy, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injury, traumatic accident, stroke and genetic birth defects, and serves vulnerable populations of seniors, women, children and veterans. Ivy Hill’s Mission is to create therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience.

To support the programs at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, to volunteer, sponsor a horse or a rider, make a donation or for more information, please visit www.ivyhillequestrian.org, email Program Director Megan Hance at mstrychowski@ivyhillequestrian.org, or call 215-822-2515.

Foundations Community Partnership

Executive Director Ron Bernstein presents grant check at Ivy Hill with Valerie Usner of Wellspring Clubhouse,  Jonathan Ryan of Bucks County Intermediate Unit  and Grace Emmell Leister, Board of Directors, Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc.

A Tree Shines at Pearl S Buck

A Tree Shines at Pearl S. Buck

From November 15th  through December 30th, the Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. has the unique Pearl S Buck Treeopportunity to participate in a  historic Bucks County holiday tradition, the Pearl S. Buck Festival of Trees. The event showcases beautiful trees and vignettes designed and decorated by some of Bucks County’s best artists and decorators as well as by local community groups to convey the spirit of Pearl S. Buck’s legacy as an activist, humanitarian and author. Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center created their holiday presentation in Miss Buck’s bedroom, and joined Ivy Hill’s theme Horses + Love = Hope with Miss Buck’s quote “Hope Brings Comfort.”  Led by Ivy Hill Board of Director member and Quester Grace Emmell-Leister, the room pays tribute Pearl S Buck Bedroomto the horses and riders of Ivy Hill, as well as Miss Buck’s specia- needs daughter. “The idea for the room’s design was based on The Child Who Never Grew, Miss Buck’s personal story about her daughter” said Emmell-Leister. “I must say that we have captured the essence of what Pearl Buck was about, and I find it unique that we are in the inner sanction of her bedroom”  continued Emmell-Leister.  “The equestrian theme is justified because her children had equines on that property, and there are two pictures of her children in our room.” Throughout the room, quotes from Miss Buck’s  writings on handcrafted signs created by Ivy Hill Instructor Sarah Mantle Pearl S BuckYoungstrand are displayed that touch an emotional chord. Questers Gaudy Chapter #270 members Donna Cochran and Anita Lamond created a warm and personal design that includes two quilts handmade by Cochran, a winter village and train layout done by Rick Pool, and an equestrian-themed Christmas tree and decorations done by Chris Brockett, Bud Leister, John Cochrane and Howard Peters-Strickland.  During the Festival of the Trees,  about 2000 visitors will visit the Pearl S. Buck estate, located at 520 Dublin Pike in Perkasie, and vote for their favorite room. Please encourage your family and friends to see the wonderful work of all the decorators. Once again, thank you to Grace, Chris, Donna and John, Anita, Bud, Howard, Rick, and Sara.

Making Ivy Hill Greener

MAKING IVY HILL GREENER

The Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is in the middle of a new project to make the facility more sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It is called “Making Ivy Hill Greener.”   In December 2016, Ivy Hill started a recycling program, manure composting and rainwater collection.  In the future, Ivy Hill has plans to construct a Horticultural Therapy Garden using raised beds for Square Foot Gardening, which will provide easy access for the handicapped and another way to utilize the composted manure and collected rainwater. This therapeutic garden will complement the thriving equine assisted therapy program.

At Ivy Hill, our clients and horses are our top priority, and thus we want to develop an environmentally friendly facility. We have found three ways to help us achieve our goal of creating a positive environmental impact. This three- pronged approach includes manure management, water conservation and environmental education.

In addition to using a manure pickup service, Ivy Hill started composting our equine partners’  droppings.   Active Composting Manure has many benefits–fewer green-house gases are released from manure; it is more cost-effective than manure pickup,  finished compost can be spread on Ivy Hill facility gardens and pastures  and extra compost can be sold to landscaping companies to fundraise for current programs/horse care.

Currently, Ivy Hill uses an onsite well for all water needs. Wells can “dry-up” meaning that a new well must be dug deeper or in another area to reach more groundwater. This process is very expensive, so to reduce our dependency on the well, we have installed a rain water collection system. This new addition will allow us to water the indoor riding arena weekly, as well as the extensive landscaping.  It should be noted that water used for bathrooms and drinking water will continue to be sourced from the well.

 
Environmental education opportunities will flourish in a rich, hands on program at Ivy Hill. The water from the collection tank and finished compost will be used for an on-site vegetable and flower garden. Some of the many benefits of involving clients in the care of a vegetable/flower garden at the facility include fostering teamwork and leadership skills by working together to take care of a common garden, cultivating an appreciation for nature and living things and practicing fine and gross motor skills through watering, weeding and pruning.

 
Those working on “Making Ivy Hill Greener”  project include Chris Brockett, Grace Emmell Leister, Marissa Cubbage and Brad Walters and his family, who own Green Works Farm, as well as the Master Gardeners of Montgomery County. A junior at Juniata College studying Environmental Science and a summer intern at Ivy Hill, Marissa Cubbage is very involved in this project. She says, “Like any facility of its size, Ivy Hill has an environmental impact. Manure and rainwater management are complicated issues that need site-specific attention.  I am so glad to be a part of tackling this issue at an equestrian center where so many lives are positively affected.”

Board of Directors member Grace Emmell Leister has always been interested in the environment. She hopes that this will help to make Ivy Hill more sustainable through the cost savings associated with manure removal and the rain water collection to conserve that natural resource. Emmell Leister, an educator for over 30 years, loves to help today’s young people build their resumes. This project provides Marrisa Cubbage with actual school-to-work experience at the same time “Making Ivy Hill Greener.”

President and CEO Chris Brockett explained ” you broadly interpret our mission at Ivy Hill, we work to make life better while helping people with their challenges.This project continues our mission in some new and exciting ways.”

Volunteers and donors can help with our project in the following ways:

  • Donate materials for composting system or garden
  • Water and weed garden
  • Sell or purchase garden produce
  • Bag or purchase finished compost
  • Check and record daily temperature of active compost

If you have questions or would like to help with this project, please contact  Grace Emmell Leister at m_gel@comcast.net or Marissa Cubbage at marissacubb@gmail.com.