Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner Vol. 9

February 14, 2024

Originally Published June 27, 2019

Growing Stronger in Northwest Connecticut

At Little Britches Therapeutic Riding children with conditions including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and complications from Microcephaly build strength, balance, and confidence all while having fun in the outdoors with their favorite pony.

Occupational therapists guide riding sessions, which may include riders holding their arms up and out or standing in their stirrups to improve balance and build core muscles, or reaching for colorful rings while balancing, which promotes motor planning, coordination, and improves color-recognition.

For children with Attention Deficit/Hyper Attention Disorders just the presence of the ponies can reduce anxiety. For those with physical disabilities, such as low-muscle tone and paralysis, riding a pony mimics the gait of human walking, building strength and muscle memory.

A recent grant from the Carlton D. Fyler and Jenny R. Fyler Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, supported 2018 rider expenses for local children.

“The help that we have received from the Community Foundation is immeasurable," said Stuart Daly of Little Britches.

Preserving Natural Places for all to Enjoy

Through its staff and volunteers Steep Rock Association works to conserve ecologically and historically significant landscapes in and around Washington and the Shepaug River Valley and to enhance the communities' connection with nature.

As part of that goal, Steep Rock Association volunteers regularly monitor and maintain trails to ensure that pathways are clear of trees, overgrowth is managed and that any loose boards or nails on boardwalks and bridges are repaired.

A recent grant from The Elson-Slemmer Fund for the Environment enabled the Association to provide volunteers with the forestry management and safety equipment—bear bells, hand pruners, day packs, GPS units and safety helmets and vests— needed to keep trails clear and boardwalks and bridges safe.

“Maintenance and stewardship of trails is essential to the safe use, enjoyment and long-term success of any trail," said Mike Giapponi of Steep Rock Association.

"By including volunteers, we increase community skill-level and promote public participation”

Comfort and Hope in Difficult Times

Goshen Community Care & Hospice supports those in need by providing assistance to individuals returning home from hospital visits, as well as providing transportation to medical appointments, and for shopping needs. They also offer companionship and educational programs.

Twice a year the organization provides “A Journey from Grief to Healing & Hope,” an eight week bereavement program presented by a registered nurse facilitator.

Through the program, Goshen Community Care & Hospice reaches out to those suffering from recent loss, providing information about the effects of bereavement on those hurting and offering coping mechanisms.

The program is free of charge and transportation is available for those who cannot drive.

The Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 bereavement programs were made possible by a grant from The Jeff and Diane Johnson Community Enhancement Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.

"It is with the generosity of individuals and organizations such as yours that we can remain dedicated to our mission of "Neighbor Helping Neighbor,"said Debra Nadaskay of Goshen Community Care & Hospice.