News Published: May 20, 2016 - 5:03:48 AM


Grace Farms Space Grant Benefits Neighbors With Disabilities

By STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way


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&fwd=ProductPage&ed=false&headline=Grace Farms Space Grant Benefits Neighbors With Disabilities&published=May 20, 2016 - 5:03:48 AM" target="_blank">Buy the "As seen on" mug
Bjorn_Swartings_of_New_Canaan__Neil_Reilly_of_Wilton__Paul_Pramer_of_Darien_and_STAR_staff_member_Annette_Clark.JPG
Bjorn Swartings of New Canaan, Neil Reilly of Wilton, Paul Pramer of Darien and STAR staff member Annette Clark (contributed photo)
Courtesy of a space grant from Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, STAR clients with developmental disabilities are enjoying the fantastic resources of Grace Farms in New Canaan, including the River building designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the Pritzker Prize-winner architecture firm, SANAA based in Tokyo. The River building houses Grace Farm’s activities and includes a library, site of the STAR group’s book club. The entire 1,400 foot building meanders up a gentle slope while blending into the site’s wetlands and woodlands. STAR clients attending their Book Club at Grace Farms are free to enjoy the building and gorgeous 80 acres of Grace Farms designed by top landscape architects to include open meadows, woods, trails, wetlands, and ponds and native flora and fauna.

Left_to_right_Neil_Reilly_of_Wilton__Mark_Fowler_of_Grace_Farms__Paul_Pramer_of_Darien__Annette_Clark_of_STAR_and_Nick_Evarts_of_New_Canaan_-_Copy.JPG
Left to right Neil Reilly of Wilton, Mark Fowler of Grace Farms, Paul Pramer of Darien, Annette Clark of STAR and Nick Evarts of New Canaan (contributed photo)
Mark Fowler, Nature and Wildlife Ambassador at Grace Farms, personally met with members of the STAR Book Club at Grace Farms and led them on a hike and tour of the grounds with explanations about the trails, ponds, unique birds such as the falcons and kestrel nesting boxes, and different species of trees, shrubs and other sights. Fowler said, “Today, we are more connected than ever in the digital world, but we have also never been more disconnected from the natural world. I believe that with our 80-acre Grace Farms preserve we have a real chance to inspire people from all backgrounds and abilities to reconnect with the natural world which surrounds us and feel the awe and wonder that nature can provide.”

Left_to_right_Nick_Evarts_of_New_Canaan__Paul_Pramer_of_Darien__Bjorn_Swartings_of_New_Canaan__Annette_Clark_of_STAR_and_Mark_Fowler_of_Grace_Farms_-_Copy.JPG
Left to right Nick Evarts of New Canaan, Paul Pramer of Darien, Bjorn Swartings of New Canaan, Annette Clark of STAR and Mark Fowler of Grace Farms (contributed photo)
Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR said, “This experience with Grace Farms is an amazing opportunity and very positive experience for our clients. Those with intellectual disabilities can build and develop their reading, speech, social and interaction skills in a unique, relaxing and energizing nature-based aesthetic environment. We are so very excited about this opportunity courtesy of Grace Farms Foundation.”

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. They create opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy. They inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals. For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way please visit their website www.starct.org.




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