A FERTILE Foundation, located near Charlottesville, Va., is a non-profit (501c3) organization, which was established primarily to offer unique opportunities for individuals with special needs to connect with nature, animals, and their community. In addition, we provide volunteer opportunities for the general public so they can make these connections as well. It’s our hope that our programs will be both healing and educational.
Our mission is to offer farm-centered therapy programs; provide environmental and agricultural education; promote and build a sense of community; instill a sense of global reverence; and encourage personal health and wellness. We will be a catalyst for change in the way that people view their place in the world. Our aim is to remind people that they are part of something larger, a web of interconnectedness that links them to the world around them, bringing awareness to the intrinsic value of that relationship.
Through education and fostering connections we seek to strengthen bonds with nature and our neighbors, to help people evolve a healthier lifestyle for themselves, and to encourage them to preserve the Earth. We will teach a world view, which begins with respect for self and others and extends to encompass a respect for the world as a whole.
Our activities create personal growth, increase participants’ mental and physical well-being, and strengthen bonds between them, their community, and the natural world. Using nature and animals as our medium we teach the value of trust, compassion, connection, and service. We provide a platform from which participants can achieve therapeutic, educational, vocational, or personal wellness goals, but our focus is much larger than any of these individual components. What we truly strive for is to create symbiosis, where participants clearly see, and come to value, their connection to the world around them; where they are both receiving and giving assistance; and where everyone benefits from a relationship that is mutually supportive.