“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Imagine that you’re at Green River Preserve. You’re between the ages of 7 and 11. You’ve entered an unknown realm, full of wonder and excitement. It’s just after breakfast and you’ve gathered everything you’ll need for your Mentor Hike. You’ve got a backpack stuffed with a raincoat, your water shoes and a full bottle of water. The Mentor in charge of your group says you’ll be going to the GRP Farm today. You’ll eat fresh herbs from the garden, pick some carrots, feed some goats and explore a small piece of the Green River, itself, in search of crayfish and salamanders. This might be the first time you’ve ever been to a farm of any kind, and it’s going to be an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. When you arrive, you see flowers–more vibrant than any other you’ve ever seen. You taste chocolate mint for the first time and think, “whoa, that doesn’t quite taste like a peppermint patty, but it’s not too bad.” You’ve picked your fresh carrot and you’re so excited to eat it you almost forget to wash it first! Turning over rocks in the river, you find the tiniest micro-organisms, even a trio of bright orange crayfish. To top it all off, you discover that goats are like, really hungry. Farmer Phil pours some food pellets in your hand and it tickles as 11 happy goats all crowd around for a taste.
This is just a glimpse of a morning at the Farm, but you get the picture. It’s magical and the memories are the kind that last. At GRP, each second stays with you, for as long as you can hold onto it.
Article by Brandon S. Marshall with photos by Brandon S. Marshall & Samantha Keebler