We’d like to send a HUGE message of appreciation to United Way of Central New Mexico and all the volunteers who came to help on United Way’s Day of Caring. United Way selected Wilderwood for its Valencia County project, and at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 17 an AMAZING group of volunteers turned up to help with an ambitious project.
Our task? Disassemble the broken roundyard and help to repurpose the wood panels to create an extended raised garden for Wilderwood’s E/ASEL and Hautism programs.
Our timeframe: Three hours
Our support: Breakfast burritos (thank you, Nina!), water, and LOTS of enthusiasm!
The result: WE DID IT!
Thank you SO very much to Nina, Arianna, Lorenzo, Cathy, Stephen, Cameron, Keira, Milla, Kuan, Nora, Gary, Debora, Matt, Melanie, and Lindsey! You are truly beautiful spirits to share your time and all your hard work with us. We are truly grateful!
In case anyone here is wondering about Wilderwood’s upcoming Fall session of E/ASEL for children and youth ,we wanted to share with you all a few of the things we’ve heard lately from parents and participants about Wilderwood:
“Your program has changed [my child’s] life! He’s more willing to try new things. Horses were scary; now they’re not. Swimming was scary, and now he goes underwater. Weird vegetables were scary, now he’s more willing to eat them. Your program helped him want to try new things, and for him that’s life changing.”
“I hugged a horse. I rode a horse. I made a new friend. I can do anything!”
“She has so much more confidence in herself, in her ability, and also in others. Thank you.”
Photos below are from a recent E/ASEL session. Thank you, Lindsey, for the beautiful photos!
Recently, we asked if autistic people wanted to share their talent via Wilderwood’s blog. This is an opportunity to celebrate autistic writers, thinkers, artists, musicians, and poets. We have had some amazing pieces submitted and are proud to share them here over the coming weeks and months.
We thank all of the contributors for sharing their work with Wilderwood in the spirit of sharing and promoting autistic people. Wilderwood is an autistic community and we engage with our autistic members as well as reaching beyond into the broader community in multiple ways: this is just one of them.
Please take a moment to enjoy the beautiful artwork of Sia Spark, below. Her piece is entitled “My Brain is Au-Some” and features beautiful, strong colors in a stunning mix of whimsy and boldness. Sia is a late-diagnosed Autistic woman who is a freelance illustrator. In Sia’s words, the artwork below “reflects my experience of finally understanding my brain and embracing myself so that I can truly flourish (for the first time ever!).”
Sia is open to commission requests, including book covers, picture books, children’s books, digital marketing, original character design and more! To support Sia and see more of this amazing illustrator’s artwork, please visit the website: http://www.illustrationbysia.com.
It’s that time again! — newsletter time! Attached is Wilderwood’s Summer 2022 newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading about Wilderwood’s new events, new horse, and latest updates.
One thing we’ll mention here: the newsletter is calling for autistic writers, poets, and artists to contribute to this blog. Sadly, we are unable to pay for these submissions. In no way is this a reflection on the talent of our contributors, nor the time it takes for their craft. It is instead a reality that Wilderwood is a nonprofit and we rely on volunteer contributions in order to fulfil our mission. Even the Executive Director, who is putting in about 80 hours+ a week, is not compensated. In fact, the idea for autistic people to contribute to this blog — and at the same time provide a space and place to promote actually autistic voices — came about because the Executive Director is hard pressed to take on one.more.thing.
One day there may be opportunity to appropriately compensate the autistic people and the non-autistic people who so generously contribute to Wilderwood’s success. In the meantime, we do what we do for the love of it, and in the genuine belief that giving of oneself to help others and to help a cause is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things that can be done.
Enjoy the newsletter, and thank you — as always — to everyone for your contributions, love, and support.
Connecting Hearts: Understanding the Research on the Symbiotic Bond Between Horses and Humans is a beautiful video highlighting research in the area of discovering more about the connection between horses and humans.
Excited to provide an interim update on the PNM Reduce Your Use grant Wilderwood received to install solar lights on the arena! The project is now half-complete, with the 2,500 Kelvin (soft, yellow light spectrum) solar lights in place.
Second phase is to place solar lights down the center of the arena once the cover is completed. This will ensure a safely lit arena and the light contained within the parameters of the arena itself.
Wilderwood is extremely grateful to PNM for this opportunity. It is a cost-effective and environmentally-responsible way to provide safe, soft lighting that will facilitate riding and use of our arena into the evening hours as well as during inclement weather.