Storybook Farm was born from a love of children

What images spring to mind when you hear the word “childhood”? Running through sprinklers on a hot summer day. Blowing bubbles in the backyard. Riding bikes. Family trips. While these memories are reasons to smile there are times when challenging events happen in a child’s life.

The reality is that things aren’t always sunny and happy in childhood. In fact, more than 20 million parents have a child who struggles with emotional, behavioral, or developmental challenges.

Storybook Farm is here to provide youth experiencing serious life-altering circumstances with some serious life-changing help. In our book, this meant striking up friendships with man’s best friend and man’s other best friend around – dogs and horses, respectively.

So, we dreamt up this enchanted place to encourage meaningful social connections, and foster confidence and independence. The bond between children and animals is undeniable likewise being around them is just plain good for the mind and body. In fact, research reveals that animals are capable of positively affecting the mental health of those around them while providing a physical outlet as well.

We’ve found though children’s needs can fluctuate greatly, especially as the circumstances and reasons for difficulties are varied and ever changing, animals are universally innovative therapists to calm, teach and motivate.

Storybook Farm’s animal-assisted and nature-based programs center around what kids are passionate about, what they are interested in, and what they love. Our farm is a safe, supportive, and enriching environment where the joys and accomplishments are celebrated.

We’re wild about our work and won’t be finished until every child can experience the power of the human-animal bond.

You just need to see it for yourself! Schedule your visit. We can’t wait to meet you.

Our mission is to empower children impacted by adversity and to reclaim the wonder of childhood through relationships with animals and nature.

Our vision is that one day, every child who needs the restorative power of the human-animal bond will have the opportunity to experience it.

Our History

Once upon a time (could our story start any other way), Dena Little envisioned an organization that would connect children experiencing physical, cognitive, social, or mental health challenges with the restorative power of animals. She knew first-hand the nonjudgmental comfort an animal can provide inspires healing.

So, she dove in with an immense passion to create a community committed to children – where the child-animal bond could be celebrated and nurtured and where children could discover, grow, and learn.

In 2002, Storybook Farm opened with two ponies, a horse, and a dog. Hope was born. At the time, we had no idea how far-reaching this mission would become. The initial focus was to serve children struggling through emotional issues from the back of a horse. Quickly the demand for this program outpaced our expectations and resources. The need was even greater than imagined.

In 2004 the transformation began. Storybook moved to a 51-acre farm, built a new facility, and expanded programming. The Storybook experience now includes six programs: Hope on Horseback, Storybook Tails,Short Stories, Horse Sense, Flat Stanley’s Discovery Trail, and the Secret Garden. Though we continue to mature as an organization one thing has never changed – all programs are provided at no cost to families.

Since our founding, the unwavering dedication of individuals, corporate sponsors, and our board of directors has helped our mission come to life. Together we’ve built a road to hope and possibility.