Discovery farm gets assistance from VNP

Dutch Representative Chris Johnson presents a cheque for Discovery care farm to Sea Side Nature Park President Alexandra van Luijken Halley, with vet technician Monique Hofman looking on this week.

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Children enjoying the animals at the park.


PHILIPSBURG–The Discovery care farm at Sea Side Nature Park received funding from the Dutch Representation (VNP) this week to repair the damage that was done by Hurricane Irma.

  The damage to the farm is extensive. All the fencing around the area, approximately 150 by 150 metres, was severely damaged, all the buildings were either destroyed or damaged and the animals were placed in a dangerous situation.

  The care farm started in 2008 with the help of local businesses and project financing from the Prince Bernhard Culture Funds and Cooperative Funds. The farm offers horseback riding, summer camps, training and working experience for children and families at risk.

  Caretaker and vet technician Monique Hofman said, “We are so happy that we received these funds to assist in the restoration of the farm and to continue our activities with the animals. Without it, we might have had to shut down. Now we can start rebuilding and continue our work for the communities of St. Maarten.” 

  The centre is both a petting farm and a garden. Its main aim is to provide an “out of the classroom” learning environment. The farm devised a variety of programmes geared to schools, healthcare providers and individual visitors to focus on interaction with animals.

  St. Maarten Dutch representative Chris Johnson said, “We chose to fund the restoration of the care farm because it serves a unique social function in St Maarten. They work with children and families at risk, raise awareness about nature preservation and healthy lifestyle and it even has a therapeutic function.”

  Sea Side Nature Park President Alexandra van Luijken Halley said, “For years we have been working very hard for the community on the island. We are happy that we can continue this work and especially the social therapeutic projects from the Intervision Foundation. After Irma these types of projects are very important for the recovery process of the people of St Maarten.” 

Source: The Daily Herald