Rio Verde welcomed Reigning Grace Ranch to the Box Bar Ranch as an intermediate home while their new 20 acre ranch was being prepared at 172nd and Rio Verde Drive this spring. Reigning Grace was started in 2009 by Christopher and Amanda Moore, and pairs at-risk youth with formerly abused horses to experience the life therapy both share with one another. 75% of the children in the program are in foster care or child protective services programs. Most of the horses have been rescued and rehabilitated from abusive and neglected backgrounds. Reigning Grace Ranch is a registered equine rescue in the state of Arizona.
What do at-risk kids and neglected horses have in common? Both have lost trust in those who had them in their care. How do you get that back? Reigning Grace pairs each child with a mentor and a horse. One of the first things that happens is the horse picks the child, not the other way around. Kids are placed in a circle, and the horse “goes to” the child that will be his for the 7 weeks of sessions. During the process the child along with their family learn the skills of a working horse ranch: Hard work, problem solving, leadership, self-esteem, responsibility, life skills, character development and the calming therapy of a horse.
April 22 was Earth Day, and on that day Rio Verde received the designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community. Rio Verde has been working toward becoming a sustainable community for five years now. To become a sustainable community Rio Verde developed and implemented a Long Term Sustainability Plan.
Included in the plan was the installation of solar panels on the community center, removing turf areas out of play on the golf course and replacing those areas with desert landscaping featuring native plants, replacing gas golf carts with electric carts, and donations of citrus fruit grown by the residents to local food banks.
Rio Verde now becomes the ONLY COMMUNITY WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI to be designated an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community.
Read the Fountain Hills Times article for more information!
Merry Christmas to all!
Christmas Eve is here, and once again we enjoy family, friends, great weather, luminaries, cactus dressed up in lights, ornaments on trees inside and out, and remembering the spirit of the holiday. We all celebrate Christs birth, and pray for peace on earth.
To get you in the mood, NBC’s Today Show featured a charity that we support here in Rio Verde: Sunshine Acres. In their “Getting to the heart of Christmas” series, sponsored by Walmart, the Today show had this look into Sunshine Acres: Watch here.
Rio Verde Fire District desert wildfire truck
Wildfire. Like the word Hurricane in the Southeast, or Tornado warning in the Midwest, this is a word that puts fear, or at the very least concern in the hearts of us who live in the west. Our low humidity and extremely hot climate creates fuel for wildfires, and a wet spring only encourages growth of shrubs and native grasses. Once this fuel drys in the summer, a cigarette or a spark from a vehicle, gunfire or campfire can cause the desert to easily burst into flames. Continue reading