By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston Family Farm is holding its Second Annual Chicken Run on Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m.
All money raised from the 5K Chicken Run and 1-mile Chicken Little Run will go towards a pavilion which is part of their Pathways to Possibilities Project.
“The Pathways to Possibilities Project started over three years ago pre-COVID,” CFF Executive Director Chelsea O’Brien explained. “We had a mission of making sure all of our farm, garden and teaching spaces were accessible to all learners regardless of their age, regardless of their ability, regardless of their mobility. We also want to make things accessible to people with reduced financial resources as well. The Pathways Project is safe and dignified access to all.”
Through the Pathways to Possibilities Project, Clarkston Family Farm built a ADA accessible ramp to Bunnyville. They finished the road which leads their giving tree orchard and healing hoophouse.
“We were able to make our healing hoophouse,” said O’Brien. “All ADA accessible and all raised beds now are wheelchair accessible. They are hip height or higher.
“The last big piece is our big group gathering area which is our teaching pavilion,” she continued, adding it’s 30-foot wide by 60-foot long. “We were able to raise enough money to pour the concrete slab. Now, we need to cover it. We wanted to make sure the busses could come right up to our teaching pavilion and unload easily, and we could be able to teach in all kinds of weather. During the summer when it’s really hot having that coverage is really important and when it’s raining we can still work with all kinds of learners.”
O’Brien shared they want to make sure spaces are safe for all including seniors.
“Our seniors really need to have the support to be able to volunteer with us, coming with grandchildren, coming to Family Free Fun Days,” she said. “We want to make sure they can access our farm and have a really meaningful experience.”
CFF is offering a free Family Fun Day for the elementary school with the most percentage of participants. The school will be able to choose when to have the Family Fun Day
“We hope it will encourage our elementary schools,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just for Clarkston Community Schools. Any school can participate, any student can participate, anybody can participate.”
She added it comes back to the mission of CFF.
“It is all about doing what’s best for kids,” she said. “At our farm we feel that is getting our kids outside, teaching them about where their food comes from, connecting them with the natural world, and doing it within the context of a positive community gathering space. Community is expansive. It does not mean just Clarkston. The learning ventures we have developed with Clarkston Community Schools science coordinators but we have folks from Lake Orion, Brandon, who enjoy those programs.
“This is an opportunity for us to bring in all folks of all different learning environments from the surrounding communities. Because we serve everybody, especially with our special events.”
They will have first, second and third place winners for both the 5K Chicken Run and the Chicken Little Race. The prize for first place is a $50 gift certificate to the market along with some CFF swag. Every participant receives a medal and a T-shirt.
The event also includes the CFF Hog Jog, running with the mini horses, snacks, music and entertainment.
“We think it’s going to be terrific fun and a great success,” said O’Brien. “Last year was a ball and I think this year will be even better.”
For more information, to sign up or to sponsor, visit CFF on Facebook or email your request to email@example.com.