Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heifer Opening

A new-to-me blog is GreenAR by the Day which is written by a local woman who desires to reduce her environmental footprint.  A post last week tipped me to the Heifer Village Grand Opening.

Heifer is a worldwide non-profit organization that seeks to help people with long term sustainability solutions. The headquarters opened in Little Rock in 2006 (don't quote me on the date).  Today's celebration was for the education center.

Today was my first visit to the headquarters.  I was impressed.

The grounds were gorgeous and planned well.  Even though today's high was 85* Mr. Intensity insisted on wearing his long sleeved "dot-camo" with TWO shirts underneath.
There was a petting zoo which was complete with llamas, camels, water buffalo, geese, pigs, chickens, goats, cows, alpacas and I'm probably forgetting some.  These are animals given to poverty stricken people to help them become self-reliant. (At one of the exhibits, I learned that Heifer has 7 M's - but I'm only recalling five: milk, meat, money, materials, motivation.)
When we arrived, we were given a passport to help guide us to all the exhibits.  One of which was rope making.  It was very interesting for the young and old alike.
Most of the exhibits were outside, however, the reason for the celebration was a building.  The education center is a place where we'll return.  It was interactive and great for kids of all ages.  I learned that Heifer teaches villagers to raise tilapia in rice patties so two crops are raised at once.
Below Mr. Intensity is experiencing what it is like to sleep underneath a mosquito tent.  We have friends in Senegal (west Africa) who sleep under these.
Some of the other outdoor exhibits were seed planting, spinning and weaving wool, straw art, vermicomposting and origami.

By far, the most favored passport stamp was for brick making.  The batteries in my camera died so I didn't get pictures in a sequence to really explain the process.  However, it was interesting for the young and old alike.  Yes, I realize I've said that line already.  
The people in orange shirts are volunteers with Heifer.  Some of them live on the Ranch and are getting AmeriCorps credit for their stint.  I think it would be so fun to live on the Ranch.  Mr. Intensity and I will visit there this fall - for sure.
Getting water to wet the bricks for the clay to stick together.
Throwing wads of clay just for fun.
Today was super fun and educational to boot.  If you live in Little Rock, you can experience the celebration tomorrow from noon-4pm.

If you find yourself driving through and are contemplating what to do in Little Rock, I highly recommend a stop at Heifer.  (I've also been to the Clinton Library and didn't enjoy it as much.)  Heifer is definitely the place to stop if children are with you.

Heck, if you're driving through - you better stop at our house.  :)

2 comments:

Sherry said...

That looks like a really interesting place.

I guess Mr. Intensity believes in layering. :) I noticed he eventually came out of the jacket and finally got down to one T. :D

Sadie said...

We've been getting mailings from Heifer Intl for a few years now....I've always thought it was a great project, in fact it's one of my options for the boys this birthday (having people donate money instead of giving gifts to give a family an animal of some sort)....Looks like a great place to visit!

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