Our purpose is clear... we are called to serve children and young people of West Michigan and beyond, by providing a beautiful working farm with fulfilling experiences of learning, enjoyment and growing!
After a day of learning at the Critter Barn, Hailee turned and exclaimed, "This was the best day of my whole life!"
She has found purpose and meaning for her life as she has grown friendships with others who care for the animals at our farm. Hailee is in her third year of volunteering.
After a long day of volunteering, Cora's mom came to pick her up. "You know she'd sleep here if she could," she said, "this has been so good for her!"
Cora smiled, "Yeah, that's right, there's no place that I'd rather be."
What's our Goal ?
raise the funds - build the first barns - and move later this year!
The ultimate layout for the new farm can be seen in the full site plan
(click below to see the PDF file).
But it can't all happen at once!
We'll need the help of our community every step of the way.
First things first... Phase 1
• The roadways, parking lot, retention pond, water main, drain field and pipes galore are in the ground completed.
• We are building our first group of barns!
• This first build will take at least four months to complete.
• Then we will move the animals and current operation to this new site, and get ready to OPEN OUR DOORS FOR YOU!
What else is planned?
• Our Woodlot will include a totally accessible Giant Treehouse and several Boardwalk Pathways throughout this beautiful 4.2 acres of woods that will lead up to the Giant Treehouse.
• We're planning a Welcome Center and Bunkhouses for overnight stay.
• 12 small huts for outdoor Study Stops around the farm will allow guests to observe with the protection from sun and rain. A small Gable barn for our Volunteer Friendship program is planned for the north side of the farm, so persons volunteering at our farm who have disabilities or special needs will have a great place to be!
• Our new rabbit room offers more space for rabbits to be out of the cages with you. Indoor pens and tables along with outdoor pens will be a favorite, so we are making the room king sized!
• Alisa Crawford will set up her Solar Powered Mill in our Old Mill building, and create flour based products for you to purchase, and for the farm kitchen to prepare for your delight. Alisa is also the Miller at the DeZwaan Windmill in Holland.
• Critter Barn’s future Country Farmhouse and Event Center will offer a venue for catering, receptions, conferences or any size meeting from 10 to 250 people.
• Critter Barn’s Preschool building will be a hub of activity for over 3,000 preschool children annually, through our rotational program for local schools. Our facility will also offer local schools unique opportunities for long -term study for students at all grade levels.
Clean Hands? Absolutely....
• At the new farm, you'll be able to wash your hands at multiple "giant" sinks located in many buildings. That's just one of the expanded features we're planning. Enjoy more spaces for people and animals everywhere!
• Mini-Production Ag Model buildings will be built for Dairy Cows, Hogs, Layer Hens, Broiler Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, and Beef Cattle. Staff and students will work in all of these barns.
• Our new barns will have real bathrooms, wider hallways, larger rooms inside for visiting animals and larger classrooms for groups. There will also be more room for animals, inside and outside, and real pastures for many of our animals to graze.