Mount Densen, NS - Glooscap First Nation community member Charlotte Paul always knew that she wanted to help others with challenges, barriers and those with mental illness. In order to do this she decided to study Social Services at NSCC Kingstec. A class project helped fuel an idea that would lead to the creation of a business venture.
Dragonfly Haven Therapeutic Farm was born. This is no ordinary farm however. This is a retreat that offers an alternative approach to healing. “It is a place where children and their families can step out of the stressful world and enjoy the healing power of animals and nature," says Paul. The business endeavors to "improve life for individuals of diverse backgrounds.......and for those who face challenges in everyday life." This place provides a sanctuary for those who seek healing in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
The farm allows individuals to interact with small animals such as goats, sheep, bunny’s, micro pigs and mini horses. There will also be designated quiet spaces on the Mount Densen property that overlooks the Avon River.
Paul hopes to expand the business further down the road. This includes workshops, education sessions, youth camps, and a venue for birthdays and weddings. There will also be a wandering garden and a yoga studio in the plans.
Dragonfly Haven Therapeutic Farm is still in its infancy stages including fundraising, construction, and marketing efforts. The business was partially funded through Glooscap First Nation’s Small Business Loan Program. The program provides funds and training for community members who express interest in starting their own business. Paul also attended agriculture courses that were put on by the Department of Agriculture and Glooscap First Nation.
Paul's greatest inspiration has been her deceased father, an individual who lived with issues caused by anxiety, depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and addiction. Paul’s father found solace and comfort in his animals, particularly his turkeys.
Published studies have shown that animal therapy has been beneficial for persons living with barriers and issues including autism, schizophrenia, veterans living with PTSD, and persons recovering from medical treatments. Research states that animals have a calming effect which improves emotional well-being.
Paul has a deep care for people and is eager to help: “I truly care deeply for people and want to have a positive impact.”
Although Dragonfly’s Grand Opening was May 2nd more animals and facilities are expected to be added. More information can be found on their Facebook page or by calling 902-352-2001.
The Farm is located at 5 Aberdeen Beach Road, Mount Densen, NS.