This past Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to photograph Winter Wagon Rides at Zachariah’s Acres, a nonprofit organization based in Oconomowoc Wi, that makes nature and outdoor family fun available and accessible to children with special needs. I first heard about Zachariah’s Acres when I met my now good friend Emily, chief administrator for the organization, at church. I learned that even nature and the simplest, purest joys I get from going on a quiet hike in the woods, dropping a line in the lake, roasting marshmallows around a campfire, or having a BBQ with friends are things that I take for granted, for it is not that simple or feasible for everyone to do so. Zachariah’s Acres began as a seed planted in the heart of one local Oconomowoc man; a man with a passion for creation and rural life; a man with a heart for people with special needs and the families that give their all to care for them; a man with a desire and vision to combine those two things; a man who happened to own a lot of gorgeous farm and wooded land to donate to such a special purpose!! When Emily asked me if I would come and photograph their winter wagon rides for the kids, I literally jumped around for joy at the opportunity!! As many of you know, I am equally as horse obsessed as I am photography obsessed. Horses were my first love. Hoofbeats Express (www.hoofbeatsexpress.com) volunteered their time and beautiful Percherons to provide such a fun, traditional, and exciting experience for the kids and their families. While they waited for their turn on the wagon, kids played winter bingo and snacked on horse-shaped cookies inside Zachariah’s Acres’ brand new building!! After the wagon rides, everyone enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the campfire. To top off the event, kids got to transfer new pond-stock fish to the tank. The fish will be transferred to the ponds on the property in the spring, and kids will be able to fish, most of them for the first time ever, from wheelchair-friendly piers. Zachariah’s Acres is truly a unique ministry, utterly beautiful in every way. Enjoy the photos and please check out their website and 2014 Year-End video at the bottom of this post.
In Family Lifestyle