The Lands offers an engaging educational environment that cannot be experienced in a traditional classroom. Here at the farm, students work side-by-side with educators and "co-faculty" farm animals to learn about science, agriculture, ecology, history, nutrition, animal husbandry, land conservation, sustainable living and community service. Students also have the opportunity to observe diversities to enhance their educational experiences.

Our goal is to make the lessons and experiences stick long after the students have left the farm so in turn can teach by example. All programs meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards, for grades K though 12. To learn more about our education programs please please contact Abby Collins at

To reserve an educational session or guided farm experience, please complete the Request Form. All educational sessions or guided farm experiences must be reserved online. We no longer take reservations via phone or email. A member of our staff will respond within 24 hours.

Green Guides Programs for Vulnerable Youths

Green Guides is an educational, therapeutic program for vulnerable and other at-risk youth throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Specifically, Green Guides provides for a safe, structured, supportive environment that features nature-based programs and activities related to science, math, history, horticulture, animal husbandry, and sustainable agriculture.

Green Guides is available to organizations that serve children (or adults) with autism and/or other developmental, physical or socio-economic challenges. Hillside Farms serves as an "adjunct classroom" to reinforce lessons taught through classroom learning. A key component to Green Guides include activities that focus on gross and fine motor skills; socialization/social skills; healthy eating; exercise; team-building/collaboration; grief processing; and, self-confidence. For those children with complex medical problems we provide a relaxed experience that allows for up close animal interaction with an emphasis on touch. We choose specific animals that seek out physical contact.

The primary goal of Green Guides is to help improve students' physical and emotional behavior, and when possible, teach important life and academic skills. The collective roles, responsibilities, and expectations of Green Guides and participating agencies will help children make constructive choices as well as build upon their individual strengths.

The valuable lessons and experiences through Green Guides are available free-of-charge to any special needs child.

Care Farming Services

Care Farming participation

Referrals are now open

Learn more details (PDF)
Access referral form by clicking here

July 29 - August 02 (Ages 5 - 10)
August 05 - August 09 (Ages 11 - 14)
August 12 - August 16 (CASA Week*)

Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM

Hillside Farms' Care Farming Services provides a compassionate and healing space for children facing the difficult challenges of trauma. Since 2013, it has been a beacon of hope to the region's children from ages 6 to 14, especially those dealing with various forms of trauma, including the painful loss of family members or challenging circumstances within their homes.

Addressing the trauma, a recent Center for Disease Control report on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is emphasized here. According to extensive research, damaging experiences may involve violence, abuse, or growing up in a household affected by mental health issues or substance dependencies. Trauma is not a fleeting affliction but leaves lasting effects on a child's brain development and coping mechanisms.

However, recovery is indeed possible, and the Care Farming Services at Hillside Farms offer a structured yet compassionate route towards healing. This comprehensive, evidence-based program offers children the opportunity to interact with mental health professionals, trauma counselors, and occupational therapists. Children also engage in age-appropriate farm-based activities, creating a bond of shared experience and understanding with likewise affected peers. Moreover, each day includes grief education sessions and emotional support activities tailored to the children's individual needs, while respecting their individual pace and comfort zones in group activities.

Care Farming Services accommodates 15 children per camp, ensuring a close-knit and supportive environment. Each week-long experience concludes with a symbolic closing ceremony at the Children's Memory Garden, succeeded by a touching Butterfly release. Hillside Farms accepts required online referrals from parents and professionals, including guidance counselors, teachers, social workers, case workers, or therapists. Preference is given to children who have not previously participated in Hillside's Care Farming Services. Confidential pre and post surveys are conducted with parents or guardians to ensure the child's well-being and gauge the program's impact.

Hillside Farms is thankful for the generosity of donors who enable this unique service, contributing to the healing of young lives navigating through the difficult storms of trauma. For more information, please email Suzanne Kapral at

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