Blue Iris Acres is dedicated to providing a welcoming place to enjoy the companionship of farm animals and share all the wonderful benefits of animal therapy.
A place that brings solace to people of all ages is one to visit, especially if animals live in that specific place. Blue Iris Acres in Kissimmee, Florida is a 501C(3) nonprofit devoted to providing an accessible place to appreciate the companionship of farm animals and share all the magnificent benefits of animal interaction. Blue Iris Acres was established in June of 2018.
“Prior to that we had planned to move into the property for our own homestead,” said Dixia Martinez, Founder of Blue Iris Acres. “However, since we live so close we decided to share it for the community. We knew God didn’t just allow us to purchase this dream property just for us.”
Martinez stated the non-profit was named after her late mother-in-law, Maria, because everyone who knew her called her Iris. Maria was a person everyone loved to be around and the life of the party with an amazing heart for people and animals.
“She passed away only six months after my husband and I’s wedding and he was super close to his mom,” said Martinez. “He has played such a huge part in making our nonprofit a reality and I wanted to honor his mom through his work and dream of the farm.”
Martinez stated that she and her husband have used Blue Iris Acres as an outlet in creating an amazing place to share with others because it’s done so much for them. Developing, building it, and putting it together gave she and her husband some sanity in the mists of dark clouds hanging over their family.
“The animals give us a peace that’s unexplainable in words,” she said.
Martinez said she does a little bit of everything at the farm, however, there are volunteers that provide tremendous help. Instructors were also hired to do riding lessons. She also mentioned that two of the instructors are working on certifications to begin Blue Iris Acres’ Therapy Riding or Equine assisted therapy program.
“For now, we open the farm for all families and admission for special needs children is free to experience personal and up-close interaction with the animals,” said Martinez. “We also host an event to one nonprofit helping families and children in our community to come experience the farm.”
People of all ages visit Blue Iris Acres. Martinez mentioned that adults love the farm as well and want to assist with the nonprofit’s mission. Currently, they have a volunteer who happens to be a teenager named Ciana Rodriguez.
“She’s 14 and she has a huge heart for horses and animals,” said Martinez. “She loves to be there and help and we believe it gives her more hands on confidence in handling the horses. Also, she gets to know the work that it takes to keep it running and have a healthy clean place for the animals.”
Teens have a chance to give technology a break by volunteering at places like Blue Iris Acres because they can learn new skills just like Ciana is.
“We just hope that it brings lots more families the joy and tranquility that it has brought our family,” said Martinez.
You can show your support by visiting: www.blueirisacres.com @blueirisacres
We want to personally wish Dixia of Blue Iris Acres a speedy recovery! Keep changing the world!