Female veterans reconnect with nature, one another at Troy equine farm

The workshop featured reflective nature walks, interacting with horses, and journaling
Acres and acres of sunflowers span across Western Belle farm in West, attracting visitors for their sheer beauty.
Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 8:27 PM CDT
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TROY, Texas (KWTX) - Ahead of Women’s Veterans Day on Monday, over a dozen Central Texas women veterans and active-duty service members enjoyed the beauty of the great outdoors for an art and nature workshop Saturday morning at Green Trees Farm in Troy.

“It’s an art and nature retreat for women veterans to come together,” April Sullivan, the artworks director for Art Sparks Texas, told KWTX. “We wanted to do it in this area because we are close to Fort Cavazos.”

Hosted in partnership between Art Sparks Texas, Help Heal Veterans, and Green Trees Farm, the workshop featured various outdoor activities, like reflective nature walks and interacting with horses.

“Bringing in the horses adds a whole different enhancement of the grace trail experience, I believe, because horses are so empathetic and in the moment,” Lynda Schumann, a co-owner of Green Trees Farm, said.

The workshop featured indoor events, too, like journaling and crafting kits provided by Help Heal Veterans.

“As they’re doing the trail today, they can write down what they’re thinking and what they’re processing, and memories,” Trish Alger, a craft care specialist for Help Heal Veterans, said of the journal kits participants made.

All of these activities allowed women with shared experiences to connect with one another in a safe space.

“There’s an extra challenge for females in the military,” Alger said. ”And so here, you actually have someone you can speak with, you can reconnect with.”

Schumann agreed. “Meeting somebody that maybe has experienced some of the very same things will build camaraderie, and this is a perfect place for it,” she said.

One attendee who served for 26 years says events like these remind her that she’s not alone.

“I don’t know these ladies, but we have quite a bit in common after all,” Heidi Carpenter, a veteran, said. “I never feel like I’m by myself with whatever issue.”

Art Sparks Texas will be hosting their next Women Veterans Art and Nature Workshop in San Antonio on June 24th.