Bray Heights hosted an open house inviting visitors to tour their 60-acre farm on County Road 25 where they run unique day and overnight respite programs for adults with special needs. Township of South Glengarry Mayor McDonald, Council Members and staff joined owners Stephen and Catherine Lightstone, their grandson Owen Stryker and daughter Miranda Lightstone in a ribbon-cutting at 10:30 am to mark the grand opening.
Catherine, the founder of Bray Heights, is a retired Special Needs teacher who moved to Green Valley with her husband Stephen four years ago. Catherine’s love of working with students and her love of animals prompted her to create farm-based respite programs for adults with special needs filled with educational and learning experiences. Day and overnight programs offer plenty of interaction with rabbits, chickens, goats, mini-donkeys, and horses on the farm, walks, and rural life experiences. The enriching sensory activities are paired with relaxation as the farm is surrounded by rolling hills and offers tranquil spaces such as a water fountain with nearby benches, a large gazebo for meals and indoor activities, and wide walking paths for increased safety.
Mayor McDonald remarked, “I understand that it took considerable effort to transform this property into the beautiful grounds we toured today. We are grateful to be included in Bray Heights’ grand opening and adding to the unique fabric of South Glengarry”.
Cate and Stephen have funded this project independently, save for a recent SDG Counties’ Regional Incentives Program grant that helped fund the new pond and several small outbuildings. With modestly, Catherine shared, “I’m just so happy to be at this point, to have everything come together. I had a lot of support from my husband who did most of the work you see around you and my daughter who takes care of our website and social media. I have been very fortunate.”
Visitors were treated to refreshments and live music provided by friends of Catherine who came to support her from as far as Montreal.
To learn more about Bray Heights or to make reservations to visit them at 20015 County Road in Green Valley, please visit www.brayheights.ca.