What We Do
Situated on 40 acres of land, Ballyntyne Learning Farm offers children an idyllic location where they can learn, play, and explore nature. As a field trip destination for schools, groups, and families, children explore a variety of nature-centered subjects through hands-on projects that capture the senses along with fun and engaging demonstrations.
Please note that Ballyntyne Learning Farm is offering mixed-age learning events for children ages 2 to third graders. However, we are more than happy to reserve a private learning event for your classroom or special group outside of this age range. We are excited to have you, your students, and your families come explore with us!
2020 marked the end of Ballyntyne's fourth year and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2021 season of learning and play!
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
This is the best outdoor learning environment for littles! Fit it in your schedule and give it a try!
I brought my daughter to Ballyntyne for the first time this week, and she loved it so much I immediately signed her up for more classes. Kiely is a sweet, fun, and creative teacher! She has a really great thing going on out at Ballyntyne, and my daughter is eagerly awaiting her next class at the farm
This is such a fun place for a field trip! Kylie is amazing with the kids and she does such a great job keeping their attention throughout the whole presentation! Love it!
Ballyntyne farm is the best place to take littles for a fun and educational experience! Kiely the instructor does an AMAZING job of teaching the kids through fun ways. My 6 year old son enjoys his trips to the farm and I love that he learns so much while getting to do fun activities! I am so thrilled this farm has this amazing opportunity! Thank you Kiely and Ballyntyne!
We had a fantastic time at our first class and can't wait to go back! The farm is adorable and so much fun, the activities worked great for a large age range, and Kiely was wonderful. My three year old would go every day if he could.
My two kids (6 and 3 years old) had a great time at the farm and I can't wait to sign up for our next activity. The farm is a such a beautiful and accessible place for the kids to hang out and explore (bunnies, chickens, etc.).
We love this place! Hands on learning, small class size, and super fun! Perfect combination of story time, craft, exploring, free play, and structure!
I took my kids Last week and we loved it so much, I signed them up for 3 more days! Miss Kiely is fun, patient and the atmosphere is amazing! Such a great summer activity that doesn't break the bank.
The Farm's Story
In 2016, I served as an Augustinian International Volunteer in the small town of Chulucanas, Peru. While there, I worked as an aid to two English teachers at a middle school. After school, I headed over to a women's center that provided after-school tutoring for students who had fallen behind academically. And in my off hours, I found myself at a local albergue (or home for kids) where I danced and played with the kids and teens who lived there. I have never experienced so much joy and at the same time, so much heartache. It was overwhelming at times to witness the vast needs of these kids and the frequent feeling of powerlessness in trying to address those needs. Working with the town's bishop and the minister of education, we were able to successfully secure a teacher to provide additional hours of classroom time for the dozen girls and boys who were several years behind in their schooling.
While not a trained physical therapist, I enjoyed helping the therapists relax the muscles of babies and children with physical disabilities. I found incredible love and acceptance at the local library where I tried my best to practice sign language alongside children, youth and young adults who were hearing and speaking impaired.
In 2016 as my time as a volunteer was drawing to a close, I wanted to find a way to honor the kids and people that I met and adored in Peru. With this spirit, my family and I began brainstorming about how to use the farm as a place of retreat for children and young adults. After long dinner discussions, the core idea for Ballyntyne Learning Farm blossomed: to offer a place of learning for children and youth. We dreamed of a place where all are welcome to learn, play, and find some peace in the outdoors. With this vision in mind, Ballyntyne Learning Farm was born.
Since the 1980s the farm had been a Christmas tree farm with the first trees planted by my parents, Steve and Linda Kreitzberg. Since then, my family and I have been operating the farm every Christmas season and enjoying the opportunity of serving as a place that offers families a place to have fun and bring in the holiday season. The opportunity to transform the farm to serve as something much more life-giving is something that keeps the project of the Learning Farm close to my heart.
Since returning to the States, I've had the opportunity to return to Chulucanas, Peru to visit with the kids at the albergue in the fall of 2017 and the fall of 2018. Many of the children have since returned to their families or to a relative, or have aged out of the program. Arriving with a suitcase of crafts and some sunscreen, we spent our time together going to parks, walking around the town square, playing at the pool, dancing, enjoying meals, but most importantly, simply being together.
Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity of starting an initiative that is very important to my heart, the Apodera Project, which in Spanish means, “to empower,” “to seize,” or “to take control of.” It's mission is to offer the gift of a college education to young people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to access it. This gift of an education empowers the student and gives them control of their future. With the help of generous donors and leaders in the community, we have raised $20,000 over two years and 21 students have benefitted from need-based scholarships that range from paying a portion of tuition and fees to a full scholarship.
During the farm's off-season, I've had the wonderful opportunity to work as a substitute teacher in a variety of classrooms in the North Clackamas school district. It's been a blast!
Kiely Kreitzberg, Director
Brandon Sherier, or better known at the farm as Teacher B, has been an important part of the farm since 2018. While spending most of his time as a P.E. teacher in the Clackamas School district and as an online tutor, Teacher B is also an assistant teacher at the farm. Full of wonderful group activity ideas, he loves interacting with the kiddos, making them laugh, and is a great problem solver. His endless willingness to help, brainstorm, and encourage adds to his specialness!
Brandon Sherier, Assistant Teacher
Since the beginning of the Ballyntye Learning Farm idea phase, Teacher Linda has been one of the biggest cheerleaders. Linda who also happens to be Kiely's mom has been an integral part of the learning farm by helping lead camps, assisting with lesson ideas, being forever willing to help with farm clean up and set up days, and is well known for her positive energy, youthful spirit, and kindness. She's wildly creative, loves leading storytimes, and can always be counted on to have an extra word of encouragement for the kiddos that come to the farm. Her time and dedication to the learning farm are difficult to describe given their magnitude.
Linda Kreitzberg, Assistant Teacher