Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 1, 2012 Update

Therapy Room and Counseling Office

The new Therapy Room and Counseling Office are now in use!

Counseling Office

Therapy Room
Therapy Room

Advisory Board

We are excited to announce that Creekside now has a new Advisory Board!  Our board consists of a wonderful group of professionals who are offering their time and support to help us provide the best care and services to our special families.  To learn more about the individuals on our team, please visit our website at and select the "Advisory Board" page on the website. We are truly blessed to have such highly skilled individuals assisting us in this ministry.       

Community Support

We are please to have received an offer of help and support from Mexia ISD, Groesbeck ISD and Region 12.  The districts have offered to provide the special needs families and caregivers within their school districts information about our support groups, workshops and programs. They have also offered to provide a location for some of the meetings, as well as speakers for our support groups and other programs. 

Other News

The construction of the Therapy Garden was delayed until October due to the extreme heat this past summer.  So October is going to be a VERY busy month!  We have a group of 4-H students who will begin development of the garden, a tour by the Mexia Garden Club, the beginning of a support group for families and caregivers of special needs children, a Bible study for special needs children and their families, an Eagle Scout fence-building project, as well as the ongoing Creekside Christian Counseling practice.   We thank God for the help He is sending us. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012 Update

We Have A New Website!   

Please visit us at, and continue to check back here for progress reports, updates and other current information.  We welcome your suggestions for improvements to our website.  Let us know what you think!

Therapy Building

The Therapy Building is almost ready and we hope to be able to open it for use in July!

Therapy Garden Construction

We have volunteers ready to construct the the fence around the therapy garden, and our therapeutic landscape designer, Jan Satterwaithe is currently designing and placing the elements in the therapeutic garden and playground areas.

Barn Construction

Barn construction will begin immediately after the therapy building is completed in July.  The location has been set and the plans have been drawn.  We look forward to beginning this area.

We are so excited about the progress we are experiencing here at Creekside. We could not do this without the help of many dedicated volunteers.  You are all an answer to our prayers.  Thank You!



Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring 2012 Update

Offered at Creekside

 Therapy Assistance

Creekside Christian Retreat will provide and maintain specialized facilities to host programs, seminars, and classes to aid families of autistic and other special needs children.  Speech, Occupational, ABA, mental health and other professionals will be invited to offer programs, seminars and classes to parents and caregivers who are currently unable to locate or afford the services normally provided by these professionals. The programs offered will be purposed to train and assist the parents/caregivers to provide better care for their child and the specialized facilities provided by Creekside will provide the essential environment in which parents may both work and bond with their child. Facilities and therapeutic outdoor and indoor spaces Creekside will provide will include a community building to host professional programs, a barn with an area for hands-on interaction with small animals, a greenhouse, a professionally designed, evidence-based therapeutic sensory garden and therapeutic playground.

Educational Opportunities

Day programs designed to aid special needs youth in transition will include vocational training in organic gardening and horticulture, animal care, ceramics and art.  Other educational opportunities will include Bible study, bird watching, nature study, and organic gardening classes offered to all special needs families, school and church groups.  These programs will be hosted by Creekside Christian Retreat and facilitated by board directors Robert and Sharon Kersten, as well as other skilled professionals.  It is the eventual goal of Creekside Christian Retreat to become a Christ-centered, Agricultural Autism Community/Farmstead Program.

Recreation and Respite

The property, ponds, trails and all other improvements will be made available to families with special needs children, nursing home residents, and church groups to be used as a source of spiritual respite, physical health, recreation and family bonding. Improvements will include a prayer garden, two primitive camping sites, a floating pier for fishing, and hiking trail improvements. Camping, fishing, and hiking will be self-directed, with defined safety restrictions and “special buddies” provided for families with special needs children.  This will further work to foster the spiritual, physical and mental health of families with special needs children as well as other individuals and groups who will benefit from exposure to an outdoor environment designed to improve spiritual, mental and psychological health and well being.

If you would like further information about our ministry, please call 254.562.6770.

Landscape Architect Jan Satterthwaite of Vireo Design Studio To Provide Therapeutic Design for Creekside

We are very excited to announce that we have obtained the services of Landscape Architect, Jan Satterthwaite, ASLA, LEED, and principal designer of Vireo Design Studio to provide the therapeutic design and layout of the property at Creekside Christian Retreat. Ms. Satterthwaite is an experienced artist and award-winning designer.  An active board member for the University of Washington Certificate Program in Therapeutic Garden Design, Ms. Satterthwaite’s design philosophy is drawn from a dual sensibility in aesthetics and evidence-based design.  (To learn more about Ms. Satterthwaite and Vireo Design Studio, please visit her website,

New Construction Begins at Creekside

Things are moving fast.  The new Creekside community building is now under construction, and the barn to house our special animals for animal-assisted therapy has been designed.  Below are elevations of both buildings.  

                         Community Building used for therapy, group meetings and instruction.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Update and Progress Report

So many exciting things have happened in the last few weeks, it's hard to decide where to begin!

Yesterday, we received over 4" of rain!  Our ponds are full and the creek is flowing once again.  We are anticipating a beautiful Spring this year with the pastures in bloom with wildflowers. This is so appreciated after last year's drought.

Non-profit Status  
A very large non-profit in the Dallas area has stepped forward to guide us through the process of obtaining a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.  We have filed a Certificate of Formation with the State of Texas, completed our By-laws, and are preparing to file the last forms and documents for our tax-exempt status.  We could not have done this without the help of this wonderful organization and we are extremely grateful for all of their help.

Our New Mission Statement
Creekside Christian Retreat is a Christ-centered organization equipped to foster and strengthen the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health of those in need. Focusing on autism and other special needs populations and their families, it is the mission of Creekside Christian Retreat to primarily provide therapeutic outdoor and indoor spaces and materials to be collectively and collaboratively utilized by Christian educators, clergy, mental health practitioners, volunteers, and other religious, health, and social service entities, in order to facilitate on-site spiritual, educational, therapeutic and recreational programming for these typically underserved populations.

Programs and Therapies 
We are excited about some new programs that are currently in development.  I'll post more information as things develop.

New Domain Names
We now have two new domain addresses: and  The ".com" address will automatically route you to our blog.  The ".org" address is not in use until we get our website up.  If anyone knows of someone who might be willing to assist us in setting up our website, please let us know. 
We have received such sweet email and kind words of encouragement from so many individuals and groups in the last few weeks it is almost overwhelming. We truly appreciate all of your encouragement and support. It really keeps us going.  Thank you.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter at Creekside

It's been a tough year.  Many of our neighbors have had to sell their livestock and are now starting over.  Our little town of Groesbeck made national news headlines as they were just days from running out of water. Several of our neighbors lost their homes to fire.  Thanks be to God, after the record heat and severe drought He has shown us his mercy and sent rain!  Our ponds are filling and the groundwater is replenishing.  May we always be thankful for the rain God sends. 

Below are pictures of Creekside taken Saturday, January 14, 2012


View from the creek edge.

Another view of the large pond.

Looking down into the creek.

Rock outcropping in the creek.

Footbridge along the trail.
Trail exit
Distant view

Our smallest pond about half full.