Moving to Iowa
Alison and Danny met in Upper Michigan and moved with their daughter, Issy, to Iowa in 2011. Danny serves as the Youth Director at Faith Lutheran in Marion, and Alison is an RN at St. Luke's Hospital. Their first Iowa home was in the Kenwood neighborhood with a large yard and the best neighbors. The noise of a busy neighborhood soon spurred a dream -- move to the countryside by 2016.
Danny and Issy took the urban chicken course and built a coop in 2014. By winter of 2015, the Kenwood house was ready to sell and the hens needed space!
The search for an affordable property began with the help of Alicia Porter. They suffered a setback fighting for an Alburnett property, but found the Lilly Street farm in November. At their showing on the day it was listed, Alison and Danny knew they found their home -- 4.3 acres, Squaw Creek runs through the property, and a large barn for critters. The Stone's spent Thanksgiving clearing outbuildings, removing carpet, burning brush piles, mending fences . . . The property closed in mid-December, and the family spent their first Christmas on the farm dreaming of all the horses, pigs, goats, chickens, puppies, lambs and kittens who needed homes.
The Haven is Born
In the spring of 2016, they welcomed a Humane Society puppy. By September, Alison found two Mini-pigs. The donated goats and mini-horse arrived in October. Hercules came to the farm as a one day old runt with his brothers on October 21. Alison, Danny and Issy worked furiously to keep the boys strong, but two died by the end of the weekend. The Stones found their mission and the farm had a namesake. Hercules' Haven would be a place of healing and care for animals and people.
Growth and Organization
Miracles continued and the Stone's added two more pigs, a retired mare, another mini-horse and a cute little lamb. You can imagine that managing the Haven is expensive and labor intensive. During the summer of 2017, they welcomed Alison's mom, Karen Davis, who would offer therapeutic interaction with the animals.
Dana Barre, founder and former Executive Director of Wisconsin’s Heartland Farm Sanctuary, helped set up a plan to become a non-profit organization. The Haven is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization able to accept tax-free donations, train volunteers, care for animals, offer counseling services, and host special events. They will never be a large sanctuary, but Hercules' Haven will always be a caring farm in a truly magical setting.
Our Inspiration Includes . . .
John Muir's life, witness and movement
Babe -- Motion Picture
James Cromwell -- actor and activist
Rachel Carson -- Silent Spring
Friends and family in the National Park Service
Ellie Laks -- Gentle Barn
Richard Bach -- Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Earthlings -- Motion Picture
Okja -- Motion Picture
Food Inc. -- Motion Picture
An Inconvenient Truth -- Motion Picture