Tim holding Shadow the cat in the Sunflower Hill Garden.

Tim – A Place We All Love

May 11, 2022

As spring winds down and we begin to anticipate summertime in the Sunflower Hill Garden, I’m always a little sad knowing that I’ll have to say goodbye to my adult-in-transition program participants, teachers, and staff for the summer. We’re grateful for the time and energy they invest in our Garden Program. This month, we’re honored […]

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Louise standing next to wisteria vine in bloom

Louise – Making An Impact In The Community

April 27, 2022

April is volunteer appreciation month, and here at Sunflower Hill we are inspired by the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. One such volunteer, and the focus of this month’s Volunteer Spotlight article, is Louise Hail. Louise began volunteering for Sunflower Hill in 2021 when she and her daughter were looking for a way to spend […]

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Mikey, smiling, sitting next to large tomato plants with harvest bucket in his lap.

Mikey – Cultivating Community and Purpose

March 16, 2022

As the Garden and Programs Instructor for Sunflower Hill, I’ve been privileged to meet some extraordinary people. One such individual is Mikey, our Garden Program Participant Spotlight for March! Mikey exudes joy through his smile and excited exclamations. He’s kind-natured, sociable, has a contagious smile, and charming personality. Upon arriving to the Sunflower Hill Garden, […]

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Picture of Kyle smiling with San Francisco Giants baseball hat.

Kyle – Being Treated Like Everyone Else

February 23, 2022

As the Residential Programs Manager at Irby Ranch, I’m fortunate enough to meet some really wonderful people. One such person is Kyle, this month’s Irby Ranch Resident Spotlight! Kyle has been living at Irby Ranch since February 2021. When I first met him, I was struck by his bold personality, polite nature, and active listening […]

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Kat sitting in chair next to garden box

Kat – A Partner in the Garden

February 2, 2022

As the owner of a local landscape design company specializing in California native plants, Kat Weiss is a self-proclaimed “gardening freak.” She says her path to becoming a donor and volunteer for Sunflower Hill was serendipitous. A native to Livermore, Kat had a keen interest in Hagemann Ranch back when Mr. Hagemann was growing thousands […]

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Shadow sitting on table with flowers in background

Shadow – More Than a Garden Cat

January 26, 2022

People often comment to us that the Sunflower Hill Garden, located on Hagemann Ranch in Livermore California, is a beautiful and magical place. For Sunflower Hill, the Garden is a vital space we utilize for educational, therapeutic, and life skills training programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As stewards of such a special […]

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Three pictures of Jennifer. One with Minnie Mouse, one with her smiling, one with her in a mask with sunflower picture in background.

Jennifer – Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

December 21, 2021

One of the reasons I love being the Residential Programs Manager at Irby Ranch in Pleasanton, CA is getting to know all of the unique residents. Jennifer, who is this month’s Irby Ranch Resident Spotlight, is a great example. Jennifer lives at Irby Ranch with her young daughter and partner. She is a great advocate […]

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Sign that reads: welcome to the Sunflower Hill Garden. Shadow the cat laying next to a gourd.

Plan Your Future Garden Now

November 10, 2021

With the cooler weather and winter just around the corner, now is the ideal time to plan your spring garden! Yes, even though your at-home garden might be “sleeping” right now, there’s no reason you can’t start planning and preparing your garden to “wake up” in the spring. This blog article will guide you through […]

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David with his family's dog, standing in front of the Irby Ranch sign

David – Designing His Own Independent Living Model

October 27, 2021

One of the reasons I love working as the Residential Programs Manager at Irby Ranch in Pleasanton, CA is the diversity in independent-living models among the residents in the community. With each resident bringing their own unique set of support services, Irby Ranch is an example of the uniqueness in what successful independent living can […]

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Sunflowers in a field and hand holding a sunflower with smiley face. Caption: Toxic positivity

Toxic Positivity

October 13, 2021

Can positivity be toxic? What does that even mean? I recently learned in my Master’s Program that positivity can sometimes be toxic! I was surprised to learn that there is such a thing as Toxic Positivity. Believing that people should put a positive spin on all of their emotions and experiences, even when those emotions […]

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