What We Do
STAR serves children and adults from Anderson, Blount,Campbell, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Jefferson, Monroe, McMinn, Roane, and Sevier counties. We work with individuals starting at age four to seniors with physical, mental and neurological disabilities or those considered at-risk. STAR provided 3,849 lessons for 205 participants in 2012.
History of STAR
STAR began in 1987 as Lynn Petr’s Therapeutic Recreation Master’s thesis project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program started with five riders, one horse, three volunteers and one employee (Lynn).
Beginning the program at Lynn’s farm was difficult since the riders who used a wheelchair had to be carried up a hill to the barn. Soon STAR moved to a seven acre farm on Northshore Drive. The program grew on this leased property for four years. When the farm was sold, STAR leased a 13 acre location on Old Stage Road. After seven years that land was sold to developers and STAR moved to a beautiful 25 acre farm on Yarnell Road. As yet another move seemed eminent, the decision was made to purchase property and build a facility that was geared entirely to the needs of the disabled.
In 2002, 63 acres of fantastic pastureland was purchased in Loudon County and the quest began to construct the stable and outdoor arena. Those were completed in 2004 and full operations began that spring. The Education Building was completed in 2007 followed by the Indoor Arena in 2008. We are forever in awe of this location and the phenomenal people who grace our doors every day. A Compost Station was built in 2008 to turn our manure into a viable composted product. To protect our trailers, a shed was built in 2009 to keep our valuable vehicles out of the weather.