Blue Ridge Community Farm

Picket Fence Project

We have exciting news to share with you!


Today, more than 1500 children and adults with disabilities get to enjoy a day (or more) getting to know our animals, making arts and craft projects and growing produce in our gardens. We love the time we get to spend with children and adults with disabilities on our farm and have always known we want – we need – to do more. In fact, we have always had the goal to offer employment and training opportunities for adults with disabilities in our community. A job gives them financial resources as well as the satisfaction and dignity of spending their time engaged in productive activities.

Before the corona virus hit, the unemployment rate of adults with disabilities exceeded 80%. Few jobs existed other than working in fast food or a sheltered workshop. The waiting list for people with disabilities in Illinois seeking financial support exceeds 20,000; many people leave the state to find help for their adult child with a disability. Others find themselves starting a business with their child or finding additional employment themselves when their child ages out of the school system.

The time has come to change that here in the Peoria area!

PicketFenceThrough God’s grace, we have an incredible opportunity to launch a sustainable employment and training program for high school students and adults with disabilities.

We have begun the process of fundraising to acquire Picket Fence, a profitable, full-service flower shop, garden center and gift shop right here in our hometown of Chillicothe. Here we will employ and train adults with disabilities for a wide variety of responsibilities that fit their capabilities – from greeting customers, to planting seeds, watering plants, loading and unloading goods, to setting up displays. Endless possibilities exist! We even plan to open a farmer’s market to sell produce currently grown on the farm to the more than 16,000 cars that drive by each day.

An expanded gift shop will sell products made by children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities from our region and around the country. Stop by and see the lovely hand poured soy candles made by our friend Kaci, a young lady with autism from Chillicothe, who started her own candle company. A future online store will link these artists to potential customers from around the world, expanding their exposure and income potential exponentially.

PicketFenceAs a nonprofit, all proceeds from the business will feed back into the organization to sustain our current programs and expand future programming beyond our wildest dreams. Thankfully, the current staff of Picket Fence would like to stay and be a part of this exciting project working alongside people with disabilities. We’ll keep everything just as it is in the business and we’ll slowly add more products and services to increase job & training opportunities.

We would be honored if you would join us as a founding donor. All donors will be recognized in Picket Fence. Please also share this opportunity with others you know who may want to join our mission (friends, family, co-workers). You will help assure that current and future generations of adults with disabilities have meaningful work that grows their skills while engaging them with the community.

Join us as we launch sustainable employment and training opportunities for adults with special needs!

Become a Founding Donor Today!

All founding donors will be recognized in Picket Fence

Foundation – Financial Commitment $100,000

  • Business Naming Right Gift Shop or Greenhouse
  • Prominent Logo/Name on Founding Donor Wall
  • Logo/Name on Marketing Materials
  • Recognition at Grand Opening
Cornerstone – Financial Commitment $50,000

  • Logo/Name on Founding Donor Wall
  • Logo/Name on Marketing Materials
  • Recognition at Grand Opening
Legacy – Financial Commitment $25,000

  • Logo/Name on Founding Donor Wall
  • Recognition at Grand Opening
Heritage – Financial Commitment $10,000

  • Logo/Name on Founding Donor Wall
Advocate – Donors Giving $5,000 – $9,000

  • Listing on Founding Donor Wall
Partner – Donors Giving $1,000 – $4,999

  • Listing on Founding Donor Wall
Friend – Donors Giving up to $999

  • Recognition in the “Founding Donors Book” on permanent display in Picket Fence
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Download our Picket Fence Donation Tiers pdf here.

1. Donate by Mail
If you are interested in making a donation to the Picket Fence Project, please send your check made out to Blue Ridge Community Farm to:
Blue Ridge Community Farm
21529 N Blue Ridge Road
Chillicothe, IL 61523

2. Donate Online
If you prefer to donate online click on the button below, and you will be taken to a paypal to process your payment.

All donations made to Blue Ridge Community Farm, a registered 501(c)(3) organization (EIN #27-2352232), are tax deductible as allowed by law.

We want to thank CEFCU for being a committed cornerstone donor!