Imagine a 12-acre area nestled in Burr Ridge with a horse barn, pastures, a small animal farm, gardens and an accessible playground. This is the Hanson Center and it is home to RGA’s recreational programs. The benefits of our recreational activities include increased physical aptitude, independence, socialization skills and self-esteem.
The Therapeutic Horsemanship program utilizes 20 therapy horses to provide opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to experience the enjoyment and therapeutic benefits of horseback riding. Individual and small group lessons are led by PATH certified instructors with the assistance of trained volunteers. Students can begin riding as early as four years of age.
In lessons, students are matched with others who share the same level of experience. Seven sessions are offered throughout the year. Each session is six weeks. Session fees vary based on the type of lessons: private, semi-private, group and Short-in-the-Saddle (5-week session).
Students may also participate in events such as Special Olympics, horse shows and summer camps.
All students are required to complete a registration form, a consent form, and submit a medical release form signed by a physician.
The Hanson Center is a Premier PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) accredited center that has a heated indoor riding facility, riding trails and an outdoor arena.
Caring for the Hanson Center
Ray Graham Association relies on donations from the communities around the Hanson Center, as well as families of the people we support. These generous donations help us feed and care for the animals, as well as maintain the property.
Gateway Special Recreation Association
Gateway SRA promotes the full participation of people with disabilities in meaningful activities that maximize their physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure needs. It offers a wide variety of recreational services such as health and wellnesses classes, visual and performing arts, youth programs and activities, programs for people with Autism, adult community-based social clubs, recreational bowling, and variety of special events including participation in Illinois Special Olympic sports and activities.
Gateway SRA also provides an eight-week summer day camp that promotes healthy lifestyles and therapeutic recreation activities for children and young adults ages 5 – 22 years. Our inclusive day camps offer daily arts and crafts, social skill building activities, sports, team building activities, young adult service projects, recreational swimming and weekly field trips. Our unique special needs day camp also offers weekly therapeutic horseback riding lessons provided through Ray Graham Association’s Therapeutic Horsemanship program.
Gateway SRA was formed through an intergovernmental agreement and is an extension of the Park Districts of Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Pleasant Dale, Westchester and York Center and the Villages of Hinsdale, Willowbrook, and Countryside. Any persons residing in those areas are encouraged to participate in our recreational services at a resident rate. Non-residents outside the geographic areas of member agencies listed above may participate at a non-resident rate and subject to availability.