Akron resident donates chickens to Hattie's Gardens

On Wed., March 25, Hattie’s Gardens employees welcomed five chickens to its Old Trail School location in Bath, Ohio. The garden plans to use the chickens' waste as an organic fertilizer. Eggs produced by the chickens will be used at Hattie's Café & Gifts locations, in the Old Trail School cafeteria and Hattie's Gardens Community Supported Agriculture program.

Hattie’s Gardens acquired the flock from Kim Ryan, an Akron Police Department retiree. In July 2014, Ryan adopted the five chickens from the Happy Trails Farm Animal Santuary Inc. in Ravenna, Ohio. Kim cared for the chickens at her Akron home.

In March 2015, Ryan and her husband Tim needed to relocate for his work. Hattie Larlham Vice President of Vocational and Enterprise Services Dotty Grexa, who is friends with Ryan, expressed interest in caring for the flock at Hattie’s Gardens. Grexa read about Ryan’s need to sell her chickens on Facebook. Ryan decided to donate her five chickens to the garden.

“Hattie’s Gardens has always wanted to raise chickens,” said Grexa. “This happened to be the perfect opportunity to help a friend and fulfill our mission.”

Hattie’s Gardens employees converted a school bus donated by Old Trail School into a chicken coop. The bus coop features nesting boxes and roosts, screened windows and a roof hatch for ventilation, a fenced-in outdoor area for the chickens to roam freely and heated lamps for chilly nights.

“I’m happy my chickens are in a good place,” said Ryan.

Hattie’s Gardens is a Hattie Larlham work training program for adults with developmental disabilities. The gardens has an additional location at the Akron Zoo. To learn more about Hattie’s Gardens, contact Dotty Grexa at (330) 760-0955 or visit

About Hattie Larlham

Established in 1961, Hattie Larlham is a non-profit organization that provides services to 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hattie Larlham inspires people with disabilities and their families to dream and achieve through the medical, residential, work training and recreational services the organization offers. For more information, visit

About Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary Inc.

The Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary Inc. is a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and provides an adoption program for abused, abandoned and neglected farm animals.

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Jacqueline LoPresti
Internal Communications Officer
Hattie Larlham
330-274-2272, ext. 3011


Scott Juba    
Radar Public Relations & Consulting