Nonprofit Happy Roots puts down roots on South Fulton Street

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2017

By Jessica Coates

Drive past Happy Roots on South Fulton Street, and it might look like any other house.

But don’t be fooled: there’s much more than a sofa and coffee table inside. Or, at least, there will be.

“We’re doing dog-training classes, we have the community garden. … We’re doing a mindfulness workshop, a chakras (workshop), first aid (and) CPR. Things of that nature,” said Happy Roots board member Stacey Carter.

Although Happy Roots has been in the house at 1026 S. Fulton St. only since May, it has existed as a nonprofit group since February.

And now that it has a physical location, the group’s member are excited to turn their vision — described on their website as “providing nature-based therapeutic and educational services to enhance the wellness of the community and the environment” — into a reality.

“I’ve always said, if you want to make a change, you teach kids. We’re all for adult classes as well, but my personal passion is working with children. I feel like that is how you really make a change,” said Carter.

With that in mind, Carter said starting a day camp is the group’s first priority.

“We’ll include some sort of outdoor activity … and then we’ll prepare meals using local food. We’ll have a cooking and nutrition element to it. And then we have a variety of instructors who are going to come in in the afternoon,” said Carter. “I’m hoping we can get the horses out here, too.”

Carter is particularly excited about the potential use of horses because equine therapy is her passion.

“With the equine therapy work I do, it’s a lot of character building and leadership skills. The program that I teach with the horses is about developing a relationship, so they learn to really listen to the horse and how to develop a positive relationship,” Carter said.

Dates for the Happy Roots day camps have not yet been announced, but Carter said that a camp for 4- to 7-year-olds will take place in July and that a camp for 8- to 14-year-olds will be in August.

Yoga classes also will be offered at Happy Roots, both for children and adults. Nye Hartwick, another board member, will teach those classes.

“I teach yoga. I’m also a Reiki master. I have a background in alternative body work and massage therapy. So my kind of leaning in all of this is wellness programs and teaching people ways to help keep themselves well,” Hartwick said.

Hartwick has been teaching yoga since 2010. Her first class at Happy Roots will be at 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about all of Happy Roots’ programs, email the group at

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.