Native Nursery

The start date for the first phase of the Green Gulch Creek restoration is fast approaching!

There has been a lot of prep, including the creation of a native nursery down in the “kids garden” area of the farm (next to the glass house and greenhouses).

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There are currently a few different kinds of plants, including a large number of Alders, in five gallon pots, that were dug up by Green Gulch and Parks Conservancy volunteers in the Spring.

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The National Park Service native nursery is also growing many thousands of grass plugs and divisions for us to plant in the fall.

Stay posted – construction starts mid-August!

And if you haven’t already watched, click here to watch a short video about this project.

Guest House Roof: A Job Well Done

 The Guest House roof was completed and scaffolding removed last week.  The craftsmanship is amazing and the finished roof beautiful!  We hope that you all will visit Green Gulch some time and perhaps stay in the Lindisfarne Guest House!
Along with the shingles, all the flashing around the windows and chimney was replaced:
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The shingles were sealed with a clear paint.  If re-painted every five years, this will significantly extend the life of the roof.
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The last thing was to remove the cleats that held the scaffolds onto the roof, and paint underneath.
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I got this as part of an email from Ezra Wynn, the craftsman who did the work, upon completion of the project:
“What I observed in finishing this project was that my heart was full.  My cup was to capacity.  I saw that if a committed group of people live simply and purposefully, and consciously calm their minds, what remains is love, naturally.  I saw the whole place enshrouded in the thickness of it, as tangible as the fog.”
There will be an interview with Ezra in an upcoming issue of Sangha News.

Two Weeks Worth

The foundation pour for the new building was done over two weeks ago.  It was poured on time and done beautifully:

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The Monday following the pour, the framing began and has made rapid progress over the last two weeks:

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Above, you can see in the lower right and left: the ADA accessible room (left) and private bathroom (right).  Just behind that is the service kitchen for the program space (left) and the public bathroom which also serves the program space (right).  The area behind those spaces is the program space itself.

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The framing, looking from the lawn near the Zendo (you can see the Tea House in the upper right of the photograph).

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The program building from the other side, where the main entrance will be.  (Cloud Hall is out of frame to the lower right.)

A week later:

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View from the lawn: left hand door is the public restroom, right hand door is into the program space, which has high windows (as well as some low ones) to leave plenty of wall space for yoga poses like head stands.  The bit sticking off the far right of the building will be one of the stairways up to the second story dorm (the other staircase will wrap around the left hand side of the building) – underneath is the storage closet for the program space.

A slightly different view of the same side of the building:

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This past week the crew began work on the bridge that will cross alongside the south side of Cloud Hall (where the men and women’s bathrooms are) to the main entrance of the new program space:

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Our happy Job Foreman, John:

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Work in Cloud Hall continues, as well.

As of a couple of weeks ago, all the plumbing for the new radiators, as well as the new electric were complete:

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Copper pipes for a radiator.

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New electrical outlet, in the wall instead of conduit along the baseboard.  All the rooms will have dimmable wall sconces.

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Wiring for a new light that will illuminate the Suzuki Roshi Memorial on the second floor of Cloud Hall.

Some new plumbing is also going in:

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Currently, windows hang out on the walkway, waiting for the right time to be installed.  Some of the windows that were newly installed a few years ago will be put back in, along with some larger egress windows that meet fire code:

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Meanwhile, the exterior of the building is getting excellent treatment:

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On top of a layer of plywood, Cloud Hall was wrapped in a weather resistant barrier which acts as air and moisture barriers, while allowing moisture vapor to escape from the wall cavity.

On top of that is a layer of one inch rigid insulation (there was previously NO insulation or siding on the east side of the building – just 3/4 inch plywood!):

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 The basement office walls are all wired and insulated at this point, too:

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Offices to the left, new practice discussion rooms (and then stairs up to Cloud Hall) to the right.

We are all very happy that the work is progressing so smoothly, with only a couple of late night/weekend plumbing incidents so far!


The framing of Cloud Hall and the basement is proceeding quickly.

Looking out toward the dining room, the staff offices will be to the right in this photo:

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Looking from the same spot (turned 90 degrees) through the staff offices, director’s office, storage space, utility room and to the windows on the south side of the basement (where the Goodwill used to be and the new student lounge will be):

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Framing for the two new practice discussion rooms (and waiting room):

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Special framing for the double wall that will allow moisture to drain out – this side of the building is an underground retaining wall that has been problematic in the past.

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The south side of Cloud Hall (men’s and women’s bathrooms above the old goodwill), before:

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and after:

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Grade Beams

 Here are some photos showing the evolution of the grade beams, completed a little over a week ago, which will lay underneath the foundation of the new program building.  There is a lot of burly steel in there, along with the very deep friction piers – necessary, says the engineer, due to the soil in the valley.

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Basement Pad

Last week the new pad in the basement was poured in the areas where the staff offices, student lounge, phone room, boiler room, and new practice discussion rooms will be.

This is looking south, the far wall being where the goodwill used to be:

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A closer shot of where the student phone and the student lounge will be:

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Formerly the corner basement, future home of two practice discussion rooms:

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Foundation and Piers

 Last week, a very large drill rig showed up to drill the 13 piers necessary for the new pedestrian bridge and footings for the program building.

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It was very exciting to watch it drive into position, down the ramp between the ranch house and the Wheelwright center.  (It was particularly exciting because a lot of major plumbing to the main area of Green Gulch was located inches away from the treds!)

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The first three piers drilled were for the bridge, on the West side of Cloud Hall.

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To our great relief, “competent soil” for the piers to be poured into was found at the depth we had hoped, and the pour went smoothly.

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As for the foundation, they compacted the soil a couple of weeks ago,

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then dug out trenches, in which some piers will be drilled and poured, and which then will be lined with rebar and poured with concrete for a great deal of structural support.

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The drill rig working earlier this week.

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As of today, all the piers have been poured (and came in on budget!) and the crew is laying the rebar structural supports in the trenches, to be poured in the next couple of weeks.

Dining Room Floor

All the conditions came together during work period to do another long-awaited project: resurface the dining room floor.

It took them two days to sand and five days (and five coats) to finish.  You might notice the much lighter color.  They said that the old finish had worn off long ago and that the surface had been darkened by years of ground-in Green Gulch dirt!

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While the work in the large dining room was being done, vital functions (such as coffee and tea!) were relocated to the small dining room:

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A long-time work period participant even plumbed the coffee machine into the hot water source (see white pipe running in through a crack in the doors on the bottom right):

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The floor drying after a coat of finish was applied:

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On the last day of working on the large dining room floor, we did the small dining room floor as well.

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The almost finished rooms (baseboards were added to the small dining room, and a new sliding double door will replace the two sliding doors connecting the rooms):

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As the days go by, it is impressive to see all the progress being made.  Here’s a short tour:

You can now often see clear through Cloud Hall:

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Scaffolding went up to remove the old plywood siding on the East side of the building:

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They removed the covering over the East entryway of Cloud Hall (where the han used to hang):

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For a few days the skin of Cloud Hall was tattered building paper (this is the East entryway, also pictured above):

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The East side wall of the basement has been completely removed.  This photo is from the inside of the basement, looking toward the Dining Room:

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The foundation under the old offices was broken up and removed:

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The structural engineer came and recommended shoring up the old beams:

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Carpet, insulation, and drywall have all been removed from Cloud Hall.  It’s strangely beautiful to see her old bones:

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