May 10, 2011

Trails and drives

Though rain was forecast this past weekend at Korinji our work crew was met with unexpected sunshine. They report that the last of the snow is finally gone, and flowers are blooming in the forest despite the slow start that the trees seem to have had this year

With dense foliage yet to arrive and the forest floor still clear, it was therefore a good time for work on the grounds. We're happy to announce that after a bit of hard labor the trail from our main parking area to the monastery now has steps in two locations: on the steep slope just below the lot, and on the slippery area below the second switchback (just before the footbridge location). Our steps, five in each spot, are made of railroad tie halves and stone. We expect to put another 9 in just below the zendo, above the future gate.

Most of the rest of the work this weekend involved the disposal of a huge brush pile, the construction of a bin for burnable wood scraps (with our future woodstove in mind), and a general continued cleaning up of the construction site. On Monday, however, a dramatic change came to the grounds: the final graveling of our main parking area, as well as the secondary drive and parking leading down to the monastery area. Gusty thunderstorms hit before noon, but by that time our skidsteer had done most of the difficult work. By 3pm it was done, and we now have a permanent and accessible large parking area for guests as well as construction and emergency access to the building site. And yes, we can finally announce that never again will any of our work crews need to carry building materials down to the monastery by hand. Veterans of the now-infamous groundbreaking weekend, in which more than 300 bags of concrete were hand carried through the woods, may justly now brag that "in the old days, we did things differently...".

With this completed, we're now poised to dive into more work on the building, depending on our fundraising situation. We've calculated that $60,000.00 is needed to finish the zendo completely, inside and out. Though our incoming donation stream has been wonderfully steady, it hasn't been large enough to allow for the several large purchases we now need to make quickly, like windows. Please see the Korinji site for ways in which you can donate or volunteer including supporting events like our annual Fall-a-thon on June 25th!

Many thanks as usual to our volunteer work crew this past weekend. The next work weekend is May 27-30...Memorial Day weekend here in the States. If you can come up to help for any or all of those days, you are indeed very welcome to contribute to Korinji's founding.

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