Volunteer Tree Work at The Kalapa Court

(This page was written 2013 – we’re in the midst of planning dates for 2014, Kevin)

Thanks for looking in to this little page that will talk about a volunteer project we’re doing at the Kalapa Court. Chances are you’ve accessed it through the Shambhala Network, or our advertising in the Banner. If you feel inspired to support the project, we need to find other paid work while in the Halifax area to help cover our expenses. Spreading the word of our services within the Sangha, or to family or friends and neighbours would be greatly appreciated.

Richard Peisinger is our contact for the project. He contacted me in 2012 concerning safety issues at the property surrounding the Sakyong’s residence. It’s is a lovely place, located on the Northwest Arm, where large oaks, maples and pines provide a green setting for the Kalapa 027residences and outbuildings. There is also a section of the property which is wooded, and another area totally flattened by Hurricane Juan.

The first thing Richard and I did was to develop a clear set of priorities. First and foremost, to as soon as possible remove acute hazards from the property. Secondly, to maintain and improve the health and safety of the trees closest to the buildings. Finally we hope to work in the wooded and flattened areas to preserve and improve what is already there and to add plants that will be compatible with future development of the property. We’ve been working closely with Bob Howard as well, coordinating our efforts with emerging plans for landscape design. Bob and others have established a small kitchen garden – one of our jobs this year was to provide more light for this garden by trimming back some large oaks.

Last year, Shambhala had a small budget for all this work but times being what they are, it covered about half our expenses. A small company like ours can only handle so much volunteer work, especially so far away from home with the extra costs of food, fuel and lodging. Our plan this year is to set aside three Sundays (note: 2014 DATES YET TO BE ANNOUNCED) to work at the Court. Shambhala can cover fuel costs, and Torgny and Meg Viggerstad have kindly offered to billet us while we are in town. If we can find  two or three day’s work following the volunteer day we will be able to recoup some of our expenses, and make the trip more often. I hope it can be a win-win-win situation for Shambhala, for Sangha members and for us to be able to do this work.

Kalapa 080We’ve really enjoyed working at the Court. The grounds and trees are fabulous, but foremost of all have been all the people we have connected with, and who have given us their support. Melissa Howell ran an article in the banner showcasing the company and the project (see page 15 of the May-June edition of the Halifax Shambhala Banner). And it’s been a huge pleasure to connect with the people we’ve worked for in many different parts of HRM.

I spoke with Bob Howard just recently. Because he has moved to Annapolis Royal he has asked me to keep my eyes open in case there is someone who would like to take over part the gardening at the Court. If anyone who reads this would like to offer that kind of help, I can connect you with Bob. Anyone interested in helping hands-on with the tree work would be more than welcome too. There is lots of brush and wood to move: a pair or two of willing hands, even for a couple hours would help the project along immensely. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.

Kevin Anderson