Spring work season is underway!

If you’ve been following our Facebook group, you know that spring has come to Wisteria, and with it, our work season. We’re a small organization run by a core group of dedicated and enthusiastic people, but it’s far too much work for us alone, and we would be lost if it were not for the love and effort of all of you.

This year’s big project is making improvements to the pavilion housing the kitchen and coffee house. Since I’m managing this project, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about what we’re doing and why. Land like any living thing has unique characteristics and challenges, and in Southeastern Ohio, one of our big ones is water. Some places have too little; we’re blessed with such an abundance that sometimes it becomes an issue. Our original wooden kitchen floor was a stop-gap measure, and the water moving across the pavilion ground wasn’t kind to it, or to people’s shoes. So now it’s time to do it right.

We’re doing this in three stages. The first, which is mostly complete, was digging out the back poles so we could pour a concrete curb wall to stop any water from making it into the pavilion. This wall will extend below the pad into the ground. We’ll finish it off by putting on a sealant and barrier. The highlight of this stage, if you will, was a very long and hard work day involving building forms and getting four yards of concrete into a 6″ wide space.  I joke sometimes that we should call it a fitness camp because we definitely built some muscle that day!

The concrete’s in! Only took seven people, one constructed chute, a buggy, and a very patient cement mixer truck driver. Picture credit Bill White

The second stage will be excavating a trench behind the wall and across the field, putting in pipe to take all the water coming off the hillside, ground, and roof, and move it into a ravine by Green Man. Our final stage of course will be making a new concrete pad in the pavilion so we can rebuild our kitchen and coffee house. This will make the space cleaner, safer, easier to maintain, and much friendlier for the hard-working souls behind the counter, and improve the flow for everyone getting their food and coffee drinks. We’ve got a professional concrete contractor helping us out on this job since this is a major project.

Our next work weekend coming up is Memorial Day, and by then we hope to have the pad finished. If the concrete has cured enough, we’ll be putting the pavilion kitchen area back together, making it beautiful and functional. And of course there will be plenty of other work to do, from wood busting to grounds keeping … oh, and hopefully faster Internet, too! If you’ve got time before the work weekend and want to help out, we’d love your help! Just contact and let us know.

I’m thrilled to be help manage this project and couldn’t do it without the incredible contributions of too many of you to name.  Let’s git ‘er done and have some fun!

Nellie Werger cutting rebar to go in the wall. Picture credit Bill White

By Bill White

Bill White arrived at Wisteria in 2010 with Starwood XXX after 15 years as a festival participant. Nights at the drum and fire circle had given him a belief in the transformative magic of the festival experience and the sacred silly, and its power to forge authentic connections to self and others. At Wisteria, Bill fell in love with the land and community, and began an ever-deepening relationship with the organization and its projects, with the goal of bringing that magic to others and nurturing a space for people to grow, play, and revel in the gloriously weird. Bill brings to Wisteria a decade of entrepreneurial experience as co-founder of FrogNet, Inc. and other ventures, a doctorate in neuroscience, a professional background in software engineering and information technology, a passion for infrastructure, and a fondness for digging holes and setting things on fire. Bill currently does enterprise web applications development for a living (AngularJS, REST API, Perl/Moose, Postgres). At Wisteria, Bill currently serves as treasurer of the Board of Directors and is active on various engineering-related committees and projects and Wisteria Fire Tribe.

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