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Arborea Falls 2021: Spring Update

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

It's been a long, challenging year. As we reflect back, we think of all the lessons we've learned. Our heart breaks with the loss of lives, the continued injustices for black, indigenous, and other people of color. We have reflected on our journey and evolved our guiding principles, which I'd like to share here. We believe we are part of a global community. We seek to celebrate the diversity of that community by actively supporting people of diverse beliefs, cultures, orientations, and lifestyles.

Territorial acknowledgement & impact of white privilege

We researched more about the location of our property and after much thought, we have posted a territorial acknowledgement on our site as well as a statement of debt to people of color. Read it here.

As an acknowledgement of these debts, Arborea Falls is committed to providing free access to our grounds and forest to BIPOC individuals for communion with nature. We also offer discounts and priority for hosting public community events that support LGPTQIA+ and BIPOC communities.

Earlier in the year, we created a members-only area of the site. This provides a platform for event organizers and community members as well as private booking options. Sign up to stay apprised of the latest news.

Work we've done this past year

Here is a look at our performance as they relate to our guiding principles:

Be good land stewards and build, foster, and nurture a nature sanctuary

  • Planted wildflowers, native shrubs, and locally grown bulbs

  • Installed bat houses

  • Added goldfish to the ponds as natural predators for mosquitos

  • Began replacing outdoor lights with wildlife-friendly, low voltage LED lights

Lighten our footprints in the world through ecologically responsible choices

  • Begun installing bidet toilet seats to all the indoor facilities to reduce toilet paper usage and strain on our septic system

  • Adding smart timers to outdoor lighting to reduce energy usage

  • Reduce our plastic usage, replacing with durable glass options

  • Installing an incinerating toilet in the Woodshed

  • Retrofit the hot tub to use natural salts and other less harsh chemicals

Bring beauty, joy, and fun into the world

  • Created a (free) sign up for community members to use the grounds during the pandemic

  • Hosted a socially distant 4th of July Party

  • Built a fun Shire map overlay and named property features and locations, signs are being finished and installed this spring

  • Begun to acquire and install statues and art around the grounds

  • Finished the underdeck roofing and installed UV heaters to make an inviting space for cigar lounges and other outdoor social gatherings

Support education and outreach in our chosen communities

  • Provided online classes across our communities

  • Facilitated online support groups

Provide a welcoming venue for LGBTQIA, people of color, neuro-diverse and other marginalized communities

  • Created a (free) sign up for community members to use the grounds during the pandemic

Provide a natural setting for people of all spiritualities to worship & celebrate

  • Identified the location for our household shrine and in the planning phases for building the mosaic base

  • Finished Green Dragon falls

Provide a sex-positive safe space for people to explore, connect with community, & celebrate

  • Finished the Woodshed including lighting, UV heating, electricity

  • Accessible bathroom stall with environmentally-friendly incinerating toilet and sink (we still need to build the ramp though)

Provide a haven for people in our communities

  • Provided short-term housing for community members in need

Upcoming property improvements

Here is the current list of works on our short list:

  • Continue the permit process with King County for hosting events

  • Ongoing accessibility and safety work

    • Adding electricity and lighting around party field

    • Fixing driveway approach to the garage and damaged concrete near the Golden Perch

  • Adding permanent fire pit and improvements to cigar lounge area (Golden Perch)

  • Begin work on the Golden Perch (top) waterfall

  • Clear & grade RV parking area (assuming permit approval)

  • Adding new grass in work areas that are now finished

May this post find you safe, healthy, and joyful.

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