If you have enjoyed the natural setting of Green Gulch Farm—the pristine slopes on either side leading out toward the ocean—you know what a treasure this beautiful watershed is. Our wider sangha members are key players in maintaining it. These are the people who will come to Green Gulch over many years and will carry on the work and joy of caring for our watershed. Many of the residents are here for a short time and don’t have a chance to know the land as intimately as the volunteers.
Watershed Work Week is coming up September 8 through 13, with the opportunity to stay on the farm both giving and receiving in the physical, social and spiritual environment. The list below describes this and other opportunities to get involved. All provide time to get close to the land and each other. Additionally, volunteers are always invited to join in the 5:15 pm meditation in the zendo following the work activities.
The second Sunday of each month from 1 to 4 pm is set aside for watershed volunteers to get together. We put tools away at 3:30 and enjoy each other’s company over tea and treats. We work on projects such as pulling invasive exotics near our salmonid creek, working on and creating trails, planting during the rainy season, caring and watering plantings, and pruning. We experience the change of seasons, notice the little changes in the vegetation, and enjoy the sound of birds and the creek. We feel our muscles stretch and experience the touch and aroma of the soil.
A week in mid-September is devoted to caring for the watershed. This year it runs from Sunday evening, September 8, with dinner at 6 pm, until Friday, September 13, with lunch at noon. Volunteers stay in the guest house, meditate, eat and socialize with the community and each other. This is in exchange for helping us with many projects that wouldn’t get done otherwise. There are evening events that support our efforts—a dharma lecture, an environmental education event and usually some entertainment.
This special Sunday in February every year (2 – 5 pm) celebrates our watershed. We gather on the lawn and hear words of inspiration and often plant one tree ceremonially. Then we fan out with plants native to this valley and press them into the moist soil, clear trails, sheet mulch areas, and create new planting areas as well as care for established ones.
The Green Gulch Farm Docent Training Program trains volunteers to participate in a nine-month program working with visiting schools from the San Francisco Bay Area on school days. We are looking for committed volunteer docents to lead small groups of children (kindergarten through 6th grade) in late spring through late autumn.
More details on each of these activities may be found on our website. For more information or to enroll for docent training, contact the Green Gulch Office at 415.354.0411, or Sukey Parmelee at 415.354.0432.