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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
summer 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 23 Rain has also been receiving help, Lowe- Charde says, from a number of “fungal partners,” groups that are involved in land restoration and educational projects using mushrooms. A variety of regional and local government entities have all contributed money, time, expertise, and advocacy to the project. Bildersee says, “It’s hard to find a more inspiring narrative than a long-vacant landfill—across the street from a school and in the heart of a residential neighbor- hood—being reimagined as a living, grow- ing center for people, plants, and wildlife. DRZC’s vision, patience, and resilience are transforming a literal pile of trash into a healthy working landscape.” For Lowe-Charde, one special aspect of their work has been “hearing or seeing new species show up in little habitats that didn’t exist two years ago—getting the sense that the natural world is appreciating all this effort. It’s pure delight.” Just two years into the project, wildlife is already returning. For Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, a priest at Dharma Rain, the project, in addition to allowing for expanded religious program- ming, is a way of practicing compassion and living ethically with the land, and something he believes has the potential to create a cascade of positive change. “My hope,” he says, “is that lessons learned on this site spread to other sites and collaborations.” With the help of grants from the Envi- ronmental Protection Agency, Dharma Rain has invested in stormwater-manage- ment systems, methane-mitigation systems, and improvements to the topsoil. Invasive species are being removed and native species restored. Together with Friends of Trees, volunteers from Portland have planted five thousand trees and shrubs, and they hope to increase the canopy from about 10 percent to over 50 percent in the next fifteen years. Local schools and universities are involved in the project. Eventually they will bring students to study conservation, ecol- ogy, and conduct field research—“place- based, hands-on, earth and life science learning,” says Lowe-Charde. The Madison South Neighborhood Association, which opposed the Walmart proposal in 2006, has been helping with the new project. Youth work crews have been learning about green leadership. Dharma 1. path to 82nd avenue 2. oak savannah natural area 3. produce garden 4. orchard 5. Formal courtyard, Japanese garden, and temple buildings 6. buffer plantings 7. pond 8. householder refuge cohousing 9. bioswales and trees 10. children’s programs and playground 11. ravine and riparian habitat area (Top) Architectural rendering of the new Monks’ Hall with layout of the new campus (right) (Above) Cohousing community development (top)photoKenbarKer,ARCHITECTURAlRENDERINgmichaelhowellsarchitecture&desin;(inset)schemataworKshop;(TOPRIgHT)JimhencKe