“Well done, us!” A brief history of groundbreaking

Groundbreaking celebration of Treehouse Village Ecohousing

By Allyson Rowley

We flew, we drove, we biked, we walked. After months of planning, Treehouse Villagers gathered at 54 Pearl Street in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, early on Saturday morning, August 21, 2021.

The rain held off. It wasn’t too hot. More than 130 people arrived. Fancy Pants Café offered coffee and refreshments. Mike and Max set the mood with live music. Kids explored the land and climbed up and down the mounds of earth. Our #TreehouseCelebration kicked off shortly after 10:00 am ADT.

The Mayor gave a great speech and mentioned Mark from Bristol. Our newly elected MLA dropped in briefly to check us out before she left for her daughter’s soccer game. Cate and Leon were interviewed by a radio journalist. Emma and the children charmed everyone with their peach tree planting.

To quote Monty Python: “Well done, us!”

So, what did we learn? Well, we learned more than we ever wanted to learn about COVID-19 public health regulations. We learned that shade sails don’t actually give shade — but they do create a nice visual frame to an outdoor event. We learned that microphones don’t always work, and guests will go ahead and park at the Wile Carding Museum.

Most of all, we learned that Treehouse Villagers are amazing people, with an incredible range of talents and expertise, who pull together and get things done. Thank you!

After the public celebration, we went into the forest for a private gathering with Mi’kmaw teachers Peggie Wentzell and Shawn Feener. Peggie honoured us with a smudging and taught us a song (As One, by Denean). Shawn shared his knowledge of the trees around us and offered to come back to lead a forest tour. We noted it was a full moon that night and Peggie told us about a medicinal remedy to be prepared for just such a time.

For those who weren’t able to attend — we were thinking of you. I’ve posted some of my photos on the TVE Facebook member page, along with updates of our media coverage. Check out Shirley’s photos of the event and Caitlin’s benediction for the peach tree planting, as well as RHAD Architect’s words of support and my official recap of the event.

Hey, let’s do this again next August. Preferably when the moon is full. By next August, our homes will be built (right?) and we will be preparing to move in. This groundbreaking was a great “dress rehearsal” for the main event!

With thanks and gratitude for all your support,

The Groundbreaking Helping Circle: Allyson (L/D: May 31–July 20), Becky (L/D: July 21–Sept 7), Terry (F), Meg (S), Kathy H, Teona

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