Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Dreams Come True

This Saturday, The Living Earth School is beginning the Red Arrow Boys Program in Belvedere. Nature awareness educators Hub Knott, Joshua Levine and Taylor, all the most awesome men ever, are bringing together boys from all over for a day of earth skills, followed by an overnight in November and more skills in December. It is a once a month program. Hub also wants to offer his homeschool program once a week in Belvedere.

We are also offering a Wild Food Talk and Walk in Belvedere on Sunday with the most awesome woman, Rain, from Shannon Farm. Getting folks outside connecting with nature and each other in Belvedere.

These nature awareness offerings are a dream come true. Really, all of Belvedere is a dream come true, a neighborhood of people really wanting to connect with each other and the more-than-human world. As with all dreams, I temper my expectations. I learned long ago that dreams can manifest and not be exactly what you expect. In some ways, Belvedere is more urban than I expected. I miss the forest being all around me, but that is just me. I can always go down into the forest around Belvedere and Dunlora and I do, quite often.

I am going to encourage these nature pieces to grow. I know Bob Hauser is encouraging them. It was his vision to get the kids off the couch to recreate the childhoods of decades ago when kids played outside. We're doing it in Belvedere!

Wild Food Talk and Walk in Belvedere

Wild Food Talk & Walk

Learn what you can harvest and eat right in your own backyard!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Belvedere Neighborhood

2 pm – 5 pm

$15 per adult, $5 per child if with adult

To Register and Directions:


katercst@gmail.com 434-996-2002 preregistration required

Gathering from the wild is a traditional skills practiced by people all around the world. This is an abundance of nutritious edibles all around us. This three-hour class will take us on a wander to rediscover and collect these foods. Get to know your place! Have Fun with other families! Connect with self, others, nature! Come on out and meet and inspiring leader, Rain, class instructor.

For the past 14 years, Rain has been weaving traditional lifeways. She currently lives in the Blue Ridge on an intentional community with her man and their six children where she has been re-claiming her Wild-Wombyn Self while Re-Membering the Ancient Skills of Wombyn-hood. Her current threads are hunting, gathering, midwifery, plant medicine, wild foods and tribal culture.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Community Updates: Annual HOA meeting

Belvedere is doing awesome! We now have 70 homes sold, with more under contract, several spec homes being built and only 15 spots left in Phase One! Our annual HOA meeting was just a few days ago and we are still thinking over all the information. The community voted a member onto the Board (a big deal, since we often have issues that need addressing and did not have any Board presence until now per the HOA agreement). The meeting was full of excellent and interesting news.

The big downer is the money situation. Banks are picky and strange about lending money as those out there in the development world know. Phase One still has unfinished business that Bob Hauser says he has a hard time finding money for, but the commercial part of Belvedere, the Station as it is being called, is a positive for lending meaning that ground is going to be broken there starting this fall. However, the county is finishing parts of Phase One because of bank note issues between the developer and the county. I can't quote everything because it seems quite technical but it seems that this is rare in the development world. Hauser said he wished he could finish it. It does sound like a strange world for developers these days. But Belvedere remains one of the most successful new developments in the county. Hard to believe we have sold so many houses since November 2010; we have nearly doubled in size and Hauser hopes to close on up to 44 more houses this year.

A wonderful new addition to the project is the Senior Center now slotted for the first commercial land lot as you enter the development. This multi-generational space looks awesome. A representative from the Senior Center came and gave us a slide show about the new facility. They are busting at the seems over in their current facility on Pepsi Place. It looks fantastic and open to the public. I couldn't imagine a better place to hang out if I was over 50! Exercise, social events, clubs, cafes, cookouts, classes of all kinds. It is a great addition to the project.

Now that we have so many people, we know that the HOA has lots of money and we want to know where it is going and what we are doing with it. Community members picked apart the budget. Much of the money is spent on Connexion and landscaping. Community members want the vacant lots better taken care of and more accountability and transparency from a busy skeleton Stonehaus crew. And rightly so!

Excited to be a member still and trying to breath life into the "get the kids off the couch" idea, Hub Knott from the Living Earth School is going to run a boys program here, and a homeschool nature based program. I invited the most awesome Rain from Shannon Farm to do a Wild Foods Talk and Walk October 2 here in Belvedere from 2 - 5 pm. You can see more on my website, belvederearts.com. Hauser is also supporting the community garden idea.

With the county soon finishing the paving, tree planting and other promised list items and the fuller complement of houses it feels like are beyond the tipping point into success. And more, Hauser reports our homes are increasing in value! All this is such good news during these times, as well as the mini baby boom here in Belvedere. I think we have at least 5 babies born or due this fall and winter. That means lots of meals made and taken over to families. I volunteer to hold the babies!

I often meet new people who say this blog really helped them learn more about Belvedere, so Bret and I will continue to write and post. Thanks for reading!