is a land-transforming VISION FOR THE FUTURE by artist, Tom Ellis. My goals are:
reconnecting people with wildlife,
protecting endangered species,
showing the world a new way to build using the abundant and free resource of USED TIRES and USED TIRE BALES,
demonstrating a way to construct cheap and permanent affordable housing that requires no extra insulation,
anticipating flood, tornado and hurricane disaster prevention by sensible buildings that utilize the simple force of gravity,
providing a serene place for meditation and contemplation in the midst of a 160 acre Wildlife Garden Sanctuary,
and helping wildlife everywhere thrive and survive the dangerous transition of living in a shrinking environment caused by human encroachment.
It will also be a wilderness park for bikers and hikers and campers, as well as an experimental laboratory for growing organic foods. Wildlife will be given free food twice daily, and people will be instructed in how to behave around wild animals. Most of the animals will be herds of deer, along with song birds and water birds, skunks, opossums, raccoons, etc. There are no predators larger than a few coyotes, so all the food will be grains, like corn and seeds.
I hope to bring together people from around the world to enjoy wildlife viewing and to discuss seed saving and organic farming.
a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY and
NATURE GARDEN CAMPGROUND
I will start with three projects simultaneously. First, will be the construction of a lake at a cost of $80,000. This will include a broad dam built with recycled used tires and cement. In addition, some artificial hills will be built by stacking used tire bales and covering them with gravel, soil and landscaping. Covering them will be fake boulders for landscaping, and to serve as seating.
Second, will be the erection of three teepees which will be rented out for camping during the spring, summer, and fall. These will cost $3,000 each for a total of $9,000.
Third, will be the construction of a dozen or so dolmens, a type of large stone sculpture found in Europe and Asia. A dolmen is a balanced giant flat rock on top of two or three vertical stones. Some of these are on the scale of Stonehenge, and also date from that prehistoric age. With my skills as an artist I will turn these modern constructions into impressive ancient fakes. They will be juxtaposed with fake boulders decorated using the same techniques, but built with tire bales, adobe, and cement. These will be carefully placed into hillsides and mounds and along artificial streams. The rocks will be mined from piles found in the Elks Lake quarry. Each dolmen will cost approximately $300 x 12 = $3,600.
BUILDING THE HILLS WITH USED TIRES AND CEMENT
Although the used tire bales will be essentially free except for the cost of electricity and baling wire, they must be created by someone hired to process them with a hydrological automobile compressor. They then have to be transported to each site by truck, then stacked by forklift, or crane. Once in place, they will be cloaked with adobe and gunnite cement applied by workers and artists to faithfully reproduce the look of ancient rock walls and boulders. So, factoring in the cost of operating the crusher, buying a used truck for transporting the bales, renting or buying forklifts and cranes for construction, and covering all artfully with several tons of cement, added to that the cost of re-bar and wire mesh and steel I-beams, I estimate the cost of all that is going to be around $650,000.
A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Along with the human accommodations there will be the twice-daily feeding of birds and wild animals at a cost of $500 per month- or $6000 per year. The benefit, besides caring for the wildlife, will be to encourage wild animals to stay on or near the park and to breed, and to intermingle with humans in a non-threatening way. My land already contains numerous areas for wild habitat, and I intend to build many more spots and regions to house and shelter wild creatures. In the bitter winter of 2013 we had 39 deer coming in each day for food. [It will be thrilling to see a herd of 200-300 deer everyday coming in to graze and feed. Living in a herd is what is natural to a deer.]
Neat, Blacktop Nature trails will be installed throughout the park and maintained, networking across and around the land, connecting important destinations such as the lake and the visitor's center to the camping areas and the multiple scenic stream sites, or one of the many hidden exits around the park for animals and people. Many of the blacktop trails will be wide enough for two or three wheelchairs. The cost of installing trails will be approximately $65,000 for supplies and labor.
Bonsai trees, rock gardens, and lofty ancient ruins will compete with giant balanced-rock dolmens for attention in this fantastic landscape, imparting a feeling of an ancient civilization long gone. These artifacts will imbue “DOROTHY'S PLACE” with a feeling visitors will have that they are in an ancient sacred prehistoric site that has been reclaimed by Nature over 25,000 years of time and weather. Giant dolmens will add an air of mystery and grandeur. Located in a field or in a secluded ring of trees in the forest, they will be actual giant rocks, hoisted into place by machinery, then decorated by Tom Ellis and his assistants to look like they have been there for thousands of years. They will be one of the best features of the landscape, and the one standout feature that will make DOROTHY'S PLACE famous around the world. Visitors will be in the presence of seeming artifacts that look as real and ancient as anything in Europe or Asia. In addition, they will serve as functioning feeding stations and shelters for animals, as well as a focal point for a quiet view of a stream or a display of floral shrubbery. Due to their outstanding weight and stability, they will remain in place for the next 25,000 years.
80 feet up the slope at the top of the hill, where stone is virtually at the surface, artificial rocks will be added along with sand and desert plants brought in from all over the world. At present we only have a small indigenous prickly pear cactus that blooms yellow, but never gets over 4 inches high, and there are some pretty, but small, native yuccas. I want to plant hundreds of cactus around and in the rocks and sand. There is a wide-ranging carpet of other species of plants there already that have adapted to the rocky and dry conditions. Most of these plants will grow nowhere else. They will be carefully protected as well. Lots of drought-resistant plants will grow in this area, but it will take some experimentation to see which plants actually thrive, and where. I will be planting some San Pedro cactus from the Andes to see if they will survive. They can get quite tall and bloom with flowers that open at night, attracting bats. Many other cactus and succulent species will be added to create an unusual desert and rock garden in old pastures that have never known a plow.
A search will be made for plants from around the world, the stranger and more exotic the better. And, of course, any endangered plants that need a place to call home will be welcome, too. It will be interesting to see what survives the biting winds of a Kansas winter, and which ones manage to escape being eaten by wildlife. The fact that the surrounding giant walls of the ruins will be an effective wind barrier, will have far-reaching results and benefits. Gardening will be done as part of the staff's duties, and irrigation water will be readily available when pumped from the streams. I hope to establish one area that is completely dominated by a carpet of orange and yellow California poppies. Hard to start, but once established they will thrive with very little care, AND they bloom for several months a year. Many other flower groups such as daisies and sunflowers, roses and hollyhocks, grasses and marigolds will add color, diversity, and cohesion to the over-all design. Many diverse types of ground covers will also be used, especially in the rock gardens areas.
Nothing attracts wildlife better than water. The creation of multiple pools throughout an area will encourage both people and wildlife to explore and use the blacktop trails to find their favorite water spots. Flowing into the lake will be 3 artificial streams that will flow in zigzags from the tops of the park down to the bottom of the lake, a distance of about a quarter mile each, and a height of about 80 feet. Two of them will flow into the estuary end of the lake creating habitat for many creatures. On the way down, the water will feed into various shallow pools, tumble over waterfalls, and will meander across meadows and snake through dense forests. Siphoning hoses operated by hand will allow water to flow to garden plantings for irrigation. The cost of the watercourses and their surrounding boulders will include the backhoe, the bales of straw and alfalfa, the pumps and pipes and fittings, the cement, the re-bar and wire mesh, the art supplies, the hired labor, and the rubber liners, will be approximately $180,000 for all three streams.
There are currently three ponds. All these will be enlarged and transformed with backhoes to fit into a landscape with a very diverse ecosystem. That will cost about $20,000. The construction of the Lake will bring in far more wildlife than the ponds, but ponds have their places in the plan.
A LIVING SANCTUARY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.
Many native Americans were cheated out of what I have- a wilderness surrounded by Kansas farmlands. I want to share it with them and with all peoples who are looking for a way to experience wildlife closeup and personal. It will be a garden wilderness for camping and meditation in peaceful surroundings. This will be a rare chance for people to be surrounded by living creatures, to see animals living in forests and feeding in fields dotted with rocks, a six acre lake with wetlands and marshes, acres of meadows, acres of paths winding through lush gardens of flowering plants and trees with a Zen-like feeling of serenity and quiet beauty. A wilderness park where people can camp and stay for days, even weeks at a time, in a teepee [Special winter discounts!] , with electricity, and wall to wall carpets. Or, bring their own tents and supplies and pay discount admission prices.
I know there will be some bureaucratic hurtles to get over about regulations and laws, but I'm sure those things can be worked out. I am building a service-oriented business. One that will bring lots of tourists to Iola, and will also employ numerous people year round even after the initial construction period.
This will be a gun-free zone. No guns ever allowed in the park. If you get caught with a gun you are immediately barred from ever returning. Across the road from my place you can carry a bazooka if you want, but MY land will be sacred. Everyone and every thing inside the park will be safely surrounded by dense trees and bushes and giant rock walls that will completely hide the landscaped interior from the roads, and will look like ancient rock work from twenty thousand years ago. Hidden in between the walls will be openings for wild animals to come and go, many large enough to accommodate a small herd of deer.
Camping at DOROTHY'S PLACE will be a new experience for most people. They will have a chance to experience Nature up close and personal. To watch a group of deer feeding in a distant hayfield, to observe lichens on rocks and trees, to meet skunks and raccoons and lizards. To see mosses and water weeds growing along the flowing stream beds. To smell wildflowers and watch the wind blow over the grasses. There will be water creatures in the lake and the ponds, the calls of birds in the day and the drone of insects in the evening, and a symphony of frogs at night. Each day will bring new discoveries- new birds, bright butterflies, a strange insect that mimics a branch, the flight of a great blue heron, and twice each day- the attendants will put out food for all the vegetarian species in the park. Heaven on earth. In Kansas.
Some of this already exists on my property, but I want to take it up a notch by terraforming the area around the lake. Using giant landfill building techniques we will create a hilly sanctuary garden for people and wildlife. The area around the lake will be transformed into a miniature neolithic amphitheater with walking paths and hidden surprises. A pastoral scenery of manicured sweetness will invite the viewer into the Garden's PRESENT TIME- the place where some say true happiness lives. I intend to create a place where people and wild animals can physically interact IN EACH MOMENT in the midst of 160 ACRES of NATURE GARDEN WILDERNESS.
The experience will be so beautiful and mesmerizing that people will come from all over the world to stay at “DOROTHY'S PLACE”, to walk along its winding paths and find calm and concord and perhaps meet new friends, and all of it in THE MIDST OF A THRIVING WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. And, camping visitors, looking for a cooked meal or camping supplies, will be given a complete list of available options in the Town of Iola.
SAVING ENDANGERED SPECIES
Along with common species like grouse, quail, and jackrabbits, this will be a sanctuary for endangered species, like the Lesser Prairie Chicken. I believe that if The Staff can hand-rear the chicks, bring in some adults and let them mingle, and feed them everyday they will stay and multiply. I hope to work closely with organizations like the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to protect and preserve hundreds of species that once thrived, but were decimated by DDT spraying in the 50's. And now there is the added danger of Roundup and other powerful poisons that can destroy an ecosystem, or an immune system.
Keep in mind, this will be a free-roaming sanctuary, not a zoo. The only walls and fences will be to keep the wildlife out of restricted or living areas and to provide cover and protection from people's presence. Calm environment, freedom, and food and water will be the only incentives for animals to stay on or near the area. Eventually, they will get used to seeing people and to being fed, and in a few generations they will adjust to a life at “DOROTHY'S PLACE” with no fear of enemies ANYWHERE inside the sanctuary. And THAT will be my crowning achievement. To invent a place where animals and humans can cohabit together peacefully, and since the only carnivores are a few coyotes and a bobcat, there won't be too many animals that will die by predation, either. It would give me greatest satisfaction to know that animals at “DOROTHY'S PLACE' will die only from old age.
Teepees will be instrumental in achieving a flavor of the Old West. The first ones will be simple and relatively small and inexpensive- 12 to 20 feet high, with simple authentic-looking ornamentation. Zippers will keep the teepees sterile from bugs. Later ones will be built larger and more embellished.
The 30 foot high A-List Teepees will be rented out for varying prices depending on the season, the availability and amenities involved. The most expensive teepees will rent for $300 per night. They will be so large, perhaps 20 feet in diameter, they will be furnished with bunk beds [looking as “rustic” as possible] to accommodate families and small groups. The interiors will be completely carpeted with overlapping hand-made rugs, a few of which will be true antiques. The rugs will come from every corner of the earth, with an emphasis on oriental carpets from the Middle Eastern countries, and Navajo designs of high quality. Tightly woven rugs are the easiest to care for. The interiors of the teepees will contain native American decorations as well as simple paintings on the exteriors. People will be instructed to clean or remove their shoes before entering some teepees. There will be old storage tables with places for keeping food and storing stools. Outside at the entrance to each teepee will be an old enclosed cabinet for storing shoes and boots. All sides, inside and outside, of all the outdoor furniture, will be heavily sprayed with Thompson Water Seal /stain repellent to ensure complete protection from the rain.
The highest rental teepees will feature light cooking facilities with an energy-saving flame-free induction plate and a couple pots, some plates and silverware, and an old kitchen table cut down to knee height for food preparation and dinner conversations. Low stools will be used everywhere. They will be stackable so they can fit under a table for ready use, or stored somewhere inside the teepee for when they are needed. At least one teepee will be built with a ramp for handicapped campers, or grandma and grandpa. The others will be built more or less like a traditional teepee with a zippered oval opening. Flaps will open and close when needed for rain or shade from the summer sun. The tops will open giving ventilation, and several panels will have optional mosquito screens for airing on warm summer nights. The largest teepees will rent for $300 per night.
Each large permanent teepee will rest on a smooth foundation with their 16 poles anchored into place using modern technology. The tops will be tied together, then fastened to support the various flaps each teepee has. Each of the large teepees will also have a porch area at the front entrance shaded by a flowing canape of silk or velvet on long sticks anchored also into receptacles in the ground. Because winds can get fierce, the structures will be built with strength and stability in mind.
I want the camping experience to be as comfortable and carefree as possible without costs becoming prohibitive. So, campers bringing their own tents will be charged as little as $20per night per person. Walk-in day guests will only pay $5 for adults. Children under 10 will be free. Bring your own supplies, or rent ours. Guests will be routinely directed into Iola's Downtown shopping center where they can avail themselves of Iola's cuisine, or, purchase supplies in town and bring them back for an outdoor barbeque with fellow campers. DOROTHY'S PLACE is only 2 miles from town.
Besides the teepees and “glamping”, there will be areas for open camping for the folks with their own tents. Outdoor showers and toilets will be set up at appropriate locations. A toilet will be a simple hole dug about 3-4 feet deep, lined with straw. The pit will be straddled by an enclosed wooden bench with a smooth hole, which will in turn be hidden by a teepee or perhaps a portable wooden structure. After use, each person will pick up some straw from a supply container, and drop it into the hole, ensuring a lack of odor and flies. When it's time to move the outhouse, we simply shovel the dirt back into the hole, and move the whole setup to a new spot. Each of these spots will be chosen to feed important plants that will greatly benefit from the superior nutrients found in human fecal matter.
There are few, if any, snakes. I'm ashamed to admit that when I was growing up my mom had a “kill every snake” policy. Though we never had poisonous snakes, we did have some garter snakes, bull snakes, black snakes, blue racers, and I recall seeing a gorgeous red and black king snake as well as another white and black king snake years ago. Snakes were frequently run over by speeding cars back in the 50's, as were box turtles. I feel bad that humans did so much damage, and hope to make amends in some way if I can.
Horses and horseback riding will be welcome. Though not a top priority, it would be nice to have horses grazing the pastures like in the old days. And casual riding would fit nicely into the idea of “DOROTHY'S PLACE”, as well as a nod to the 19th century.
“DOROTHY'S PLACE” will host community pot luck picnics in the gardens or by the lake. I grew up with large family dinners and reunions, and this will be a great place to have them, weather permitting. I could also rent out the space for private weddings and events.
AND, because of the shape of the lake and surrounding low hills, it will create a perfect natural amphitheater for outdoor acoustic concerts. Some spectators can sit on the artificial rocks that will be made to accommodate several sitters on them simultaneously, and yet they will be built into the landscape to appear completely natural. The bands and single performers will be on a floating stage- a barge that will be disguised to look just like an island with rocks and vegetation growing on it, and it will have lights above, and under the water, for nighttime effects. Because sound travels in a straight line, everyone will have perfect sound reception. People sitting on blankets or lawn chairs on the sand beach will also have direct sound waves. And some of the sound will be reflected by the hills surrounding the stage into a natural reverb. It will be a magical effect.
As someone who was hired to design lighting for Bloomingdale's Department Store in NYC [many years ago], I learned a great deal about achieving the right visual effects with lighting.
Nighttime, lights will illuminate the ancient rock walls and the trees, and around the lake, and all around the property, a distance of about 3 miles. Some trails will have lights shining only on the paths, or very low lighting to encourage wildlife to use the walkways as trails at night. The interior walls will have up-lighting in places, and the overall effect will be dramatic lighting on ancient ruins surrounded by patches of dark and unlit. Trees and vines will have special attention for maximum effect. There will be hidden lights that slowly and subtlety change colors throughout the night. And as you walk the park you will be traveling through a highly varied landscape, highly protected from winds and sound. You will be able to hike all around and through the property day or night. If someone can't sleep and needs to walk, there will be long night hikes one can take. Night walks will be encouraged by extremely subtle lighting. There will be vast spaces where there will be few if any lights. All landscape lighting will be put on dimmers for infinite adjustment possibilities. I estimate that the cost of installing electricity and cables and lights on dimmers throughout the property to be in the neighborhood of $180,000.
The cost of installing solar and wind have yet to be calculated, but my guess would be around $60K for solar, and $50K for wind turbines and storage batteries... so another $110,000.
WATER AND POWER
Water attracts wildlife and tourists. Beauty and function will be united in my vision. There will be places where water is not heard, and other places where the sound of falling or gurgling water will mingle with the songs of birds and the buzz of insects. Bird feeders, and feeding stations for four-legged wild animals, will be situated in several places, and will be replenished by attendants twice daily. Because animals will be well fed and around people, they will be less likely to stay hidden during daylight and nighttime hours. I think some visitors will start recognizing various creatures they see on a regular basis and may even give them names. No doubt some animals and some people will go to the same feeding stations time after time. That's when you know you've won people's hearts. When someone falls in love with another species you've won the first battle in ecology. Love and caring is what this project is all about. It is at the core of my GOAL for the park. Art and Love.
Power will be supplied by green technology- wind and solar, but will be attached to Iola's grid in case of necessity as well as an emergency backup generator. The main pumps for the streams will be running day and night throughout the year, and will undoubtedly require some architectural planning and engineering for the buried pipes and the placement of the pumps. Drinking water will be available through the Iola water supply.
Once animals have found their way safely inside the enclosure, the landscape will invite them into a spacious gentle garden of grasslands on rolling miniature hills, and small forests surrounding a shallow valley and a lake. The lake will be of irregular shape with a great rock dolmen structure in the middle of a meadow on the southwest shoreline. On the west end of the lake will be a flowing stream coming down from the top of the hill and snaking its way through a myriad of different environments, each one a little Eco system unto itself. I would like to stock the deeper pools with fish and snails and other water creatures if possible. Each bend of the stream will reveal yet another perfectly landscaped area of small pools with rocks and flower gardens nestled next to trees and bushes and gushing water surrounded by lush vegetation. Many clearings will contain a dolmen and a feeding station for animals and birds. Visitors can walk quiet paths, or sit on a log [or a camping chair] and wait for the wildlife to come to them.
Most of the food for animals will be purchased from local farmers. Corn, Milo, sunflower seeds, and anything else that will attract a multitude of different lifeforms indigenous to the area will be the staple. In summer there will be plenty of grass meadows for deer to eat and sleep in. Some food will be grown in the vegetable gardens or in places where corn and other grains will be safe from animals during the growing season.
I would love to bring in some exotic species like California quail if I can get permission. They are remarkable animals with an endearing family lifestyle. They set up sentries while the adults teach the chicks how and where to feed. They can be quite vocal at times. They like to have a food source near their burrows under brush piles, so hopefully they will be enticed to stay where the food comes to them.
I do not intend to have any peacocks. They are far too noisy. I may buy a flock of pheasants and hand-rear them. Likewise some ducks and swans. Racoons are already being fed, and offer no threat to anyone. Skunks are already bringing their babies to the feedings each night at my house. Visitors will be able to encounter these critters and others up close and personal, and they in turn will teach others how to behave around wildlife. Children will be taught at a very early age about animals and how to relate to them. There may even be a small petting zoo within one of the courtyards for children. It would have domestic rabbits, of course, but also exotic chickens, guinea fowl, and other egg producers. And if production of eggs gets high enough the park will start offering complimentary scrambled egg breakfasts with coffee and maps. Or it could be the start of a small cafe on the premises.
There will be a few avid hunters, who will think I'm doing something that is going to put their sport in peril. I am not. If the animals that come onto my park leave it and get shot outside I have no problem with that. But that is precisely WHY I am building this sanctuary. To give animals a freebie, a place where they never have to worry about food, shelter, or being killed by hunters or neglect. I believe The Golden Rule applies to wild animals, too. And, I believe that people can be profoundly changed by interaction with animals, and that it's time we give wild animals a break. Instead of putting up a lot of tract houses and taking away the wilderness, I intend to keep Nature that is there already, and to expand and improve on it. DOROTHY'S PLACE will be a lovely country landscape of rocks and hedges, dense forests, hay fields and meadows, with vegetable gardens and fruit tree orchards safely tucked inside rock courtyards, and everywhere, great attention to detail.
YEARLY OPERATING EXPENSES
Construction of several strong culverts and gravel or blacktop roadways to allow entrance of trucks and other equipment onto the property from the location of the tire compressor operation. [directly across the road at northeast corner of DOROTHY'S PLACE location].
Once constructed, DOROTHY'S will need a permanent staff of people to attend to it day and night:
Two employees [at $15 per hour] to operate the automobile compressor, producing as many bales per day as possible. The bales will be stacked for storage until needed. They will then be moving them to the designated site for stacking using a truck and two forklifts [one with 12 foot capacity, the other for the on-site location with a 30 foot capacity]. [$72,000 per year]
A used flatbed truck for moving the tire bales safely to on-site locations.
Two backhoes, a small one for turning compost and digging latrine holes, the second, a large capacity bucket for construction of the lake, and planting and removal of trees, and terraforming the landscape.
A crane, to lift the uppermost tire bales into place 20-30 feet high.
Professional contractors will be hired for the dam building and the excavation of the lake, and the shifting of earth to cover the tire bale hill mounds. They will have their own bulldozer and other heavy equipment needed. [I already received an estimate of $50,000 to dig the lake, but need to add more due to some new building techniques]
Perhaps a hundred or more truckloads of cement for gun-nite and carving.
A general manager to run DOROTHY'S PLACE- responsible for the running of the park, the hiring and firing of employees, and the over-all quality of visitors' experiences.
A cook and a kitchen helper for visitors' breakfasts, and luncheons and dinners for staff and guests.
Two full time gardeners with chainsaw skills for grounds maintenance, and irrigation. One should be able to operate heavy machinery, and be able to drag brush and limbs to designated piles to serve as wildlife shelters. The other can be a youngster with little or no experience, but with a desire to learn and be of use.
Three workers to clean and prepare the tents and teepees and maintain the areas around them, including the latrines. These three will work in shifts, and also be in charge of feeding the animals at sunrise and sunset. The night shift will double as security guard for the park. All three must have good social skills, and will be the liaison between the park and its visitors.
An artist and two or three assistants to construct the streams and waterfalls and fake rocks using cement, wire mesh, rubber liners, and straw. They will then be taught by Mr. Ellis how to faux-finish the cement to appear as real boulders and rocks. When rocks and boulders are being created, care will be taken to provide small openings and caves for creatures to hide in before the final layers of cement and adobe are applied. There will be hundreds of opportunities to provide shelters for wild animals.
A [part time] guide for nature walks and school children's outings. Though decidedly not grand, the place I grew up on has some hidden natural treasures of a modest sort that must be observed from close-up to truly appreciate. DOROTHY'S PLACE will enchant children.
I am blessed with this hillside piece of property, my old family farm in Iola, Kansas, encompassing great potential as a wildlife sanctuary. The land sits on the eastern slopes of the Kansas Flint Hills. It is an area of casual erosion and a valley where the City of Iola nestles with its feet in Elm Creek. The top joins distant flat lands, roads and other farms, then gently scoops down one whole corner, a height of 80 feet, to a crease in the hill where the waters run under the road and drains into Elks Lake, an old cement quarry. It's a perfect spot for a lake, and it will become the spiritual center of “DOROTHY'S PLACE”.
Pruning and tree removal, along with weeding and planting each year, will be done by staff, as will the watering. Fortunately, with the stream water pumped up from the bottom of the lake, there will be plenty of water for gardening in normal rainfall seasons. Perennials will continue to come back year after year. Plants will be added to the ones already existing and there will be different areas for different plant types. Some will enjoy the shade and shelter of the giant “ancient stone” walls that will surround the park. The walls will be perfect supports for beautiful vines like Creeping Charlie, whose leaves turn red in the fall, and then remain through the winter months.
Flower bulbs like tulips and other lilies will be planted in protective plastic or metal cages in the beginning to save them from being eaten by underground rodents and other hungry creatures. Eventually, there will be wide areas of one species or many, their placement being determined by color and adaptability. Different times of the growing season will display a changing profusion of colorful plants throughout the park.
Grape vines will be planted in safe strategic places and tended.
At some point in the future there will be yoga classes. And classes teaching seed-saving, and organic farming.
There will be large wooden benches or platforms under some old trees and near the ponds so visitors can find plenty of places to sit in the shade or sun to meditate. Or find a platform near some water for a picnic with friends. Folks will gather at sunrise and sunsets to see and film the feeding of the animals. It will be a place to bring groups of school children to experience nature and to learn from it, perhaps for the very first time.
There will be lots of places for a person to be alone, too. To sit quietly and observe the natural world and have it surround them, and perhaps rediscover their empathy with other living things.
It's all happening at “DOROTHY'S PLACE”, any time of the day or night.
I would be incredibly honored if the Jane Goodall Institute were to sanction and promote this project. I am seeking funding of about $950,000.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I met Ms. Goodall at the 100th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs' writing of "Tarzan". My dear friend, Robin Maxwell was also there to promote her new novel, "The woman who loved Tarzan".
Ms. Goodall and I talked briefly, and she told me to follow my heart, so that's what I'm doing. Tell her that I will be forever grateful for that simple advice.
I hope you will forgive me for the length of this proposal. Plus any redundancies or grammatical errors I may have missed. I feel like I only have this one chance, and at 71, I'm worried that I might not have enough time left to enjoy my creation.
Thank you, again.
Peace and Love,
Tom Ellis, artist
1602 Ivar Ave #201
Hollywood, CA 90028