Posts Tagged ‘LEADER’

h1

Holy Isle Gateway Project

April 3, 2012
The Holy Isle Jetty

The jetty was given a temporary renovation 16 years ago and today is in need of replacement

While the Holy Island Project continues to blossom as an interfaith retreat centre, a new development of the Gateway Project looks set to mark a milestone in the islands development as a community project that has pioneered socially-responsible approaches to living in harmony with the world around us since it’s inception in 1992 .

Earlier this month we received the news that our funding applications for a new pontoon to replace the old jetty and for a renovation of the existing path on the western side of the island have been successful. The work on the Gateway Project will be under-way by summers end with the aim of improving access to the island with the added bonus of further conserving it’s natural habitat. The work on the path means we will be able to provide access to a greater number of people, including people with limited mobility, while the pontoon will allow improved access to the island during adverse weather conditions.

Historically access to the island has been sensitive issue for locals and the wider population alike. While on the market, the possibility of private ownership of the island raised concerns that access to this historically and spiritually significant site would be restricted. As a centre for world peace and health it is very fitting for the project to be awarded council funds to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the nature, tranquillity and work of the island.

Funding has been awarded by  LEADER, part of the Scottish Rural Development Program aimed at improving access to rural areas for community benefit and to stimulate rural industry. We have also received NAC Economic Development grants as well as Access grants from the NAC council. Our thanks go to our primary fund-raiser Yeshe Palmo for her tireless dedication to securing the Holy Isle Gateway Project despite the usual rigours of the application process.

Rinchen measures up the new drainage pipe.

The environment department here on the island have been working on improving the path in line with the Gateway Project for over a year now, and have been blessed by the help of several short-term full-time volunteers who stayed on the island specifically to take to the path with shovels, pinch-bars and wheelbarrows. The funding will mean we will be able to bring a mechanical digger onto the island, but for the past year or so it’s been a case of “never surrender!” as the group levered rocks weighing more than a ton out of the ground and Rinchen bellowed out over the grunting and straining “It’s a mere bagatelle, my dears, a mere bagetelle”. This phrase has become the environment departments new motto.

Before an image of Green Tara, Fergus strains against yet another submerged boulder.

We also have some new signs for the island to replace the now severely weather-worn ones that go ‘over the top’ and that sit on the plinth at the North End jetty. A new sign will also grace the Lamlash pier.

With an enthusiasm for the continued development of the island many of the volunteers learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. Several members of the staff will complete a one year mindfulness training course at the end of this month, and at least one member going on to undertake the mindfulness teacher training. The environment department picked up a couple of chainsaw licenses  last year, and are heading off to an introduction to funding course in Glasgow at the end of this month. The spiritual development of the volunteers continues as various members of the island engage in annual transmissions in places such as India while one of our resident artists, Bella, recently returned from a Thankga painting course in Nepal.

2012 looks set to be a dynamic year for the island with ambitious projects and some great teachers.

Advertisements