Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Storm Repair Update

March 16, 2019 by Kojin Heath

Kojin Heath Rev. Kojin kojin-heath Heath
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Storm Repair Update

Dear Sangha,

The repair effort by Tenshin Roshi, residents and volunteers, continues as we recover from the severe storm damage last month. Encouraging progress, made possible by your generous donations, is being made along several fronts as we repair our access road and grounds, armor essential areas against further erosion, and build preventative measures against future damage.

We are pleased to announce that Yokoji is now accessible to four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. The flooding at Hurkey Creek is low enough for 4WD vehicles to pass, and our dirt access road is in good enough repair for vehicles to drive its entire length. If you have a 4WD vehicle and would like to join us for tomorrow’s Sunday program, we invite you to come practice with us. Our phone lines are currently down, so please RSVP by emailing zmc@zmc.org if you wish to come.

In addition, last week we installed our third culvert along the access road, further protecting the areas of the road that were subject to the most damage. Though our tractor recently broke down, hindering repair efforts, a professional crew has continued work on our road. Today we were able to use the stake bed to transport large rocks and fill eroded ruts within the road, armoring the most damaged areas. We are very heartened to see the road in good repair, though much work is still needed.

We have successfully laid down visqueen to help prevent further erosion to the creek bed near our residential housing, and placed rocks along the road to create a ford, allowing cars to pass over the creek. Another one of our focuses this week has been cutting dead oak trees to make firewood, as the severe winter has left us low on our supply. In tandem with this, volunteers have been clearing brush to continue our ongoing work of fire abatement.

As the ford at Hurkey Creek remains flooded and accessible only to 4-wheel drive vehicles, access to Yokoji is still limited until Riverside County can make repairs. However, they are still unable to do so until the water subsides. Due to the limited access to the Center, we have had to push back guest season, rescheduling our first guest group to a later date as we await the County to clear the ford. Despite some setbacks and also rescheduling our Spring Training Period Entry ceremony, we are following a modified training period schedule, maintaining our formal practice in the midst of the essential work practice of maintaining Yokoji.


Yokoji Staff and Residents

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Volunteers and residents lay rock within the eroded ruts at the bottom of our access road. As of this weekend, the full length of our access road from Pine Springs Ranch to Yokoji is fully drivable.

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This is the bottom of our access road shortly after the storms, before we were able to begin work on it.

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We laid down visqueen to prevent the destructive erosion from moving closer to Yokoji’s buildings and road.

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This is the flooded ford at Hurkey Creek, taken shortly after the storm. Though the water has greatly subsided since this photo was taken, accessible now via four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles, two-wheel drive vehicles are still unable to cross.

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With shovels and the tractor, we dig a trench to place a culvert next to an existing one that had been undermined by erosion. This will be the third culvert we have installed since last month.

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Almost done!

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Another culvert that we had installed, nearest our gate. Erosion had heavily washed out this part of the road.

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The creek had damaged the road between the office and practice house, so we created a ford crossing that our cars could drive over.

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Pipes had been exposed in this part of the creek, so we used sandbags to protect the pipes and help armor this area from further erosion. We plan on eventually installing a concrete cap over this.

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This week one of our focuses have been collecting firewood and clearing brush, as the severe winter has left us low on wood. In this photo, Jindo is carrying cut brush and throwing it into the side of our eroded creek bed to help slow erosion.

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