Projects of Friends foundation

We have achieved wonderful results so far with all your gifts and with the many helping hands of our Friends!
Read about the following projects:

New beds and mattressesBees and apiaryConstruction of a new car parkPurchase of wood chipper
Realisation kinhin pathsPurchase of lawn mowerRenovation of bathroomsTearoom
Set of cardsLand purchaseRethatching roof
Fundraiser symbol: tiny bed with embroidered sheets

New beds and mattresses

In 2019 the board of Noorder Poort asked the Friends for a contribution of € 13000 for new beds for all the guest rooms. As the Friends did not have this amount of cash at their disposal, a fund raising was started: Sleeping is of great importance.

There were various ways to contribute: by donating money, by attending a fundraiser lunch or by a special overnight stay at the Noorder Poort. At the end of December, the target of € 13000 was reached . The project appealed to many people, and the nice thing is that it helps everyone who stays at the Noorder Poort:  in the guest rooms there are now thirty new beds, thirty new mattresses, thirty new duvets and thirty new pillows.

In this way staying at Noorder Poort has become even more pleasant. Many thanks to all donors.

Extracting honey

Bees and apiary

The idea to keep bees at Noorder Poort was born in 2017 and was based on the thought that beekeeping is an activity that suits a Zen center well. Moreover, bees  are good for pollinating the fruit trees and for the entire eco-system.

Cees, a long-time volunteer at the Noorder Poort, is a beekeeper and offered to bring us bee colonies. Moreover, he offered to help us take care of the bees and to extract the honey. The honey will be used here at Noorder Poort, for residents and for guests. The Friends were asked to contribute to the apiary. This apiary was built by residents and participants of a Daily Life Sesshin. In consultation with the "Kring Landschapstuin", who are responsible for the terrain, it has been decided to restrict teh number of colonies to two or at most three, so that there is no risk that these domesticated bees will replace the wild bees on the terrain.

The honey is extracted manually (see photo). In the first year there was already a yield of 40 jars. Fortunately, there is still enough left for the bees themselves. A wonderful addition to the Noorder Poort, partly thanks to a contribution of 1000 euros from the Friends.

New parking lot at Noorder Poort

Construction of a new car park

When the Zen master's house was constructed in 2015, the plan arose to also contstruct a new car park. A parking lot twice the size of the old one, with parking spaces for the disabled. In 2017, this plan was realized thanks to a financial contribution of 7500 euros from the Friends.

This means a new welcome for the visitors to Noorder Poort. The design is very stylish: the car park is spacious an will provide a lot of shade, to which end about 25 trees of various types (including oak, birch, lime) have been planted. In the future, these trees will certainly throw their pleasant shade on the parked cars and the arriving visitors.

In addition, atmospheric LED lighting has been installed. From the car park, the transition to  the Noorder Poort building is marked by a new striking red entrance gate, which leads through a garden path to the main entrance. Welcome!

Wood chipper

Purchase of a wood chipper (2016)

At the end of April 2016, the Friends Foundation received the request to finance a wood chipper. The request came from the board of Noorder Poort.
A wood chipper is a machine for shredding large garden waste, such as branches. After chipping, the garden waste is easier to transport and can also be used for compost.
The fact that donations continue to come in even if there are no fundraising campaigns makes it possible to finance smaller projects such as a lawnmower (2013) or a wood chipper. We are very happy with that!

Opening of the kinhin paths

Realisation of kinhin paths (2014)

In the spring of 2014 the Friends Foundation received a request from the board of Noorder Poort to raise a total of € 30,000 for the creation of kinhin paths on the land purchased in 2008. A large fundraising campaign was started which went by the name WALK, there is no way. All Friends and all other members of the Noorder Poort sangha were approached by email and through a special edition of the Friends newsletter. Apart from regular donations, this also generated various spontaneous fundraising activities. For example, plants and book markers were given for sale and money was raised through sponsored running. Another important contribution was of labor during a sequence of work practice weeks, which reduced the requirement for hired labor.

When the professionals came with their big machines, the concrete paths were laid and ponds were dug out to use the soil elsewhere on the land.

All these contributions made it possible for the Friends foundation to give the requested amount to the chairperson of the board of Noorder Poort on a festive Saturday in October 2014. Now, on the grounds of Noorder Poort there are beautiful ponds and paths with a total length of one kilometer, suitable for walking meditation in all seasons. Look at pictures of the development of the paths and pools.

Neighbor Klaas on the new lawn mower

Purchase of a lawn mower (2013)

In the summer of 2013, the board of Noorder Poort asked for a new lawn mower. The old one was worn out and we also needed a heavier machine for mowing grass paths on the new land. Kinhin paths (kinhin is walking meditation) are very important in zen practice. That was a wonderful reason for the Friends foundation to grant this request. And thanks to the Friends, there was enough money available. By now, the kinhin paths are clearly visible. In total, 1 km long! In the sesshins they are used extensively. In particular our neighbor Klaas, who has been mowing accurately and with passion for years, is very happy with the new machine. Noorder Poort chose the new machine in consultation with him.

Renovation of bathrooms (2010)

In almost all 15 guest bedrooms of Noorder Poort, the tiles had to be renewed and water-saving showerheads installed. A letter was sent to the Friends with a request to come and help with the demolition work or to give money towards this end. Because of the help we got from volunteers who removed tile joints and disposed of debris, we saved a substantial amount of money. During the Friends Day in 2010 we proudly showed the renovated bathrooms to the guests.

Tearoom (2009)

The tea room in the zen center is an important space during retreats as well as in daily life. The kitchen unit was in urgent need of renewal. By doing the demolition work with the help of volunteers, a lot of money was saved. And a financial contribution from the Friends foundation helped to pay for the new kitchen.

Set of cards by Ardan Timmer

Set of cards (2008)

On Sunday, May 25 2008, the Friends foundation gave over a thousand beautiful sets of picture postcards to Jiun Hogen roshi. These sets, each consisting of six cards with envelopes and one bookmark, are a donation from the Friends foundation to support the zen center. Sangha members had expressed the wish to take home something tangible from the Noorder Poort. These sets meet that request. The postcards show paintings made by artist and Noorder Poort cook Marja Marjita Timmer.

Purchase of neighboring land (2008)

To guarantee continuing silence around the zen center, in 2008 a neighboring piece of land of 8.5 acres was purchased. To this end, a contribution of € 20,000 was requested from the Friends foundation. The Friends foundation has been able to grant this request without need for a fundraising campaign. The available financial resources were sufficient. Bequests and annual gifts made this possible.

New thatch for the roof (2007-2008)

To get the money for rethatching the traditional thatched roof of Noorder Poort, a large fundraising campaign was started. A letter with a request for a contribution was sent to all Friends and all other contacts of Noorder Poort. A canoe trip was organized and the website showed the progress toward the amount needed.
What we had hoped for came true. After a year, the necessary amount was reached and in 2008 the roof was rethatched. After completion, this was celebrated with a large party with musical performances, an extensive Japanese lunch and guided tours around Noorder Poort.

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