Here is a picture of the almost completed bench. We still need to fill in the open spaces between the designs and sand and grout the bench.
Detail of the community bench with the chess board. Many people worked on the mozaic.
I went to Nepal about one year ago to study sustainable development with students from Prescott College. While there I observed people gathering around benches built around trees. They were resting, visiting and picnicking, or sometimes gathering together to talk and plan actions about social and environmental issues.
In Nepal, the chautari is a synbol of connection of people with each other and nature. They were built by people as a gift to their village and to travelers. I thought people in the United States could use more connection and feeling between themselves, and so the idea of a community gathering place was born.
I got permission from the Prescott Parks and Recreation Department to build this community gathering place in Granite Creek Park, a lcoal park in Prescott, Arizona. We found a very nice maple tree, with a deep root system. It was perfect for the project!