I can’t remember a time when we’ve been this busy here at CSNW. It’s gotten to the point where it feels odd when the nail guns, diesel engines, and back up signals fall silent for the evening. But we couldn’t be happier to see all the progress around here! Here’s a brief update on what we’ve been working on this fall.
The Cattle Barn and Pasture:
Last fall we purchased a neighboring property to extend the buffer around the sanctuary and to obtain a second access to the road. The property had been used for horses and contained multiple sheds and paddocks. Some of the property had been neglected, but with a little sprucing up and some new fencing, we whipped it back into shape and it now serves as the winter pasture for our new herd of cattle.
Currently the cattle are using the horse sheds for shelter during inclement weather, but soon they will have a new barn! In the process of expanding the chimp building, we needed to remove the pole barn shelter that protected our mobile vet clinic. Rather than demolishing it, we carefully disassembled it and with the help of volunteers we’re nearly done rebuilding it in the cattle pasture.
This is my favorite photo of the bunch so far, taken by Katelyn (from L to R: Betsy, Honey laying down, Meredith, and Nutmeg):
Trusses going up on the new barn, with the help of the Suncadia volunteer builders crew (who helped build the “Escher” play structure for the chimps earlier this year):
The View Property Residence:
In addition to sheds and paddocks mentioned above, the “View Property”, as we call it, also has a house on it. The house was never permitted by the former owner, however. While this was accounted for in the price of the property, it now presents an opportunity for us to create staff or volunteer housing for potentially very little cost. To do this, we need to work with the county to get the house up to code and obtain permits, and the first step is to have architectural “as built” plans developed. CSNW Board President Caitlin made a connection for us to a Seattle architect who developed the plans for us pro bono. Many thanks to Nguyen for donating his time and expertise to this project!
The View House:
The view from the View House:
The New Driveway:
The process of obtaining a permit to expand our chimp facility has been long and arduous. One of the complications we experienced was a requirement by the DOT to put in a brand new driveway to serve the sanctuary. As luck would have it, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which owns the power lines that run through the southern portion of our 90-acre property, needed to build a new road to service their towers. So we made a deal that would benefit everyone – in the process of building a new road to their towers, they would also build a driveway for the sanctuary that would satisfy the DOT. Because their project got delayed and we were counting on this new driveway in order to get our permits, the BPA agreed to build our section first and rushed to get it done before winter. They’ve laid about a half mile of new road and things should be wrapped up and ready to go next week.
Phase 1 of the Chimpanzee Facility Expansion:
Perhaps most importantly, the first phase of our chimp facility expansion is nearing completion. This addition includes a foyer, a larger bathroom, a new laundry and enrichment room, a veterinary clinic, and quarantine and introduction areas that will allow us to bring more chimps to CSNW. The building was recently painted (and they threw a new coat on the old building as well) and today they poured the sidewalks. The interior of the human areas is close to being finished, with the biggest project remaining being the installation of a fire sprinkler system. We aren’t required by code to install sprinklers in this building but we are confident that the extra protection they will provide to the chimps is well worth the added cost.
With all of this activity around the sanctuary, you might be wondering how the chimps are reacting to it all. I’m happy to tell you that these seven seem to take everything in stride.
On behalf of Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, Negra…and Betsy, Honey, Meredith, and Nutmeg…as well as the CSNW staff and volunteers…and I guess Ellie, our resident elk, too…thanks so much to all of the generous and loyal donors that have made this progress possible!