Smiley Zen Area Cleared
Most of the area for Smiley Zen has been cleared.
About 6 tons of boulders were brought in and used as a retainer wall to secure the lower grade so that it can hold the fill, and prevent water erosion and runoff from heavy rains. About 60 cubic yards of fill were brought in to roughly level the ground. More top soil would be brought in later to level it more evenly.
The Birch Trees
But there were a few neighboring Birch trees that could have posed future problems. A few of them were damaged from an unusual snow storm we had in October. The heavy snow stuck onto the leaves and branches which caused havoc and many downed trees because the of the overbearing weight of the frozen snow.
These weakened and severely damaged trees could fall on Smiley. Also, during fall foilage, their leaves would create an annual clean-up mess. Based on the recommendation of Joe and John from Grass Roots, my landscape architect and contractor, we decided these trees had to be cut and cleared. The trees can be seen in the foreground towards the middle left of the photo below. Notice, several of them are leaning precariously.
The photo below shows a view of the location of the future Smiley Zen Garden from the perspective of where the trees were just cut. Notice the tree trunks near the bottom center and bottom right of the picture. The area in the middle towards the left of the truck is the cleared land awaiting for the next step in the project, leveling it with top soil.