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posted May 16, 2006

COB COURTYARD NEWS: Why the cob wall is crumbling in places

Nature – rain, snow, freeze/thaw – loosened some of the plaster (if you tap the loose sections with your fingernails, you’ll hear a different sound). Other sections are fine.

In early June, as soon as the night temperatures stay over 10 degrees, Georgie Donais and Heidrun Gabel-Koepff and other park friends, with some help from the park staff, will begin repairs of all the loosened sections. They’ll try a different formula for the plaster, and they’ll whitewash the wall as well, to make it as bright as at the beginning. The shingles will be embedded more securely, or be replaced by a better kind of protection.

The earth on the green roof will be replenished (it got trampled so badly by the climbers’ little feet that nothing green could grow there now). The part of the wall that makes it easy to get up there will be removed.

The cob courtyard is kind of a cross between a building and a plant, and it needs looking-after like a garden does. Many of the world’s traditional buildings are like that – how nice that the park has one for people to learn on.

Meantime, if anyone sees a person damaging the cob courtyard, please ask them to stop, and call either of these two numbers, day or night, 24/7: 416 533-0153 or 416 709-0573. Park staff and park friends will be there fast. We'd like to follow up with those people – they need to learn something too.

And if you want to help re-plaster, call the park: 416 392-0913, or e-mail

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