Enso Village Officially Breaks Ground on New Senior Community in Healdsburg
This past Saturday, Enso Village co-sponsors San Francisco Zen Center and The Kendal Corporation together with City Mayor Evelyn Mitchell and City Manager Jeff Kay, welcomed approximately 200 guests – virtually – during a special “Ground Blessing” ceremony celebrating the official start of construction for Enso Village.
Unlike a traditional ground-breaking, with silver shovels and ceremonially turning soil, the Ground Blessing event was meant to bless and thank the ground on which the new Enso Village will eventually rest. As part of the ceremony, which was led by Susan O’Connell, the Spiritual Director of Enso Village and Lind Ruth Cutts, Senior Dharma Teacher for the San Francisco Zen Center, guests who joined virtually received a special box with soil from the property. They were invited to place the soil in the box – interacting with and touching the earth during the blessing and then place the box in a special place in their current home. This was offered as a way to take part in the ceremony of blessing the ground from which Enso will spring to life.
When complete, Enso Village will comprise of 221 much needed residences for seniors on approximately 16 acres of land located in what is called the North Village. The community will also boast a large, onsite Greens-inspired vegetarian restaurant, a demonstration kitchen, indoor pool and gym, meditation hall, onsite farm for growing fresh produce for the restaurant and much more.
During her remarks, Mayor Mitchell stressed the need for more senior housing and welcomed the new community as an important and critical addition to Healdsburg. City Manager Jeff Kay was also very supportive of the new community pointing out that while he “deals with complex negotiations with developers and project sponsors every day, his dealings with the Enso team have been pleasant, cooperative and positive” – showcasing that the spirit of what Enso Village will become is already taking root in Healdsburg. A major part of that team is Steve Bailey, Senior Vice President of Development for Kendal, who pointed out that “after six years of work so far, Enso Village for me is the project of a lifetime, but not for the obvious reasons. This partnership between two values-driven organizations, San Francisco Zen Center and Kendal, has demonstrated I think the importance of HOW we do our work, not just what we accomplish. How we live, how we behave in support of a vision that is larger than ourselves.”
Chris Harrison, the representative from Weitz, the construction company working on the site also commented on how the values of Enso Village were communicated to them and were quite different from any other job they had done – for example the request to make sure to treat the workers respectfully and well.
It will also be the first-of-its-kind community in the United States blending Kendal values, which are founded on Quaker principles, with the mindfulness of the San Francisco Zen Center. The new community is slated for completion in 2023. You are invited to learn more about Enso Village by visiting us here or contacting the preview center directly at 707-756-5036.