By Kathy Chouteau
A Buddhist monastery in the Richmond hills has launched a fundraiser on Indiegogo to build a children’s playground on its picturesque land.
Located adjacent to Wildcat Canyon in East Richmond Heights, the Gyuto Foundation is the ultimate friendly neighbor—long opening up its grounds to locals to enjoy a tranquil walk through its Peace Garden or trails, explore the monastery or partake in offerings like weekly meditation, teachings, yoga, tai chi retreats and more.
“We want to upgrade our existing playground for the children, since many children are deprived of school, peers and social play,” stated Thupten Donyo, founder and director of Gyuto Foundation, on the fundraising page.
“What I noticed was that our current playground is basic and limited, so it is my goal to build a safe and more dynamic playground for children. Lastly, there aren’t many neighborhood parks in this area, so that compelled me to upgrade the playground we have.”
According to Donyo, the foundation’s goal is to raise $7,000 dollars for the following components needed for the children’s playground: A play set (ASTM standard) with secure swings, slide, durable rock wall, tree house, tic tac toe panel and monkey bars; safe and soft turf to protect the children while they play; secure fence around the playground; and manual labor for installation.
“Any extra funds will go into improving the ground in that area to accommodate families,” stated Donyo.
Throughout the pandemic, Donyo and his fellow monks have been hard at work improving the foundation’s Redwood dotted grounds in various ways. “During this pandemic we have created a community Peace Garden and installed many prayer wheels to give the public respite from our global stressors,” Donyo stated.
According to Donyo, the Gyuto Foundation’s goal “is to get this done before the New Year so this can be a holiday gift to the children of our community,” adding that “upon reaching our target, you and your family are welcome here anytime to enjoy our playground, picnic tables and our entire campus. You are welcome to invite friends since we have a lot of outdoor space for social distancing.”