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New Earthbag Construct Taking Shape at the Lake

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

By Leslie Shaw | HI-DESERT STAR

Furst World was abuzz with buzz saws, sanders, and welders Saturday as Bobby Furst donated his time and his Joshua Tree home and woekshop for Mil-Tree's Sanctuary Project. He and other Volunteers have been working on metal sculptures for several days.

Mil-Tree is building Sanctuary, a circular outdoor earthbag construction at the Joshua Tree Lake RV Campground. The construct will be decorated with ceramic tile and metal sculptures. Volunteers were recruited to build the structure while learning earthbag construction techniques, ceramic tile making and welding at free Mil-Tree workshops.

“I started Mil-Tree to bring vets into the community through the arts. It’s a bridge between the community and the military. Doing projects together engages rather than isolates,” said Cheryl Montelle, the founder of Mil-Tree. “To get the funding, you need a military nonprofit and an arts nonprofit. Mil-Tree is the military one and Danielle Giuducci-Wallis with the California Arts Council is the arts one.”

Both organizations sponsored the project conceived and executed by James Golub.

“I had a dream to do an earthbag structure for Mil-Tree. I’ve done several earthbag construction projects in the area including the new one at Harrison House and a housing complex called Bonita Domes,” said Golub.

Local artists Troy Pence and Gilda Smith helped create metal sculpture elements at Furst World Saturday, as did ex-military vets Richard Finn and Tim Chinnock.

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