MoonTree is located on Union Road in Donaldson, just across from the entrance to the PHJC Ministry Center.
MoonTree Community is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids and is one of several ministries at the PHJC Ministry Center. Its mission is to facilitate the spiritual connection that can be found through art and nature. In the words of MoonTree Elder Sister Mary Baird, MoonTree seeks to bring everyone from seasoned artists and college students to artistic novices and retired seniors together to share their experiences and achieve “a greater learning.” The MoonTree Vision Statement attests to this mission: “Through participation in MoonTree experiences, people awaken to their creative potential and sow the seeds for a more mindful, compassionate and sustainable Earth Community.”
MoonTree focuses on the old crafts such as pottery, clay, painting, spinning, weaving, metal work and more, offering a variety of experiences that explore these arts in their most natural form. For example, participants in clay experiences have the opportunity to dig their own clay and form and fire their ceramic creations.
The three super-insulated facilities DJ Construction built for MoonTree feature vaulted, timber-framed interiors, generous use of day-lighting and provisions for effective natural ventilation throughout. The main Gallery Studio includes an exhibition space and open meeting area with dedicated spaces for pottery, weaving, and painting. A smaller Shop Studio provides space for woodworking and metal arts. The two-story MoonTree Lodge houses permanent and visiting staff with space for smaller workshops and private gatherings. Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc. of Fort Wayne was the architect.
In accordance with the values of MoonTree Community, all three buildings are targeting Gold LEED Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. A Blower Door Test was performed on August 18th to determine the air tightness and efficiency of the buildings as part of the LEED Certification process. The test involved measuring the force necessary to change pressure levels in the buildings when blowing air from a powerful fan through an exterior door opening. The buildings passed the test with flying colors.
Sister Mary is excited about the future of MoonTree Community. When asked what she most looks forward to, she replies, “a waiting list – people waiting to get in.” In reference to her experience with DJ Construction, she states, “What I appreciated most about DJ Construction was their ethic. Their moral ethics were apparent as they worked with us honestly.”
With plans to raise public awareness about the creative opportunities at MoonTree available to all, the MoonTree Elders are well on their way to seeing their vision realized. For more information please visit the MoonTree website at www.moontreestudios.org.
DJ Construction Co., Inc. is a general contractor focusing on commercial, industrial, healthcare and church facilities in the Michiana area. The company is a member of both the National and Indiana chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council and has completed multiple projects that have either attained or are planning to attain LEED certification.