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Native American Affordable Housing Workshop - September, 2005

A Native American Affordable Housing Workshop is planned for September 3 - 4, 2005 in Crestone, Colorado in collaboration with Brave Heart Construction. Workshop participants will build a straw bale emergency shelter and then learn how to modify it to create a permanent straw bale home for use in Native American communities.

The cost of the workshop is $200 and includes simple lunches (soup, sandwhiches, chips , fruit and beverages). Local restaurants are available for breakfasts and dinners. Workshop hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The workshop is open to the general public, however, preference will be given to Native Americans, especially those who plan on using this information to help others. Non-natives will be put on a waiting list until 6 weeks before the workshop.

Free camping is available in the national forest (see below). Lodging is available in nearby motels (a link to the visitor's agency is shown below).

The straw bale shelter built during the workshop will be based on these plans: Free Straw Bale Emergency Shelter Plans

Please register as soon as possible, as we expect the workshop to fill quickly. This workshop does require a $50 non-refundable deposit to reserve a workshop space.

Training Activities:

Day 1
running bond
working from corners toward the center
custom bales
angled bales
bond beam
temporary roofs
earth plaster
home tour
evening slideshows on natural building and strawbale houses

Day 2
calculating average bale length
designing with bale modules
qualities of good bales
protecting the bales
site selection
post and beam
ceiling insulation
permanent roofs (rafters, trusses, pole trusses)
natural floors (tamped earth, poured earth, stone)
home tour
optional video

Directions to the Workshop:
Please refer to the map below as you follow these written directions. These directions assume you have turned off Highway 17 in Moffat onto T Road.

Going east on T Road, as you approach the mountains, you will come to the main turnoff (there is a large stone planter at this intersection). Going left takes you to Crestone (about 1/4 mile away). To get to the workshop, turn right at the main turnoff onto Camino Baca Grande. Follow this road 2.1 miles to the end of the pavement. Then turn right onto Camino Real (referred to for obvious reasons as "Two Trees Road" due to two large trees in the middle of the road) and go .8 miles. Turn left on Wagon Wheel Road (the street sign is under a tree on your left and hard to see) and go .1 mile. Turn on the first left called Lost Cave Way. Follow this road .7 miles. You will pass a straw bale bed and breakfast called Casa Alegria (interesting place to stay and it's only 1/4 mile from the jobsite). Shortly after the bed and breakfast, you will go around a curve and come to a gray stucco house with a maroon roof. This is the site of the workshop and the home of Bill and Chinle Sitkin, phone number 719-256-5291.

Here is the map to the workshop site: Crestone Map to the Workshop

Here is the web address to the original map (street names, etc. will be clearer): Crestone Map

Information on Crestone, Colorado:
Crestone is surrounded by forests, wilderness and wildlife areas, making for an ideal training site. The links below provide more local information:

Crestone Area Visitors Agency
Saguache County
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Preservation Area (the wilderness area is within the San Isabel forest, and this website includes camping information)
San Isabel National Forest
Sangre de Cristo Mountains (these are the mountains within the San Isabel forest)
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Keno's Crestone Weather Center

More workshop information:
More information will be added here later, including a detailed map to the training site.

For registration information, click Registration Information.

To register for the workshop, click Registration Form.

To learn more, email us.

Crestone, Colorado 81131 Email: Contact Information