Designs and Plans for the Twistful Meadow Volunteers
at TekVenture in Fort Wayne, IN

Information for Volunteer Helpers

The Twistful Meadow webpage for visitors
Making the Wild Things Play playground
Making The Maze
Making Costumed Characters and Giant Puppets
Work Parties & Brainstorm ideas on Facebook
Recycled Materials Projects - Theater in Fort Wayne, IN Maker Space in Fort Wayne, IN

Contact Project Leader Jeannette Jaquish

The Twistful Meadow.
In the future this page will have instructions and schedules for volunteer workers.
Brainstorm new ideas at Meadow Designs

In February of 2020, I began creating in a 2 acre field across the parking lot from TekVenture in Fort Wayne.
I am Jeannette Jaquish, an active member and board member of TekVenture, a non-profit, all volunteer maker place. I created a theatrical stage inside. I pay a membership to share use of a variety of workshops, materials and tools.
NIPSCO'S NiSource Charitable Foundation has granted us money for native seeds, fruit trees, licensed contractors and food for volunteers!

Across the parking lot from TekVenture is a large 2 acre field of grass and weeds.
I have an agreement with the property owner that I may create a FANTASY NATURE PARK to entertain the public, if I maintain the field and include community gardens.
I plan a meadow with native flowers and trees and the grass already there, plus paths, a maze, an open space for games and concerts, a bike path, and an adventure playground of natural and recycled materials worked into creative climbing, balancing, swinging playground constructs.
Costumed volunteers will interact with visitors in storybook tours, games, festivals, performances and soft weapon and squirt gun battles.

Please help us. Join our volunteer team.
You will need your own health insurance in case you get hurt, and to sign a waiver to hold me and TekVenture harmless if you get hurt in an accident.
I am not hiring now, but I can reimburse volunteers for expenses like gas and I can feed you.
I will get you a TekVenture membership. (You can make things to sell using their sewing, ceramics, woodworking, welding or blacksmithing workshops.)
You can bring your dogs and kids.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER: CONTACT Jeannette Jaquish at 260 484-5946 home or 260 750-9013 cell

Here is where I need help:
-- Brainstorm playground constructs, big picture design, puppet and costume design.
-- Event planning, publicity ideas.
-- Brainstorm story scripts and character personalities.
-- Research other creative work and locate materials.
-- Plan gardens, select seeds, pot seeds.
-- Research regulations.

--- Making fence sections and gates using a mix of branches and lumber and hardware.
-- Mowing to keep the paths trim.
-- Digging postholes, filling in gopher holes, fixing tripping hazards.
-- Pulling weeds.
-- Trimming trees with clippers or a chainsaw. Shaping and positioning logs as art, display, barriers and climbing constructs.
-- Planting native seeds and young trees, preparing the earth for them.
-- Guiding drainage to ponds.
-- Make playground constructs supervised by licensed contractors. -- Make giant parade puppets and character costumes.

-- Perform as a character entertaining visitors, help operate giant puppets.
-- Direct character rehearsals, or assist.
-- Locate, make or adjust costumes.
-- Supervise play areas, work booths selling food or greeting/informing visitors, behind the scenes support, patrol the perimeter and certain areas, help set up and strike, clean up and maintenance chores.
-- Maintenance, repair, clean up and set up chores.
-- Supervise and schedule volunteers. Directly oversee child volunteers and performers.
-- Publicity

I want a MODULAR INFRASTRUCTURE so we can reconfigure for wide open events or pathway events. Every new event will be different in layout and decoration.

To do this, I plan that "structures" like booths, arches, fences, set pieces, and signs are attachments. They attach with bolts, hooks, padlocks or rope to the posts which lift out or drop into plastic lined post holes.
Posts can be actual 4x4 posts, or trimmed branches from the riverside trees, which need trimming anyways.
An empty post hole would get capped and hidden by dirt. We would need a map to keep track of them. Dig more as needed.

I am fine with permanent structures should TekVenture and the property owner want them. In the beginning, as we figure it out, I think modular is best.

Trimmed Branch Posts would look good as a row-"fence" across the front of the attraction area, guiding people toward the entrance. Posts can have hooks hand-screwed into them for hanging signs or supporting walls, or holes for running rope or bolts through. When not in use, cap the post holes and store the posts in a stack out of the weather. Trimmed branch-posts can be left in a pile, replaced when needed.

Signs and set pieces should be painted with oil based paint to repel rain. Repaired or discarded.

ON THE CHEAP I have volunteers, wood, cloth, poles, costumes, a list of hundreds of local actors, and we have skills of the people of TekVenture, my friends in Save Maumee and the ecology movement, and local creative people.

Motion detector sound makers - Like the owl that whoos to scare off pigeons, or Halloween noise coming from under a little bridge.
Hobbit land - Find where ground hogs have holes and add little hills around them with doors, and mailboxes.
Decorated Dead Branch Trees, stuck in the ground:
-----The Shoe Tree - A big dead branch, planted in the ground with shoes that have been decorated with eyes and feathers or tails and paws, perched in it.
-----Fairy Tree - bits of sparkly old jewelry, kids sparkly toys, little fairies, ribbons; if in the evening: solar powered lights.
Tree Stump and Log Creations: -----TreeStump Leprechaun Houses with windows and doors, steps, mailboxes... -----Plant flowers in stumps and logs. -----Slices of Log set upright or lengthwise for hopping and balancing.

In The Field:
Mow all activity spaces and the maze. Ongoing mowing maintenance.
Make fence sections from tree branches and some post lumber. Dig postholes. Put up fences.
Establish parking area.
Trim trees of lower branches to use branches in fences and Dead Branch Trees, and to make the trees grow taller and be less eye-poking.
Smooth out ruts in field.
Deal with thistle patches.
Make playground structures and booths and bridges.
Move big things into place.
Decorate big metal trash cans and porta-potties.
Make signs: Twistful Meadow, play at your own risk warnings, Trespassing outside of certain hours, Other instructions.

Event Preparation:

Make giant puppets.
Design and make or find costumes.

Get and teach and schedule volunteers.
Audition actors and rehearse.
Plan events early, make task list, get volunteers, get materials.
Confer with insurance company.
Confer with Neighborhood Enforcement.

Get good photos, submit updated media releases as things are built.
Prepare for and ask for interviews.
Invite local reporters for early tour or open house.
Update all social media and local traditional media.

Coordinator of Volunteers
Theatrical Director & Decoration & Photography
Meadow Maintenance
Supply & Safety & Finances
Construction & Repair

Rough Timeline -- much of this happening at the same time.
Get a few helpers.
Get use of a riding mower.
Get use of some kind of small trailer for dirt, water barrels, lumber, and motorcycle or little tractor or golf cart to pull it.
Ask someone to visit field and tell me what flowers I already have.
Order the wildflower seeds.
Get fruit seedlings/ cuttings from Three Rivers Fruit Growers or elsewhere.
Start Zoom script readings put link on Ecstatic Theatrics website to Zoom readings Facebook page.
Send Press Release about Script Readings, and Meadow being created, promise to send updates as work is done.
Flip over peeled earth (from the sod cutting already done).
Till the earth? Lay flower seeds.
Start branch constructs, archways, fences, tunnels, design walls - Maybe a workshop art day? Invite helpers.
Make new volunteer contacts. Get a volunteer coordinator.
Find an affordable licensed contractor for weight bearing constructions like bridges.
Make giant puppet frames, and the clothing, gloves and "skins" and features to attach to the frames. Another Art Workshop day. Invite helpers.
Convert Script Readings to learning the fantasy tours scenes and get actors into costume and rehearse in meadow.
As opening for events gets near, select dedicated volunteers and hire or get commitments to work the events.

See the public Twistful Meadow Webpage, and brainstorm ideas at