Fire Pit 3At last weekend’s 15th anniversary Journey for Life celebration, one of the “stars” of the event was the huge new adobe fire pit that was built to warm gatherings of peers and staff on colder fall and winter mornings. On Saturday morning, it warmed the late October morning air and wafted the scent of wood smoke over assembled guests at the outdoor recognition ceremony.

Another creative handiwork of project director Jeff Williams, the fire pit utilized a Native American design concept to incorporate additional world culture elements into the campus environment. The design reflects Jeff’s recurring theme of the prevalence of mental illness throughout the entire world.

Much of the structure could be completed using existing materials on the campus – another tribute to recycling at Perry Wellness Center. Jeff created the massive metal top from a large country feed bin. It was cut and placed on top of the completed structure in order to provide an adequate air draft.

“The design was fun,” Jeff noted. It also served a practical purpose. “Our last, smaller pit did not meet local fire department codes,” he explained. “This one is larger and generates more heat. Now we must find larger and more abundant firewood for these cooler mornings.”

After the core design of the structure was completed, the fire pit was covered with a beautiful stucco finish, then finished with symbols of southwestern Indian culture.

We have a feeling that a lot of us will be enjoying the fresh outdoor air at every chance during the coming months. Thanks, Jeff!

In the above photo, Jeff Williams, Ronald Yates, Awan Smith, and Barry Smith show off the completed adobe fire pit.

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