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Naturist Legacy's development

Disciplined development contributed to Naturist Legacy's early success.
In order to meet the principle of having no debts to outside lenders, any improvements to the land will only be made based on actual cash of our own in the bank. No money, no development. It's that simple.... We all need to be reminded that it took the founders and early members of Crocus Grove decades to develop the old site. They started by just gathering in the bush with no water, power, sewer, clubhouse or pool. As money became available, they built. It was a method that worked, and we will be employing that same method.... Development will always be governed by real cash in the bank, and not by pledges or promises or hope.... We'll reiterate once again that we're only going to build on the basis of money in the bank. We build only what we can afford, and nothing more. We are tasked with making the most out of every dollar we receive.

These excerpts are from "Our Present and Our Future," an article published in both the members and non-members editions of the January 14, 2011 Naturist Legacy News Update. I co-authored the article with the Naturist Legacy Inc. treasurer.
Some of you have asked me why we don't "do this" or "rent that" or "pay someone" to get certain tasks completed. I also often get "can we have this" or "when will we build that" type of requests from members. I have to say that in a perfect world, the answers would be yes, and very soon! I want these things, too....

What can easily be overlooked when looking at the big numbers shown in "Our Fundraising To Date" reports in these updates and on our Web site is the fact that the money flows out as well as in. Man oh man, does it flow! The reality is that most of what we've raised to date has long been spent or is designated to be spent in the next month or so....

I hope you can now see why we are hand digging stumps and trenches, why we are raking roads by hand rather than by machine, why we're using paint brushes and not spray guns, and why we're generally going manual with brute strength grunt work everywhere we can because, quite frankly, we have to! We have no other real choice. There is no money to allow us to pay for someone to come in and do the hard work for us, even though that work would get done so much faster and easier. I can tell you that our backs would love it if we could! And so now you know why we so often need to say "not now" and "not yet" to all the great ideas, suggestions, wants and needs of our members. As nudists without even a pocket to keep our money in, we can only spend what money we actually hold in our hands!

These excerpts are from "In A Perfect World: A Cash Flow Primer From NLI's Treasurer," an article published in both the members and non-members editions of the May 1, 2012 Naturist Legacy News Update. The Naturist Legacy Inc. treasurer was the author and I was the editor.

So how did we go from absolutely nothing to something quite amazing in just two short years? Countless hours of "outside the box" thinking and planning produced a solid business plan for a naturist park that inspired enough confidence in our members to both fund it and build it. We owe money only to ourselves, with not one thin dime owed to any external bank or lender. Everything we have, including our new land, is fully ours paid in full. Except for the help of a few necessary tradespeople, every hour of labour that has gone into our park has been volunteered by our own members....

We now have graveled roadways, twenty seasonal campsites (all occupied), and four guest campsites. We have a huge tenting area located within part of a meadow that allows for sun, shade and quiet times in a hammock. We have a modern building which houses two unisex washrooms (one being disabled accessible) and showers. We also built a large screened outdoor shower that allows two people to share the space comfortably. It offers a wonderful view of the park's primary meadow as one soaps and rinses.

The centerpiece of the park is our new swimming pool. It's a 33-foot round, partially in-ground pool which is heated to a nice 30C (87F) or warmer on most days. A sunburst pattern splash deck encircles the entire pool and fans off onto an immense sun deck conveniently connected to the washroom building and a boardwalk to the outdoor showers.

Our last major capital project is to build a clubhouse that will adjoin the pool deck. Fundraising is now underway for that project.

These excerpts are from "Manitoba's Naturist Legacy is open for business," an article published in the Winter 2012-13 edition of Going Natural magazine (Federation of Canadian Naturists). It was written by the Naturist Legacy Board.
Fundraising began for the clubhouse last January. Our fundraising goal was $35,000. As we stated often in our appeals during the course of our fundraising, this amount was only intended to finance the construction of the clubhouse exterior (often referred to as the "shell") and maybe the electrical work if we were fortunate. The base materials cost for the shell concrete footings, lumber, roofing, windows and doors was estimated at $27,261. Extras like fasteners and finish materials (such as paint, trims, aluminum soffit and fascia, lock sets, etc.) were not included in this base estimate.

As you will note, we intentionally built a significant "cushion" into our budget. Apart from the obvious need to include enough money to cover extras not included in the base estimate (like those mentioned above), there was another less obvious but much more important reason to have a large cushion. Our previous projects (especially the swimming pool) taught us that navigating bureaucratic red tape is a journey that almost always has an unpredictable end. We learned that no matter how well you research a project, and no matter how thorough your planning might be, you can never predict what the final outcome will be because of human involvement in the interpretation and enforcement of laws and codes (aka government bureaucracy and red tape). For a project like our clubhouse, this unpredictability could easily have added thousands of dollars to its final cost. Building a large cushion into our budget to offset these potential unknowns was therefore both reasonable and responsible.

This time around, our red tape journey produced mixed results. On the positive side, no expensive preliminaries or modifications were asked of us. Our plans were accepted as drawn. That literally saved us what could have amounted to thousands of dollars in extra costs!

On the negative side, our plan to use the clubhouse shell as basic shelter for a number of years while we gradually found money to finish the interior (electrical, drywall, flooring, plumbing and so on) hit a snag. We learned that we would be required to finish the entire building within two years.

Fortunately for us, the positive outcomes in our red tape journey helped offset the negative outcomes.

The money saved by not having to fund any red tape extras was substantial. Hoping to add to this amount, we instituted cost-saving initiatives aimed at stretching our building fund as far as we could in order to retain as much money as possible for the interior. Instead of hiring a contractor to pour our concrete footings, for example, the club did the job ourselves. Shopping our building materials list aggressively yielded better pricing than originally anticipated. We even went outside our borders to purchase windows and doors at considerable savings. All this good fortune and intense penny-pinching has left us with enough in the kitty to finish the clubhouse interior to the minimum standard necessary to gain an occupancy permit (with just a little help from general funds).

This excerpt is from "Clubhouse Update," an article published in both the members and non-members editions of the January 19, 2014 Naturist Legacy News Update. I am the author.

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