The Heron Bathhouse Project

The contractors have the Heron Bathhouse drawings and will break ground in September. We will be happily flushing and showering by GBH 2025!


But we still need your financial help to make this Heron dream come true. 


After 7 years, we are close to achieving our goal for the new Heron Bathhouse. Now, we need YOU to take a leap of faith with us to make this dream a reality!

If our Heron Community purchases 1000 Heron Forever Bricks, we will raise the $100,000 to match our savings to complete this project.

Imagine visiting the Heron in 2025 and seeing your brick and words etched on the Heron Bathhouse for all to be inspired by! 

And even better, imagine that rush of happiness when you step into the Bathhouse and know you made a decades-long Heron dream come true: warm showers and sustainable restrooms for all!


Purchase and customize your Forever Heron Brick today. 


Early Heron History 

I started dreaming of a bathhouse when I first acquired the land from my parents in the 1990s. I knew an inviting, sustainable bathhouse would entice even more people, festivals, and events to the land—even if I had not realized what The Heron would become. I still knew in my heart that it would help me share the woods, the ponds, the critters, and the majestic blue herons with more people. 

But it would have to wait until more pressing updates were made. 

When I became the land’s steward, family and friends helped to clear brush, install a water system, and renovate the existing buildings. We had no idea what the land would become then, but we trusted it would be great. 

When I met local music promoter David Tidquist in 1992, he sought a music festival venue. After some conversation, The Great Blue Heron Music Festival was born in partnership with David. 

We added the Main Stage to host the festival where you continue to enjoy so many talented GBH bands. 


Our Legacy of Sustainable Growth & Collaboration  

The Heron has always been a family collaboration. So many of you have contributed your energy, ideas, and efforts to make The Heron a magical gathering place. We made this place. Together. 

In alignment with our values, we’ve never taken loans or overextended ourselves or the land. With the help of friends and family, we’ve added the Merch Booth, Festival Kitchen, First Aid, and Cafe in the Woods, all in an effort to keep our growth financially and environmentally sustainable.

The Heron Bathhouse continues our long legacy of sustainability and collaboration. 


The Heron Farm Get Started 

In 2005, I married Steve Rockcastle, a longtime crew chief of the festival. With Steve’s energy, the farm got started. 

He started with the shiitake mushroom yard and then moved to grass-fed beef and organic chicken. Steve and I were organic gardeners before getting married and becoming business partners. So, scaling up food production fit our values and visions of a happy life by eating real, healthy food. It also helps us to share our delicious and nutritious food with more people. 

And while we built one of the biggest shiitake farm in WNY, grazed grass-fed Devon cattle, butchered pasture-raised chickens, and expanded our organic veggie gardens…

I still dreamed of a bathhouse. 


The Bathhouse Project  

With hosting more retreats and events, it became evident in 2018 that my dream had to become a reality. 

My Parents, Warren and Betty Erickson donated $40,000 to update the water and septic system and install an RV pump station in October 2019. 

With the Heron Family’s help, we’ve raised enough bathhouse funds to cover the engineering and architectural services. 

We started by turning my big dream into drawings and a budget. We quickly realized that those dreams exceeded our budget. The second set of drawings scaled back the vision and kept the bathhouse dream alive!

We were set to break ground in 2020 when COVID-19 changed our plans and inflated construction costs, which persist today, making the second set of plans not financially sustainable or affordable. 

Back to the drawing board for plan number 3! 

Our contractors have these drawings. Construction will start in September 2024! 



We Need Your Help

The truth? We do not have the funds to complete the construction. Yet, we’re starting construction anyway.

The dream of a Heron Bathhouse cannot stay a dream. It must become a reality for the 2025 season. 

It’s what’s best for the land and you, and we trust the magic of our community will make it happen. Steve & I believe The Heron’s future is long and bright. We know you do, too. 

Take a leap of magical faith with us and…

Be part of the Heron legacy by purchasing a bathhouse brick today. By doing so, you will help us…

  • Host more families, events, and concerts
  • Ensure safer, cleaner hygiene for everyone
  • Be greener and more sustainable stewards of the land


Here’s how you can be part of The Heron Forever and bring this dream into reality……

Buy a Heron Forever brick. 

You are FOREVER part of The Heron when you buy a brick with your special message engraved on it. Capture your favorite memory, inscribe your family name, and share a special lyric, quote, or message for all to see when they visit the Heron Bathhouse.

If our Heron Community purchases 1000 Heron Forever Bricks, we will raise the $100,000 to match our savings to complete this project.

We have 800 bricks to go.

We want to sell out by Labor Day 2024, so that we have the bricks ready when we break ground in September.

Click here to purchase and customize your Forever Heron Brick today! 

This year, we celebrate 31 years of the Great Blue Heron Festival. And for all of those 31 years, I’ve been dreaming of the Heron Bathhouse.

Imagine all that Heron Magic you’ll feel when you read the messages engraved on Forever Bricks and get to use the warm shows and clean bathrooms at GBH 2025!


With So Much Gratitude,

Julie Rockcastle

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