Open House a Grand Success!

The turnout was great at the March 13 Land Stewardship Open House meeting in NV. The purpose of the meeting was to hold discussions between the NV community and the WVU Collaborative Conservation graduate class to develop the land stewardship plan.

First, Professors Jenny and Steve Selin and the students from WVU made their introductory presentations. After this, everyone broke out into two groups for further discussion. One group discussed forestry and wildlife, while the other group discussed parikrama paths, or interpretive trails.

In the trails group, they dealt with many topics. The devotees were excited to see that the students had brought aerial maps of the entire New Vrindavan area. During the group discussion, they drew perspective trails on one of the maps. Many ideas were generated about what types of trails there could be and where they could be located. They discussed the concept of a theme for each trail, along the lines of the current, yet incomplete, Bhagavad Gita trail. They touched on the need for a maintenance team for the trails as well as possible types of products to use, such as wood chips, packed limestone or ashphalt. They mentioned the need to keep vandalism at bay and how to keep motorized vehicles off the trails. There could be long distance trails and also shorter, easier ones.
At the next meeting, scheduled for April 10, they plan to actually begin walking around on some of these trails.

The wildlife group discussed how attractive a deer viewing section would be to tourists and visitors. Since we have so many deer roaming New Vrindavan, it came out that we are already a type of deer sanctuary, which is great for tourists. But we could build on this by putting up a visible board at the Palace inviting people to come back up there at dusk, after a day of visiting the Palace and the temple and grounds. The board could tell a bit about the history of the deer and wildlife in the area. The deer like to come out especially at dusk, and they come up to the Palace grassy area to drink so people could view them there at that time.

One of the younger members of the community who participated in the group discussions remarked: “What struck me the most was how the WVU students listened to us and were very open-minded. It was a lot of fun!”

Please add your voice and feet and hands to our collective effort! We will host a project field day on Tuesday afternoon, April 10th,(time to be announced) so please come contribute! Please contact Lilasuka dasi at for details.

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