Plant a Tree by the Govardhan Hill

Jai Shri Krishna! The Shyamdas Foundation invites you to plant a tree by the Govardhan Hill in Shyamdas’s memory.


About this Project:


Shyamdas loved to live in Braj by the sacred Govardhan Hill. This area is one of India's most popular pilgrimage destinations and the primary activity space of the Shyamdas Foundation's charitable efforts. While living in Jatipura, Shyamdas would daily wander the tehreti, the sandy pilgrimage paths close to the Hill. He often walked from Jatipura to Govardhan on the inner path, where a local NGO, the Sevayan Samsthan, has partnered with the Forest Department to plant and protect a variety of trees, creating a cool, lovely refuge for pilgrims, peacocks, nilgay and other animals.


Your donation to plant a tree in Shyamdas's memory, at $108 per tree, will help us create one special reforested area named "Shyamvan," or "The Shyam Forest."


The area the Forest Service has reserved for our Shyam Forest is on the inner parikrama path on the north edge of the town of Jatipura. This is a mostly deforested plot at the beginning of a beautiful section of the path between Jatipura and Govardhan. A covered pavilion on site provides a lovely viewing area of the Govardhan Hill and our project site. An onsite gardener hired by Sevayan Samsthan, in addition to a dedicated arborist we will hire, will safeguard and nurture our trees. The site's proximity to Jatipura will allow Mohan, Vallabhdas and other Foundation staff to regularly observe and monitor the forest and easily bring guests, friends of Shyamdas and Foundation supporters to see the forest and the trees they have sponsored.


The Project FAQs

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes! The Shyamdas Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) Public Charity with federal tax exempt status effective May 2, 2013. Contributions to the Shyamdas Foundation are therefore deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Is this a safe payment method?

Donations are made via paypal, either with a paypal account or a credit card. This is a totally secure payment method, and no one besides paypal has access to donors' payment information.

Can I pay by check?

Sure! Please write 'Trees' somewhere on the check, made out to The Shyamdas Foundation, and mail to us at:
The Shyamdas Foundation
c/o Marguerite Prentice
18 Ocean Ave.
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Why $108 for a single tree?

The cost of one tree itself is low. The major costs are for the protective metal tree guard and barbed wire, for 5 years of care from the full-time forest guardians/arborists who live on site, and the cost of piping in fresh water from sometimes as far as 8 km away to water the trees. A $20 cushion provides a further donation to the Shyamdas Foundation for transferring funds to India, name plates for the trees, signage for the forest and any other costs needed to bring the dream of the Shyam Forest to reality.

What if I can't swing the full $108 for one tree?

Donations of $27 are also extremely important to this project! These amounts will be grouped together to plant more 'shared' trees with name plates saying simply "Shyamdas Foundation," allowing us to more quickly populate the Shyamdas Forest and reforest the Govardhan Hill area.

Aren't there already plenty of trees at Girirajji?

There are many trees around Girirajji compared to outlying areas of Braj, but no, there are not enough. The residents, visitors, and wildlife of Braj will benefit greatly from every tree planted. Trees purify the air by filtering particulate matter and polluting gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone), absorb dust and wind, filter rainwater, reduce noise pollution, provide fuel, give shelter to birds, bees, squirrels and other animals, generate spiritual inspiration and social space for communities, reduce soil erosion, provide natural cooling and produce oxygen [source: www.treepeople.org]. Every tree you sponsor at Girirajji will do this and more!

Can I donate directly from India?

Contributions from India are most welcome and will be gladly accepted (in any amount for shared trees, or 5000 Rs per individual tree). Please contact us to arrange a direct payment to the Foundation's Indian bank account. This online campaign is for PayPal and credit card payments only.

What goes on the plaque?

We will create a plaque with your first and last name (as submitted in the donation check out process) and "Shyamdas Foundation" and attach it to the tree guard. Both will remain in place for 5 years. We will also send you a photo by email as soon as it is planted. To use any other name, for Devanagari, etc., please contact us and we can arrange the name just as you like, or even anonymous if you prefer.

Why am I not reading this on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

We found an integrated solution called Ignition Deck that allows us to keep the campaign hosted right here on our website. It has all the features of third party crowdfunding platforms but without the fees, which means more trees!

Updates

Jai Radhe! Thanks to your overwhelming support we exceeded our initial goal of 100 trees and now have set our sights on 200!

Photos