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In the News:
Watford temple organises biggest tree-planting ceremony

submitted by Bimal Krsna das

Posted March 12, 2004

Hindustan Times Online UK Bureau
London, March 3 2004

The Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna temple in Watford organised the biggest ever tree-planting ceremony organised by any Hindu temple in the UK. On February 29, over 6000 trees were planted on the Manor's sprawling area around the main building, by 150 volunteers, who braved the snow flurries that had fallen heavily in the morning. Scores of men and women clambered around the scenic grounds of the Krishna temple, digging holes, planting the infant trees and watering them.

The local MP, James Clappison, who planted an oak tree to the chanting of Vedic mantras, said: "This is a fantastic contribution to local development that has been initiated by ISKCON. I am sure the local communities appreciate this initiative since tree planting and environmental protection are absolutely key for sustained local development."

The Mayor of Hertsmere, Edie Roach, who planted another tree expressed his deep appreciation of the Hare Krishna temple's commitment to environmental development and said: "I was moved by the experience and impressed by everything I saw at the temple. Planting a tree means we are planting the future."

The trees were planted after the roots were anointed in a special ceremony with dust collected from Vrindavana, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and sprinkled with holy water from the river Ganges.

Gauri Dasa, President of Bhaktivedanta Manor explained the history of the temple and the significance of the deities of Radha and Krishna to Clappison and Roach on a tour of the temple.

"Our Founder, His Divine Grace Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada taught us that the Vedic tradition attaches significant importance to the concept of simple living and high thinking," he explained. "One of the principles of simple living is to live in harmony with one's natural habitat. At Bhaktivedanta Manor, we hope to demonstrate this through our tree-plantation and cow-protection programmes."

Bhaktivedanta Manor is set in a rural setting of 77 acres in a green belt area, north of London and has Britain's only cow-protection programme. The temple hopes to conduct regular tree planting programmes for enhancing the green belt. The next planting programme is scheduled for late March.