Eastern Light Project: Preserving the Land, Building a Sustainable Future

Unite with us to save a precious forest in Rockland County, NY from unsustainable development so we can continue to be a center for community empowerment!
Jonathan Rucker
Pomona, New York
United States
6 Team Members

"The United States is blessed with more arable land than any other nation on Earth, still only about one-fifth of our land area is used for crop production... In fact, some 3,000 acres of productive farm land are lost to development each day in this country." - Environmental Protection Agency

Embracing the shift towards local sustainable agriculture, Eastern Light Project serves as a center for education, and is dedicated to the protection of our natural resources. 

Saving the Land!

We begin our project with the protection of 100 acres of forest, wetlands and farmable land in Rockland County, NY, less than 1 hr from New York City. This patch of undisturbed land is a precious habitat for many species of plant and wildlife in the middle of this suburban area where these ecosystems are rapidly diminishing. We have been collaborating with many organizations and hundreds of people in our County to create a site for local resilience and unity. But right now this land is being threatened by a massive development project. We are putting forth a courageous effort to preserve this land and see that it remains a resource for humanity for generations to come. 

How You Can Help! 

Our first step is to raise the funds to save a key 25 acre plot that we have been developing as a sanctuary for education, wellness and community organizing. In order to secure the land and continue to build our center, we need to raise $175,000. 100% of funds raised will go towards this purpose. 

  • Make a tax deductible contribution and be a part of the solution!
  • Share our Indiegogo campaign and help spread the word!
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All donations are 100% tax deductible thanks to our partner Inter-Nation Cultural Foundation. INCF is a publicly supported charitable corporation working with organizations and programs that take action to assist and improve quality of life.

For just $1 or more you'll receive a free download of: "Every Dimension" by ELP

Why this Matters

The model we have been developing demonstrates the power of human collectives in acting for the good of the whole. We see ourselves as the caretakers of the space, which is a resource for the wider community and anyone who respects the space and is interested in participating in, or learning from, a model of sustainability. In our short time of building the infrastructure, teaching workshops and restoring the fertility of the land, we have seen what a treasure it has become for our community! As it develops, this center will be the closest education center of its kind to NYC and will be a massive resource not just for Rockland County but for the entire Lower Hudson Valley. 

Our dreams are big, but our passion, motivation, and dedication are just as big! 

"It's incredibly inspiring to see a new intentional community focused on environmental sustainability within the largest metropolitan area in the country. What ELP is doing is helping preserve some of the last remaining areas of Rockland that hasn't succumbed to development. I hope to see ELP continue to grow and expand its vision for a more sustainable and harmonious future."                    
-Paul Lenda (Author of "Creation of a Consciousness Shift"

What We Love to Do

We’ve demonstrated to hundreds of visitors how to work with the land to provide abundance and in one season, we have built a quarter acre permaculture garden, outdoor kitchen with rainwater catchment and a grey water system filling a pond in the garden. Our chickens supply us with eggs we use to feed and delight suburban visitors, cooking in our cobb oven and rocket stove. We’ve held nature walks, wild edible & medicinal plant walks, foraging classes, natural building, potlucks, permaculture (sustainability) workshops, concerts, yoga, meditation and more. We have been and will continue to be a substance-free, family-friendly common ground and resource (with ample parking!).

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature."            -Bill Mollison 
"Permaculture is the conscious design of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is a harmonious integration of people into the landscape in such a way that the land grows in richness, productivity and aesthetic beauty." -Washburn TN PDC

We have seen how sharing these gifts gives people a sense of independence, health, joy, self-determination, and personal empowerment. Even some of our local government representatives have joined our events to work with us in stewarding this land.

"The hardest thing is to change unsustainable living habits, but ELP are doing just that. When I first visited the land and saw the rainwater capture system the garden that extends right out of the kitchen patio, the cob oven, the eco-outhouse, I was impressed & overjoyed. These guys are really doing it, the sustainable living that is. ELP inspires me and gives me hope for the future." 
 -Rabbi Reueben Modek (Hebrew Learning Circles) 

With a primary focus on the food needs of the local population, we are currently collaborating to improve and expand upon organic food production and community gardens. This will turn into opportunities for employment in the region, including an enormous mushroom business, extended season vegetable farming, and value added food products. Another primary focus is on youth empowerment. This season, we will be extending free educational offerings to local schools and universities.

We have witnessed that as a community we have the resources to solve problems and enrich the quality of life for everyone. We can preserve our precious forests and wetlands while finding holistic solutions to the problems we face today such as illness, isolation, and feelings of hopelessness. Through our efforts thus far, we have ignited a culture of giving and healing through personal connection with nature and connecting with the growing community.

Rather than simply an insular intentional community, ours is an intentionally kept space for the wider world. We believe in stewardship not ownership. Our land has been available to anyone who treats it as a sacred space with love and respect. Regardless of what amount we raise, we will continue this mission. Our work will never be done until everyone around us is well and thriving. We will stand as a beacon and reminder to everyone around that we have a sacred connection, and an intrinsic responsibility, to the entire web of life.

Our success, together with you, will be a great victory for humanity in the transition from the age of scarcity to the age of abundance!

"Eastern Light Project brings rays of energetic, hopeful life into the scene at Rockland County. One can ask if they are tilting at windmills or building the framework on which windmills and other sustainable technology will grow. One can only pray it is the latter because there is not much else on the horizon. Support them if you can."                        
-Alan Levin (Sacred River Healing)

Latest awesome news on our efforts to Save 100 acres and STOP THE LAND GRAB! http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2014/03/20/ricky-vows-to-ko-wal-mart-plans-court-rules-he-has-standing-to-fight-st-lawrence/

Find This Campaign On
raised by 100 people in 1 month
3% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$175,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 1, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Download of "Every Dimension"

    Receive an email with a free download of the latest Eastern Light Project single "Every Dimension"! A song about putting our hearts together, building community and creating a beautiful world! You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/easternlightproject/every-dimension Provide your email address to receive this perk. Thank you!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $5USD
    Help save a precious forest

    For just 5 dollars or more you will be joining Eastern Light Project in protecting a precious ecosystem from unsustainable development. This is a time for human beings to come together for our precious Mother Earth, please be a part of this collaboration.

    3 claimed
  • $25USD
    Blessing & Prayer

    if you donate 20 dollars or more not only will you be helping Mother Earth but we will also say a blessing for you and your family at a sacred fire ceremony. The blessing will be for your abundance, health and protection. The ceremony will take place on the new moon in April. Please be sure to give us your name, and mention if there is anything specific you would like us to pray for, or email it to us: EasternLightProject@gmail.com

    16 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $35USD
    Cedar Smudge Stick

    Receive a large sized cedar smudge stick that you can use to bless yourselves, your home and friends & family. Cedar is used to purify and calm the energy around it. All lower level perks included!

    10 out of 40 claimed
  • $50USD
    One free class or event

    Come to one of the following for free: Permaculture workshop, Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk, Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, or a concert. Good through 2014. All lower level perks included.

    19 out of 150 claimed
  • $125USD
    Vedic Astrology Reading

    Receive a one hour Vedic Astrology reading session with Liz. She is excellent at what she does, you will schedule a time with her for your session. Check out Liz's Website: http://www.thewisdomofwellness.com/

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $150USD
    Private 3 Course Dinner

    Come for a private 3-course, organic dinner for sponsors only. Dinner, music, networking, sharing our minds and hearts. Get to know us and share ideas and inspiration with like-minded friends!

    0 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $180USD
    ELP 2014 Seasonal Membership

    This special discounted membership is valid from June through Oct. 2014 and includes: -Free admission for 10 educational workshops or events. -15% discount to all upcoming workshops and events. -First dibs on limited space events. -Children 14 and under receive free admission. HERE IS THE BEST PART! Your membership goes into the "Community Preservation Fund" to save the forest from development and towards free educational programs for children.

    4 out of 997 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $200USD
    Body Work Session

    Receive a 1 and a half hour bodywork, massage, or healing session by a certified practitioner.

    2 out of 8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,200USD
    Private workshop

    Come for a 3 hour workshop for your private group up to 30 people on our 25 acre land. Workshops may include but are not limited to: Permaculture 101, Natural Building, Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk, Healing through Nature Connection, Meditation in the Forest. Food is not part of this offer but can be added to your event at cost from a local organic food distributor. We will work with you to schedule a date and time between May and October of 2014. All lower level perks include

    0 out of 25 claimed
  • $2,000USD

    A fun private music session with ELP! For you and your family. We'll get together in an informal setting to sing for you, teach you something about music or teach you a new song, and even make up a song on the spot from your ideas! If it's great, it might just end up on our next album, credited to your inspiration, of course. Anywhere in the NY, NJ, CT, MA or PA area.

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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