What is the Yogananda Gardens project?
The Laurelwood valley south west of Portland Oregon has a very special spiritual feeling. Some say that the Native Americans considered the land sacred from long time past. About a century ago the Seventh Day Adventists were attracted to it and established their academy here to help instill the love of God in young people. Stewardship of this land has passed now to Ananda and many who visit the property remark immediately on the uplifting joyful feeling that they experience here. The original academy buildings have been repurposed as a retreat center open to all and a place for students, interns and visitors to experience spiritual community and to learn meditation and universal principles of life through yoga. While followers of all spiritual paths are very welcome and encouraged to visit and to hold retreats here, the founders and leaders of Ananda Laurelwood draw their own inspiration from the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
The Yogananda Gardens project aims to express and expand the potential for uplifting spiritual experience through nature and beauty and God-reminding outdoor environments on land adjacent to the retreat facility. This is a long-term project; it will take decades to develop and mature the fifteen acres committed to it. Success for such a project requires a carefully chosen starting point, one grounded in universal truth that can radiate out in many directions.
To this end we have chosen for our initial first phase goal the creation of an eight-foot statue of Yogananda installed in an appropriately landscaped plaza environment by the summer of 2020 for the centennial celebration of Yogananda’s arrival in the west.
We are pursuing that goal along two tracks simultaneously: the statue and its plaza:
THE STATUE TRACK
What has been accomplished already:
> Gary Roller has created an 11-inch maquette (model) for the statue.
> The maquette has been reproduced in bronze-finish resin and offered for sale to support the project.
> The statue has been enlarged to eight-foot height and modeled in clay over rigid foam.
> Gary Roller is putting the finishing touches on the eight-foot sculpture.
Next steps for the statue
> Preparation of the mother mold for lost wax process casting -- $15K
> Casting of the eight-foot statue in bronze -- $25K
> Design of the rotating base for the statue – TBD $10K?
> Fabrication of the rotating base for the statue -- TBD $15K?
> Power supply for the statue rotation and lighting -- $3K?
Total needed for the statue: $68K
THE PLAZA TRACK
What has been accomplished already
> The site has been surveyed and cleared.
> A landscape architect has developed detailed plans for the plaza.
> An engineered grading plan has been prepared, ready for permit application.
> A nearby water supply has been identified.
Next steps for the plaza
> Site grading -- $17K
> Access road improvement (gravel) -- $8K
> Construction of retaining walls and seating -- $49K
> Finishing of the paths in gravel and edging -- $26
> Finishing of the circular plaza -- $23K
> Installation of water storage tank and plumbing -- $5K
> Landscaping including soil prep and irrigation – $118K
> Installation of benches, lighting, signage etc. -- $6K
> Total needed for the plaza: $252K
What has been accomplished already:
> Much of the area overgrown with blackberries has been repeatedly mowed.
> A small shrine near the planned plaza provides a focus for the project.
> Initial mapping and surveying.
> The gardens have served for a wedding venue.
Ongoing grounds development:
> Engaging volunteer and intern help.
> Identification of special places.
> Development of pathways.
> Control of invasive plant species.
> Installation of benches. Planting flowers.
Needed for grounds development: $1K / month
EXPANDING THE VISION
> Website development and maintenance.
> Expanding Social Media presence.
> Reaching out to area organizations.
> Seeking and supporting volunteer help.
> Supporting and expanding our donor base.
Needed for continued expansion: $1K/month
The Yogananda garden project was inspired from a deep intuition Janakidevi had one morning. She and her husband Byasa have worked tirelessly to make this inspiration a reality. We do hope you will be inspired to purchase one of these beautiful Yogananda statues. Each purchase helps us move towards the completion of the garden.
If you are inspired to make a donation please click the donation link just below. We are an official non-profit and your donations are tax deductible.
If you would like to volunteer your time and energy, any particular skills you have, or if you have questions, please use the contact us link just below
You're welcome to join our mailing list, (just below) to be kept up to date, we promise not to harass you.
You can also visit our website at https://yoganandagardens.org