The park and wildlife regions of Calas Galadhon have long been a favourite of mine, and have appeared in these pages a few times. They are a landmark experience in SL – thirteen regions completely open to the public and offering a range of activities and events throughout the year, all maintained out of the pockets of Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith, with the welcome help of donations through the many donation boxes scattered throughout the regions.
Sadly, the challenges of real life, coupled with the overall cost of running thirteen regions, are forcing Ty and Truck to re-evaluate Calas Galadhon and look at ways and means to keep the park open, reduce to overheads (which includes the amount of time they have to spend in-world managing the regions as well as the costs involved) and continue to offer the rich and beautiful environs found within the park boundaries.
As a part of these deliberations, Ty dropped me an IM asking me if I could help spread the word that Calas Galadhon will close on Monday August 1st and remain closed through until early September. This is only a temporary closure, designed to give Ty and Truck breathing space to consider options and look to the future. Full details of the closure can be found on the Calas Galadhon website, and Ty asked me to help spread the word after the planned closure of the Park in January 2013 apparently caused a good deal of concern as many people missed the notices about it at the time.
Sadly, the overhaul of the regions is likely to see the loss of four of the regions from the park; the three main water regions of the Bay of Balfalas, Belegaer & Sea of Nurnen, and also the loss of Eryn Vorn (which I’ve personally always found spectacular). One of the remaining regions may also be converted to an OpenSpace region, although as noted, options are still being considered.
If you’ve not visited the parklands, and wish to do so before any changes do get underway, now is clearly the time to do so. I really cannot over-state how beautiful all of the regions are, and how they make for a fantastic place to visit.
Yes, there are parks throughout SL, but Calas Galadhon presents an astonishing and completely contiguous landscape through which you can wander at will and feel like you are exploring an entire country, or where you feel you are truly in the wilds, far from home. On top of this, Ty and Truck take extraordinary care to present an environment where there is a lot to do, and live events occur throughout the year.
This is a place you can visit and re-visit in the sure knowledge that things are always changing, evolving, showing the subtle passage of time as new features are added, others mature and evolve, all kept in balance and harmony with one another. For my part, I love all the attention to detail, especially with the wildlife, and the changing seasons through the year. I also love the fact I have the freedom to wander so far without fear of bumping into someone’s private property (there are no tenants in the regions), and can stop and sit at one of the many different campsites, panic areas, lodges, riverside shacks and so on, which are scattered around the park offering places to rest, to think and to simply observe.
There is a wonderful romance across all of the Calas parklands which is quite unique in Second Life – at least for me. Not only are there places where couples can be romantic if they so wish – there are plenty of cuddle spots and a dance locations throughout the parklands – the very names of the regions are themselves romantic, drawn as many of them are from Tolkien’s works, and there is all the romance of discovery to be enjoyed as you wander the trails, paths and cart-rutted tracks, wondering what you’ll find around the next corner or over the next bridge or in the next valley.
In some ways, I’m actually regretful that the park doesn’t allow a controlled number of tenants within its bounds; I’d like nothing more than to have a small cottage sitting on the edge of Calas Galadhon itself. It would be my ideal location and perfect home. However, I can well understand Ty and Truck’s desire to keep the parklands tenant-free; as mentioned, I certainly appreciate the fact they do when wandering through the parklands myself!
Calas will be re-opening during September, have no worries about that; it may be a wee bit smaller when it does, and some things may have changed, but it will be re-opening.
In the meantime, why not take a couple of hours and go and experience them to the fullest, particularly if any of those earmarked for closure hold special meaning for you. The chances are that if you do, you may well run into me doing the same. And if you haven’t discovered Galas Galadhon for yourself as yet, now is never too soon, whether or not changes are in the wind. As I said earlier in this piece, it really is exceptional. If you do, don’t forget to drop a small amount of your appreciation into one of the donation boxes :).