Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa, chairman of the Cabinet, Central Tibetan Administration, (effectively the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile) recently paid a visit to Rigpa's North American retreat and teaching center in upstate New York. He greatly admired the mix of woods and open fields on which facilities will be built taking advantage of the south-facing views. Samdhong Rinpoche is internationally recognized for his support of sustainable communities and environmental conservation. He strongly encouraged plans to keep physical development on the 350 acre parcel limited to a small footprint. He both informed and supported the center's intention to incorporate a "green" approach to use of building materials, sustainable energy sources and minimal reliance on motorized vehicles.