The history of Nove Starine is quite a unique one! It did not start off as a nature reserve or cultural center or a sustainability project. In fact, it had had none of these in mind when the journey began. It all started when Ivan Tokić accidentally began to work with stone, carving and creating art pieces, and due to this needed a space to work quite last minute. The city major at the time offered an abandoned forest that was being used as a local illegal disposal ground. During the beginning Ivan simply used the land for his work with stone. He doesn’t know why, but soon afterwards he began to clean it, not because of any specific aim or incentive, but because he deemed it the morally correct thing to do. He describes a revolt that happened to him that urged him to save the forest and transform the land. For the first 5 years Ivan worked by himself cleaning and saving… he slowly realized that the place had huge potential as a public space for arts, community and sustainability. This is really the start of Nove Starine and it’s philosophy. As the concept developed and as the project expanded, Ivan needed more help. For this he turned to the international community.
Ivan expected only a few responses to his call for help, but over the past 5 years Nove Starine park has hosted more than 500 volunteers and unfortunately he had to turn away 200 due to sheer lack of space and care for the forest sustainability. The reaction and passion of the people that have worked here have been pure motivation for Ivan to continue. With the arrival of so many volunteers form all over the World, Nove Starine has transformed from a workshop space to a cultural learning center, a sustainabilty project, a permaculture project, a community based lifestyle, a nature reserve and much more. Not only has it transformed and developed to include a wider range of ideas, but it will continue to do so!