Lost Valley Education Center was founded in 1989 as an intentional community, permaculture education center, and events facility. Our full time residents number around 40 adult and child members, and include permanent community members, interns, work traders, and other residents. We live and work together on 87 beautiful acres of gardens, meadows, forests, and a creek, 18 miles southeast of Eugene, in the foothills of Oregon's Cascade Mountains.
Our dwellings are rustic cabins, yurts, and a six-plex; we are discussing creating a Community Land Trust and possible housing cooperative and constructing new eco-friendly community housing. We serve organic vegetarian meals partly grown in our gardens, on neighboring farms, or purchased bioregionally.
We run a nonprofit retreat and conference facility with dormitory housing and camping, and offer 5-week "Permaculture in Community" certification courses as well as 2-week Permaculture Design Courses. We have a Nature Center, featuring interpretive trails, educational materials, e-newsletters, conservation and restoration projects, walks with local naturalists, and larger events such as the Native Plants and Permaculture Gathering held in May 2007 (see www.lostvalley.org.nature). For eight years we published Talking Leaves: A Journal of Our Evolving Ecological Culture (see www.talkingleaves.org).
We offer longer-term work/living/learning experience in our various departments (including garden, land/permaculture, events, maintenance/sustainable building, vegetarian cooking, service and sacred space, tech. support, and others) through our internship program.
Some adult members work as Lost Valley staff; others work independently on- or off-site. Members keep their personal assets and pay their own bills, including a monthly room-and-board fee.
One of our unique gifts is to create and offer a balance between a strong ecological focus and a deep commitment to communication and to the functional extended family that we are cultivating. We strive to be creative, caring, embracing of change, eclectic in our approach, and open to diversities in age, race, spirituality, and sexuality.
Open to new children:
50% M 50% F
Open to which gender(s):
All genders welcome
Leadership Core Group:
(Different areas are managed by different leadership "circles")
Labor and Money
Open to Members with Pre-existing Debt:
(2 hours/week of "cleansing and creation")
($1,000 during first year of membership (per adult) ($250 on acceptance, $750 at end of year))
(Monthly food, rent, and membership fees--for staff members, these are offset by a portion of one's salary.)
Land and Buildings
87 acres (35.2 hectares)
Land Owned By:
Another form of Non-profit
Percentage of Food Grown:
Share Community Meals:
Nearly all meals
(Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Friday)
Dietary Choice or Restrictions:
Diet is up to each individual
(Wide range of choices honored; main kitchen is vegetarian-only.)
(We have an agreement that we will have no public alcohol consumption except on pre-approved special occasions.)
(Heavily discouraged--limited to one spot on the land.)
Open to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender members:
Restrictions on Romantic Relationships (between consenting adults):
Shared Spiritual Path:
Which Spiritual Path(s):
Ecumenical (includes "all religions")
(Members vary widely in specific approaches; we share a spirituality related to our land, and also highly value our community relationships and shared understandings related to communication and personal/cultural evolution.)
:: Public schooled