Conservation & Sustainability Initiatives


“We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole of which these are the shining parts, is in the soul.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our Commitment to the Environment

The Uplands aspires to raise awareness of our inherent interrelationship with our environment and the beneficial impact that the natural world can have on healing, renewal and creativity.

Just as the natural world can have a powerful impact on us as individuals, the Uplands is committed to doing its part to heal and regenerate the environment. In that spirit, we support educating individuals from all walks of life in a vivid, experiential way about the impact each of us can have on the earth, in ways small and large, negative and positive.


Sustainable Features

The facilities and systems at The Uplands Center are developed to reduce our ecological footprint. Some of our sustainable features include:

  • Organic Garden – We use a permaculture approach and bio-dynamic techniques to create a healthy garden ecosystem. Our garden provides nourishing food for the kitchen, offers educational opportunities, attracts native pollinators, and improves soil biology.
  • Regenerative Agriculture – We employ our small chicken flock in our garden and fields to increase fertility, reduce pest pressure, and aerate the soil. In addition to our garden, a food forest is being developed with the aim to provide food and medicinal herbs while improving biodiversity, building and maintaining soil, and providing wildlife habitat.
  • Solar Panels – Our solar array provides us with a renewable source of energy.
  • Composting – Food scraps are transformed into soil for our garden.
  • Recycling – A user friendly sorting system promotes waste minimization.
  • Supporting local, organic farms – Food purchased for retreats comes from local and organic sources whenever possible

Conservation Practices

We implement land-based conservation practices that preserve and enhance the natural world such as:

  • Bird monitoring and environmental inventories to assess diversity and abundance of various species
  • Bird and insect sanctuary through conservation-based mowing schedule
  • Tree planting along streams to reduce erosion and improve water quality
  • Invasive species management

Sharing Knowledge through Experiential Learning

We believe that fostering connection and understanding within our natural world is central to inspiring sustainability. Retreat visitors and community members can benefit from a wide array of experiential learning opportunities including:

  • Naturalist Educational Hikes – Topics include native plants, birds, wild edibles, animal tracking, and more.
  • Garden Experiences – Visitors can tour our garden, learn about our practices, and harvest produce for group meals.
  • Forest Bathing – Guests can practice a form of nature therapy focused on sensory awareness and mindfulness in nature.
  • Self-Guided Nature Trail
  • Discussions and examples focused on how to make modest, everyday changes to improve our ecological impact.


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