Earthlands is a program center and a working community of Earth Stewards that support and promote “Living & Learning in harmony with the Earth and All Life”. All programs and services of Earthlands are within this mission where the focus is on personal growth, ecologically sustainable living, and environmental awareness. Earthlands is situated in rural Petersham in central Massachusetts and is located on expansive areas of open fields, upland forests, and vibrant wetlands. The Center is an off-grid facility where food is grown, wildlife protected, and sacred landscapes are preserved.
Earthlands is synonymous with the activities and programs of the Institute For Environmental Awareness, Incorporated, 501(c)3 educational nonprofit. The Earthlands Program & Retreat Center, established in 1992, conducts and hosts on-going public educational, environmental, social justice and personal growth programs and services that support the practice of living and learning in sacred harmony with Earth and all Life. The University of the Wild, founded by Dr. Larry Buell and a small group of educators in 2007, offers mentored, self-directed alternative education, including degree curriculum, designed to train and develop ecological global citizens and leaders with an eco-centric, holistic worldview values and practices. There are many courses offered for local people in the town of Petersham. It is through life-changing experiences at these programs and workshops that many people have been drawn to the larger member community and activities at Earthlands. Current plans are being made for a “Semester on Earth” a full season of UofWild programs for 2013. The Fall of 2012 will see a “beta” version of the Semester with educational programs.
Located in the North Quabbin Bioregion, Earthlands is part of a strong and vibrant local network of activities taking place in environmental awareness, social justice, local sustainability, and land preservation. Each year over a thousand amazing teachers, students, healers, activists, and participants come for weekend workshops, trainings, and gatherings. Esteemed teachers and groups which are annual supporters of Earthlands currently include ALisa Starkweather(Daughters of the Earth/Priestess Path, Heartbeat Collective (SWID/Forest Dance), Sparrow Hart (Mystical Warriors), Bill Pfeiffer (Wild Earth Intensive). The land and facilities are also available for private functions. So far in 2012, there are 4 weddings planned at Earthlands.
Earthlands is served by a lodge that sleeps 30 people, several secluded cabins, kitchen and dining areas and indoor/outdoor meeting spaces. All Facilities & Lodging, except for the main office, are off-grid, with basic solar systems and propane appliances. We have a grid-tied office with phone and internet. A composting toilet system and solar & propane showers complement the setup. There are several sacred sites on the land, including a Stone Medicine Circle, Sweat Lodge, Sacred Fire Circle, and ancient Indian Caves. Staff grow/wild-craft their own fruits & vegetables in season, including a mandala garden, a small perennial forest garden and field gardens.