Vision, Mission & History
Prairie Oaks Institute's vision is to be a catalyst of rejuvenation for people and the planet. Our mission is to cultivate ways of living and leading that affirm the interdependence of all living things and connect self, spirit, community and earth for a resilient, renewed future.
As they sough to re-envision their century-old family farm for a new era, the Devine family founded Prairie Oaks as an educational non-profit organization and donated 20 acres of the property to POI. Prairie Oaks honors their legacy of caring for the earth by preserving a distinctive natural habitat, providing a place for experiential learning and reflection and maintaining a sacred space where all who visit can be reminded of who they are and who the world needs them to be.
Programs and Facilities
Prairie Oaks' programming is focused in three areas: Ecology & Sustainability, Retreat and Renewal, and Education & Leadership Development. As these areas of focus intersect, the programs and resources of POI invite people to explore the inner and outer landscapes of their lives and to reconnect soul and role in order to live, work and lead for the sake of the common good.
POI's inspiring campus in Belle Plaine, Minnesota - just 30 minutes from the Twin Cities - includes meeting space and overnight lodging for up to 24 guests in the farm's two homes: Harvest House and the Farmhouse. Visitors to POI also have access to the rolling, wooded acres of the adjacent Devine family farm, including a meditation labyrinth in the prairie and The Granary, a three-season recreational enclave overlooking Robert Creek. Other opportunities include:
- Retreat, reflect, renew and reconnect in the peace and quiet of this beautiful country preserve. Retreat design and facilitation are also available as are field trips for school, civic and other groups.
- "Courage and Renewal" Retreats based on the work of author and educator Parker J. Palmer.
- "Living and learning with the Land" programs celebrating the bioregion, simple living sustainable agriculture and the strengths of rural communities.
- "Exploring the Seasonal Landscapes" where prairie, field, forest and water ecosystems converge.
- "Rejuvenating the Spirit" programs to explore the deep roots of our lives and work.
- Bi-monthly potluck meals to fuel the everyday work of building community and living well in complex times.
- Book discussions and meet-the-author workshops.
Prairie Oaks Institute is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose annual operating budget comes from the generosity of individual supporters, foundations and organizations who utitlize our facilities and programs. Our guests have included area schools, colleges and universities; civic, community and faith-based groups; non-profit organizations; writers and artists; families and individuals. Everyone is welcome!