Prairie Oaks Institute

cultivating the earth, rejuvenating the spirit


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Among The Trees: Lessons for Life from A Bur Oak

POI Tree Prairie pic

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver, When I am Among Trees

Come and celebrate Arbor Day with the magnificent bur oaks of Prairie Oaks Institute.  Dwell for a day in the quiet beauty of bur oak trees, and discover some of the lessons they can teach us about living more fully, more intentionally.  Learn about the biology, ecology, even mythology of the bur oaks in their native savanna ecosystem.  Listen to their wisdom for reconnecting with the natural world, and with yourself.  Come away refreshed and renewed, more deeply rooted in the rich soil of your life.  Space is limited, so register now!

WHEN:    9 A.M. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2018

WHERE:   Prairie Oaks Institute, Belle plaine, MN

COST:  $50 (includes lunch); optional overnight lodging is available ($40)

To REGISTER, go to www.poitrees18.eventbrite.com

Facilitator:

Cindy Johnson, Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College. Cindy is interested in the lessons the natural world can teach us, particularly trees. She has spent a lifetime admiring and studying trees, teaching tree ecology/identification and was the Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum. Reconnecting with the natural world and cultivating this connection is vital to our wellbeing. Lessons from the bur oaks will enrich your personal journey. To live deeply among the trees is to savor the breath within each of us that cycles among all living beings, rocks and clouds.  Cindy will co-facilitate this workshop with the bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) of POI.

cj

 


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Finishing Strong: What’s Next

Fern Picture.jpg

A retreat for mature individuals interested in intentionally directing the next stage of their life.

May 18-20, 2018

Prairie Oaks Institute

https://prairieoaksinstitute.org/contact/

To register: www.poifinishingstrong.eventbrite.com

What’s next? Would you like to be intentional about your next steps? Whether it is leaving a lifetime career for retirement / re’fire’ment or transitioning to new ventures this workshop will guide you in thoughtfully creating a plan for directing this transition. Throughout the weekend we will use meditation, writing, sharing, movement and music to create a setting for mindfully crafting what’s next. Are there unrealized dreams that need voice or do you simply need an open canvas on which to paint next steps?  We will use life maps, visioning and time outdoors to examine who we were, who we are and what really matters as we move forward. Join Michele and Cindy to explore what is next in your life, ‘finishing strong’.

Cost: Participants pay for meals and lodging ($175 for the full weekend) and are asked to make a tax-deductible tuition contribution at the end of the weekend based on the value they received from the workshop, ability to pay, and interest in supporting Prairie Oaks Institute.  (Bring a checkbook or credit card.)

Times:  We will start at 7:00 pm Friday evening and finish by 1:00 pm on Sunday.

Facilitators:

Michele Rusinko

Michele is a Professor of Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College.  She is also a breast cancer survivor, yoga teacher, writer and resiliency coach.  Michele has spent her entire career integrating the life of the mind with the wisdom of the body.  Navigating her cancer diagnosis gave her new skills which allowed her to feel empowered and joyful as she adapted to the changing landscape.  It is these skills, and this dance, she enjoys sharing with students of all ages and backgrounds.

 Michelle Rusinko pic

Cindy Johnson

Cindy is Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. She is interested in the lessons the natural world can teach us about transitions.  Reconnecting with the natural world and cultivating connections with nature in the “next stage” of life is vital to a successful transition.  Lessons from the natural world will enrich our emerging understanding of our personal journey.  To live deeply within the natural world is to savor the breath within each of us that cycles among all living beings, rocks and clouds.

cj

 

 


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Leading with Heart: Courage and Resilience for Challenging Times A Courage to Lead® / Daring Way™ Retreat

Leading with Heart: Courage and Resilience for Challenging Times
A Courage to Lead® / Daring Way™ Retreat

We live in challenging times, bewildering times of great change, uncertainty – and promise. The more frustrated, confused, or passionate we are about our lives and our work in the world, the more vital it is that we find time to renew our spirits and to re-connect what we do with who we are. As the grip of winter gives way to the restless energy of spring, cultivate a deeper capacity to contribute and thrive with greater wholeness and authenticity.

Weaving together the work of best-selling authors Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, A Hidden Wholeness) and Brené Brown (Daring Greatly, Rising Strong) this retreat offers a rare opportunity to:

  • enhance your sense of calling, direction, and confidence to navigate change.
  • develop daily practices and skills to rise strong when you fall.
  • reconnect what you do with who you are.
  • replenish inner reservoirs of courage and resilience so you can live, work, and lead wherever you are, for the common good.

Details:

This retreat begins at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2018 and concludes by 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. The retreat will include ample time and space for solitude and conversation, journaling, silence and dialogue, rest and relaxing walks in the glorious outdoors. The retreat will be led by Daring Way™ facilitator Rev. Sarah Ciavarri (www.sarahciavarri.com) and Courage and Renewal® facilitator Dr. Chris Johnson, founder and principal of The Milkweed Group (www.milkweedgroup.com).

The suggested donation for registration of $325 includes overnight lodging (shared occupancy) in either “Harvest House” or “The Farmhouse” at POI, all meals, refreshments, and materials. The “commuter rate” of $225 includes everything except overnight lodging and breakfast. Some scholarship support is available; please contact Chris via email at cjohnso542@gmail.com. Also, please let us know well in advance – with your registration is best – if you have any dietary restrictions.

Registration:

Deadline: April 2, 2018

Space is limited, so register now at milkweedgroup.regfox.com/leading-with-heart

Prairie Oaks Institute, is a nonprofit education- and retreat center located on a 115-year-old farm campus on the edge of Belle Plaine, on the southwest outskirts of the Twin Cities. POI’s mission is to be a catalyst of rejuvenation for people and the planet, and its work is to nourish expansive imagination, bold thinking, wise action, and cross-sector solutions to the unprecedented environmental and social challenges of our time. Please visit www.prairieoaksinstitute.org for more information.

We look forward to having you with us!


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Support POI during Give to the Max — November 1 – 16, 2017

GTMD17LogoVerticalReverse_previewBe a catalyst for change by supporting Prairie Oaks Institute, a community grounded in the work of caring for the earth and the human spirit.

Click here to support POI now!


Prairie Oaks Institute is again participating in Give the the Max, 2017!  

This year, we have a special need in the form of significant time sensitive, county-mandated updates to the septic-system infrastructure for both the Harvest House and the Farm House. Your donation will directly impact our ability to make the required updates.

Will you help support our work? The Give to the Max campaign begins November 1, 2017, and ends on November 16, 2017.


Community is at the heart of Prairie Oaks Institute (POI) at Robert Creek. The mission of POI 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. Our 20-acre farm campus is framed by the natural beauty of magnificent bur oaks and graceful prairie grasses; truly a place to pause, refresh and join together with a renewed commitment to our world and each other.

We put our mission in action by sponsoring educational and leadership programs, offering our 20-acre farm campus for retreat and renewal, and connecting with other organizations and communities to promote sustainability.

This year our emphasis is on three areas:

– Care, maintenance, and upkeep of the campus

– Expanding programming efforts

– Developing sustainable ecological practices

In this coming year, we hope to take POI to the next level, which will include major changes to campus infrastructure to support an expansion of community and programming.

Join us at POI for a program, retreat, or walk in the prairie. You are always welcome at Prairie Oaks.


 


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Finishing Strong! Join us to explore “What’s next?”

A retreat for mature individuals interested in intentionally directing the next stage of their life. Tickets found here.
March 24-26, 2017
Prairie Oaks Institute

What’s next? Would you like to be intentional about your next steps? Whether it is leaving a lifetime career for retirement / re’fire’ment or transitioning to new ventures this workshop will guide you in thoughtfully creating a plan for directing this transition. Throughout the weekend we will use meditation, writing, sharing, movement and music to create a setting for mindfully crafting what’s next. Are there unrealized dreams that need voice or do you simply need an open canvas on which to paint next steps? We will use life maps, visioning and time outdoors to examine who we were, who we are and what really matters as we move forward. Join Michele and Cindy to explore what is next in your life, ‘finishing strong’.

Cost: Participants pay for meals and lodging ($175 for the full weekend) and are asked to make a tax-deductible tuition contribution at the end of the weekend based on the value they received from the workshop, ability to pay and interest in supporting Prairie Oaks Institute. (Bring a checkbook or credit card.)

Times: We will start at 7 pm Friday evening and finish by 1 pm on Sunday. Participants are asked to minimize usage of electronic devices during the workshop to facilitate full immersion and intentional cultivation of contemplative and creative space.

Michele Rusinko
is a teacher, writer and resiliency coach. Michele has spent her entire career integrating the life of the mind with the wisdom of the body. Navigating her cancer diagnosis gave her new skills which allowed her to feel empowered and joyful as she adapted to the changing landscape. It is these skills, and this dance, she enjoys sharing with students of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Cindy Johnson is Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She holds sacred all things wild and is especially interested in conservation. Reconnecting with the natural world and cultivating these connections in the “next stage” of life is vital to transitions. Lessons from the natural world enrich our understanding of transitions / change. To live deeply within the natural world is to savor the breath within each of us that cycles among all living beings, rocks and clouds.


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Give Thanks for Local Foods and Farmers November 15th

Join us for our November Community Potluck on Tuesday, November 15th at Harvest House, 1200 W South Street, Belle Plaine when we Give Thanks for Local Foods and Farmers!

We’ll honor and recognize local farmers for their contributions to our local food economy and sustainable agriculture.

We provide the Black Bean, Squash & Kale soup and delightful bread from wheat grown on the adjacent Devine farm by Farmer Ben Penner. Beverages also provided.

You bring your friends, great conversation, and a dish to share, if you like. Bonus points if that dish is sourced from your own garden or local food producer!

Gather at 6pm, eat at 6:30pm. Hope to see you there!

RSVP on Facebook.


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Carnival de Resistance Artivists at Praire Oaks!

Prairie Oaks Institute is excited to host the merry artivists from the Carnival de Resistance for 10 days as they train and prepare for their residency at Redeemer Lutheran in north Minneapolis, September 13th to 26th.

The Carnival de Resistance is a traveling arts carnival and ceremonial theater company, a village demonstration project exploring ecological practices, and an education and social outreach project; all focusing on ecological justice and radical theology.

You’ll find the complete schedule of events here.

We are honored to host the coming together of the 2016 Carnival de Resistance!