Birch Creek Arts & Ecology Center


Trillium Farm



DEEP turtle of ecosophy

Ecostery Application Prerequisite

Director's Note: This section was authored by Chad Derosier,
former Ecosterian, Ecostery TA, and Trillium resident and staff member.
Chad provides a participant's perspective in offering this important info and advice
based on his extensive experience with D.E.E.P. and here at Trillium.

Please read the following information fully and carefully!

        Trillium Community has been celebrating community in spontaneous, loving, spiritual, and intentional ways for nearly 40 years.  We offer a unique cultural experience as well as a residential education program and retreat center in a beautiful and wild setting.  We strive to be closer as family while remaining conscious of an individual's needs for space.  We have special ways to honor our closeness and individuality within the community by regularly coming together in circles, song, shared meals, councils, and conversations.  We appreciate sharing our spiritual practices with one another as part of a conscious desire to grow and make this world a better place.  These practices may involve anything from a mediation, silent hike, or even just cooking dinner!  We do not have rules about spirituality, yet we ask that those who choose to come here be respectful of our diverse and intentional ways to educate and inspire.

Trillium Community hosts: 
* A residential eco-village embracing sustainable ways to live in harmony with the Land; 
* A wilderness campus offering university accredited programs; 
* A grassroots conservation organization protecting the biodiversity of the surrounding wildlands from degradation; 
* A cultural, spiritual, arts and retreat center providing opportunities for healing and education for the stewards of our planet.

        We are an open, honest, and communicative community, facilitating residents to thrive as individuals, to be the persons they truly are and strive to be within this unique setting.  We do this by using methods of open communication to provide a safe environment for allowing feelings and emotions to be displayed, and by listening consiously with our hearts and minds to what each other has to say.  In a healthy community other people's feelings can be felt by all, even at subtle levels. We want students and interns to arrive here with a good understanding of our culture.  We ask that you ponder with yourself and meditate on the following questions.  These are posed to help you see clearly within yourself and give some indication of how well you will be able to fully succeed here, as an individual, in a community, and in a remote wilderness homestead.

How honest are you with yourself?
        Living on a remote wilderness homestead is challenging enough on the physical plane, and then there is the emotional plane!  While we strive to live happily and love one another, conflicts do arise which can impact the entire community.  We like to deal with these issues within ourselves, and with those it directly relates, as soon as possible and as openly as possible.  When issues arise in your life, how do you deal with them?  Are you able to clearly communicate feelings, even at the risk of offending others?  Are you willing to work out conflicts in a group-setting, if need be?

How would you assess your work ethic?
The Ecostery is a residential intensive!  This is not an understatement!  The courses are for upper-level undergraduate credit and for graduate credit as well.  The academic load is rigorous, interdisciplinary, and quite demanding at times.  Please consider these questions about your particular academic abilities. 

  • What is your level of reading and can you read multiple books at once? 
  • How are your writing skills? 
  • Can you present research, thoughts and ideas clearly to a wide audience of readers? 
  • How well do you view your research skills?  Are you able to engage in sometimes lengthy intellectual conversations in a group setting?  Individually? 
  • Can you keep up with a heavy academic course load? 
  • Are you able to think clearly while handling many tasks at once?

How comfortable are you with living in close residence with others, up to eight people, for eight weeks?
        This not be overlooked!  Ecosterians live closely together in an octagonal schoolhouse.  This is mostly community space in the schoolhouse with a shared living area and kitchen, and individual bedroom nooks upstairs.  During the Ecostery, students live in close contact with their peers during the entire time: sleeping in the same building, having most meals together, and learning most of the day together.  Think about how this might affect you. 

  • How much personal space do you need for yourself? 
  • Can you share community food and help to coordinate/cook/clean group dinners, sometimes for up to fifteen people? 
  • Are you able to help keep a tidy community space? 
  • How offensive might some of your personal habits be and what might bother you about others?


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