Birch Creek Arts & Ecology Center


Trillium Farm


DEEP turtle of ecosophy

Dakubetede Wilderness Campus

Ecostery students (Ecosterians) arrive at our remote and beautiful campus via a 4-mile hike-in through the spectacular Dakubetede Wilderness.

        Walking down Birch Creek canyon out of the wilderness, one passes through the gateway to Trillium, entering the scenic School Meadow.  Footbridges cross the creek to the School, a two-story octagon nestled under tall trees.  Home of the residential Ecostery Program, the first story of the octagon is one large (30' diameter) room with full-length windows on six sides, and a basic kitchen facility on one wall.  The upstairs is presently divided (temporary partitions) into five small "dorm" rooms and a common area.  Short paths lead to an outdoor shower and a composting outhouse.  Seasonal Birch Creek flows just outside, plunging over a ten-foot waterfall nearby.

Footbridge across Birch Creek to historic Trillium School.

        Continuing down the canyon, one passes the Rose Lodge, a small one room, ten-sided cabin above Birch Creek; and then a 20' diameter canvas geodesic dome.  The dome serves both as a large bright classroom space and as lodging for event participants.  With a large window-wall, the dome provides a splendid view south out over seasonal Twin Ponds, down the canyon, to the old-growth forest on Trillium Mountain.

One of the twin ponds on Birch Creek.

        A half-acre meadow opens beyond twin ponds, then an acre meadow with a large dome frame and farm kitchen used for special events.  Hidden in the woods on the west slope above the meadow is Pine Grove, a small one-room cabin sometimes available for program participants, and accessible only by trail.  Further south along the same slope (this east aspect catches the morning sun) is Valley View, a larger cabin serving as a residence for Trillium community members or staff.

Walking down the canyon through one of the meadows.

        Continuing down the canyon in the meadow, one comes to Maple Grove, a guest house with indoor bathtub, outdoor shower, children's' playground, and views over two more ponds and the Mother Garden.

Pond next to the Mother Garden.

After walking through the acre garden, one passes through a tall gate into "downtown" Trillium, where historic homestead buildings cluster around our parking lot.  On the west side is the old "Trapper's" Cabin that serves as the farm office.  On the east side is the Cedar Barn, which once housed the trout hatchery raceways, and now provides a classroom, study hall, computer center, and office for D.E.E.P.  The Cedar Barn, also serves as an office for TELAV (Threatened and Endangered Little Applegate Valley).  Below the Cedar Barn is the "barn" (more obviously so), which houses hay, tools, a laundry room, pottery studio, woodshop, and general storage and workshop space.

Mother Garden and gate leading to "downtown" Trillium. Cedar Bard on left; Trapper's cabin in trees on right.
Gateway from the Mother garden to "Downtown" Trillium.

        Passing through the parking lot, one crosses the unpaved county road, then immediately comes to a fork where a gravel service road continues left, slipping between two more ponds on its way to the historic Trillium House, the oldest cabin along the Little Applegate.  Meanwhile, the small grassy right fork road heads down to the river.

Historic Trillium House, circa 1902.

        A path leads from this road to the Gathering Grounds, the central location for some of our larger outdoor events.  Crossing a small footbridge, the path emerges onto the dam of our largest (half acre) pond.  The slope of this dam is terraced, forming an outdoor amphitheater for 200-300 people on four grassy levels.  A flat meadow with large sunken campfire pit sits at the base of the terraces, and another pond with an island and a 10-foot waterfall.  Historic Trillium House and its lawn form the upper level of the Gathering Grounds.  The century-old rustic house has outdoor showers, indoor tub, and kitchen facilities where meals for a few hundred people can be prepared and served outside.

Fire pit at base of amphitheater on the lower level of the gathering grounds.

        Below the Gathering Grounds, one can continue on the grassy road or take a steep trail down into the intimate, forested river canyon.  On the near bank are a sweat lodge and a campground for families with children.  A seasonal footbridge crosses the little river to a trail leading a hundred yards upstream to a river bench camping area with room for several dozen tents.

Slide Rock Falls on the Little Applegate River.

        Other facilities at Trillium include five residential cabins for community members and program staff.  Three of these cabins are situated on the south aspect of Trillium Ridge above the river canyon.  These cabins have running water and extensive gardens.  The other two cabins are remote, located high on the ridgetop, with no running water and are often not accessible by vehicle during the winter.

One of the residential cabins perched over the river canyon.


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