Work/live jobs available at rustic mountaintop retreat in central California

by Mike (he/him/his) or Biddy (she/her/hers)
Opportunities, Jobs, Internships, Business
Guerneville, Sonoma County, California

Wildwood Retreat Center has several immediate openings for paid positions in the general areas of food preparation, housekeeping, site and building maintenance, and gardening/landscaping. Join us!

Wildwood Conservation Foundation and Retreat Center (“Wildwood”) serves two missions: We’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nature conservancy dedicated to preserving our 210 acres of redwood forest, and we are a retreat center sanctuary created and sustained by gay men for healing, transformation, and spiritual growth. The Wildwood community is a safe and sustainable oasis for all who identify along the LGBTQIA spectrum, and welcomes any individual or group in agreement with our values.

We are looking for community-minded, mature, cooperative individuals to join our amazing team here at our peaceful, quiet (and sometimes busy) retreat center. All genders and gender expressions are welcome!

We offer California minimum wage (currently $11/hour), paid primarily with room and board (includes utilities, wi-fi, laundry, hot tub/pool, acres of hiking, breathtaking views, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the redwoods; all with a 30 second commute to work.) We offer each staff member some flexibility in scheduling and days off, furnished private room with shared bath, omnivore and vegetarian meals from our chef during programs (most weekends, some mid-week) and kitchen access with a fully stocked pantry during non-program times. We offer a 30 hour work-week, with plenty of down time to enjoy the site or pursue on personal projects and interests.

We are located 30 minutes from the town of Guerneville, and are one hour west of Santa Rosa, and two hours north of San Francisco. 

About the work

We’re particularly looking for people with some combination of the following skills:

  • Kitchen (shopping, food preparation, cleaning, washing and sanitizing dishes)
  • Cleaning (laundry, vacuuming, organizing storage areas)
  • Event setup, guest needs and cleanup
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Light construction/remodeling (carpentry, plumbing, electrical)

Each staff member works 30 hours a week in exchange for room, food, utilities, and internet. (California minimum wage; Employer taxes paid/Employee taxes withheld).

Nature Conservancy

Wildwood is located in the California coastal mountains of Sonoma County. The extremely bio-diverse area is home to rare plants and habitats. 210 acres of unspoiled forests, meadows, and streams are home to deer, turkeys, raccoons, wild boar, mountain lion, owls, hawks, woodpeckers, and other creatures living undisturbed in their natural habitat. Redwood groves, manzanita, madrone, fir trees, and giant oaks grace a magnificent landscape.

Haven for growth and acceptance

Much of our staff and supporters are members of the LGBTQIA community. While some of our weekends are geared toward gay men, most are mixed in terms of gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Many of our retreats encourage participants to grow and become better people in the world. Wildwood is the current home of the Human Awareness Institute (HAI) in Northern-California. HAI is in residence at Wildwood over 20 weekends per year.


The northern California climate generally doesn’t get too hot (rarely goes above 100F) or cold (ask our orange trees :-). Our seasons are “dry” (summer) and “wet” (winter). Wet season brings the ferns, grasses, lichens, wildflowers and waterfalls, while the dry season has beautiful sunny days and star-filled nights. Either way, it’s glorious.


Wildwood typically has guests on site each week from Thursday or Friday through Sunday evening. During those group events, the kitchen staff, in teams of two or three, prepare and serve three wholesome meals a day. In the summer months, we may have several guest groups seven days a week.


During the week, our staff of 12 cleans bedrooms and bathrooms, does laundry, changes bedding, vacuums, and dusts. Those with interest and skill work on our small gardens and landscaping. There are also ongoing small and large maintenance and construction projects.


Our chef and staff provide wonderful, fresh, nutritious meals when groups are on site. All staff are welcome to partake heartily in the buffets offered at these times. When a group of guests is not on site, you may prepare your own meals in the kitchen. Sometimes, the staff gets together on weeknights to cook more like a family. 

How to apply

If you’re interested in applying, please send a resume and a letter of interest to [email protected].

Learn more

To learn more, visit us at,, or on our Facebook page