Lost Valley Education Center

Dexter, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: December 30, 2018 (5 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999
  • Last verified on: November 1, 2018

Mission Statement

Lost Valley is a learning center, educating youth and adults in the practical application of sustainable living skills. We take a holistic approach to sustainability education, engaging students in ecological, social, and personal growth.

Meadowsong Ecovillage provides affordable staff housing, access to land, and facilities for community development. We are an intentional community of educators and cultural evolutionaries, committed to creating a life together in a sustainable way.

Community Description

Lost Valley Education Center is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 as an intentional community, permaculture education center, and events facility. Meadowsong Ecovillage – the community of resident-staff who live full time at Lost Valley – is comprised of about 50 adults and 10 children. We live and work together on 87 beautiful acres of gardens, meadows, forests, and a creek, 18 miles southeast of Eugene, in the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.

Our dwellings are rustic cabins, a six-unit apartment, tiny homes, RV sites, private dorm rooms and camping. We are evolving into a Community Land Trust with intentions for a staff-housing cooperative and constructing new eco-friendly staff housing. We serve organic, vegetarian meals partly grown in our gardens at lunch and dinner each weekday. We govern ourselves collectively using Sociocracy-inspired methods. Staff members keep their personal assets and pay their own way for rent, meals and minimal fees.

Lost Valley is also an event center, hosting retreats and conferences in our dormitories, dining lodge, classrooms and other facilities. We offer education programs in sustainable living skills, including our Holistic Sustainability Semester – a 3-month immersion experience where students earn a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) and an Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) certificate.

Our year-round Visitor Program offers flexibility and a myriad of experiential options for short to medium-term stays and is an ideal first step to exploring a well established ecovillage and getting to know our community. Most of our land is an undeveloped nature sanctuary with interpretive trails. There are a variety of activities throughout each month, such as meditation, work parties, song circles, discussion groups, movie nights and governance meetings open to observers.

We endeavor to offer the unique gift of balance in ecological responsibility and personal well-being. We hold a deep commitment to authentic, compassionate communication with the functional extended family that we are cultivating. We strive to be creative, caring, embracing of change, eclectic in our approach, and open to diversities in age, race, spirituality, and sexuality.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Organization, Resource, or Network, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 87 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses, Natural built structues
  • Current Number of Residences: 35
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit


  • Adult Members: 45
  • Child Members: 10
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Visit our website to learn more about our Visitor Program or email [email protected]

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Exploring membership ideally begins with arranging a visit to our community. During your visit, you can get a feel for the community, arrange a meeting to learn about housing, costs, and the residency process, and get a Residential Application, if inspired. See our website for more detail.


  • Decision Making: Sociocracy
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    See our website for details about costs: http://lostvalley.org/about-living-here/

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Hot tub or hot springs, Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Organic, vegetarian meals served for lunch & dinner Monday-Friday with a wide range of choices honored. Our main kitchen is vegetarian-only, though many here are omnivores.

    We have an agreement that we will have no public alcohol consumption except on pre-approved special occasions.

    Heavily discouraged–limited to one spot on the land.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Public Schooling

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)


community, sustainability, permaculture, ecovillage, education, sociocracy, nonviolent communication