the Center in Libertyville, Illinois

Where Ideas Take Root

The Center's Home

The Center’s campus in Libertyville, Illinois is a workspace for Chicago-based staff, a retreat center for the Center’s gatherings of thought-leaders, a laboratory in which to practice land-relationship ideas shared by Center contributors, and (one day soon) a welcoming space for periodic public events.

In Libertyville, the Center belongs to breathtakingly beautiful prairie, savanna, wetland, woodland, ravine and riparian ecosystems. Strachan Donnelley, the Center’s founder, spent his formative years within this landscape, both experiencing the world around him and trying to understand the human place within it.

The land is the ancestral homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi—as well as the Kickapoo, Sioux, Peoria, Miami, Sauk, Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Meskwaki, and other Native Peoples. We recognize and celebrate the unbreakable ties to this land for Indigenous Peoples past, present, and future. We commit ourselves to listening deeply to the wise teachers in our midst who have thought about human relationships with this land since time immemorial.

As an organization making a home in this place, we know we do not have all the answers as to how to do this well. We remain ever true to our founding purpose—that questions are our starting point and that wisdom shared by deep and diverse thinkers is what guides us forward.

Here is one such question: Can the Center in Libertyville be a homeplace and touchpoint for those seeking to understand and explore human roles in reciprocal relationships among humans and the rest of the natural world?

We welcome wisdom from all of you, our community, as to how the Center might evolve its practices of human/nature relationships in this place. Along the way, we will share our learning journey with you via our publication platforms. Thank you for being a part of the Center’s community, and we look forward to connecting with you on the path ahead.

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