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About Us

Tara's Meadow is a 30-acre retreat and educational center on Beaver Island, Michigan. For over twenty years, we have hosted educational workshops, classes, and events that foster a healthy sense of self, community, and place, and that further environmental and cultural awareness, wisdom and eco-literacy.

OUR MISSION: to educate, uplift, and interconnect our students and guests for their greater self-growth and empowerment. We aim to encourage creativity and ecological awareness in the service of all life.


OUR VISION: individuals and communities living to their full potential in Earth Peace - the harmony of our species with all others on this planet.

At Tara's Meadow, we provide individuals, couples, and small groups a chance to reconnect with themselves and the world.

 

WE SEEK TO EDUCATE - "to draw out" the natural gifts and talents of our students and guests by uplifting them: inspiring, affirming and encouraging them to step forward into the fruition of their lives. 

 

WE SEEK TO INTERCONNECT - by convening groups within the natural settings of Beaver Island, students and guests network through the sharing and teaching of environmental studies, the arts, and native cultural wisdom traditions.

 

WE SEEK TO EMPOWER - to support our students and guests in their discoveries of how best to serve the wider community of life. 

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Tara's education efforts enhance our students and guests sense of place, awareness of "land as community," and understanding of the native concept "all my relations." Our retreats offer a place of respite, good counsel, and rejuvenation of the spirit. They also provide opportunities for field studies and immersive educational experiences for school groups, teachers, and college students, as well as other organizations aligned with our mission. This serves our larger vision of "Earth Peace" - bringing more harmony to our human interface with the planet. 

OUR GOALS

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Engage our students and visitors with other organizations or individuals compatible with their needs and our collective work

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Develop experiential education opportunities in both natural and "developed" human environments

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Expose our students and guests to multicultural ways of life and native wisdom traditions

Provide teachings in environmental studies, nature awareness, history, culture, and the arts

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Offer activities and experiences that foster a healthy sense of self and place

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Be a place of respite, good counsel, and rejuvenation of the spirit

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OUR TEAM

These are the passionate visionaries and volunteers behind Tara's Meadow.

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Seamus Norgaard

Tara's Meadow Director & Board President

With a MS in Environmental Studies, Seamus is a college professor and environmental advocate, writer, life coach and spiritual guide. He is the founder and current director of Tara’s Meadow Education and Retreat Center, and co-designed a two-year associate’s degree program in “Environmental & Sustainability Studies” for North Central Michigan College. Seamus is a strong carrier of the Celtic Spirit who has lived and studied with the native peoples of Ireland and the American West, and draws from a deep well of wisdom and kindness in his calling to uplift people, community and life.

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Sally Wagoner

Tara's Meadow Administrative Assistant & Board Secretary

Sally Wagoner, RN, BSN is nurse by profession, spending much of her career in home health, community education and tobacco/nicotine addiction treatment. In and outside of the workplace she promotes health through prevention, holistic self-care and spiritual responsibility. She worked for twelve years with the Chicago Native American community as Community Nurse, Wellness Director and Development Director. Involved in local and regional environmental issues, Ms. Wagoner also supports Native American and global Indigenous communities through advocacy and volunteer grant writing.

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Amie Elton Crawford 

Board Treasurer

Amie Elton Crawford is an artist and interior designer. While living in Chicago during the “Great Recession” she helped to organize fast food and retail workers, becoming a founding member of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago and the Fight for Fifteen - now an internationally recognized movement to raise the minimum wage. Currently living in Petoskey and Beaver Island, she works for the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan as an associate in their resale stores. Amie has been instrumental in developing Tara’s Meadow outreach and marketing, and lent her talents of logo development and graphic design for Tara’s Meadow.

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Hal Willens

Board Vice President

Hal Willens is a cardiologist now retired from his 27 year practice in Petoskey, Michigan holding the title of President for part of that time. He is committed to giving back to his community through his environmental and cultural interests. He has been on the Board of Directors of Crooked Tree Art Center, Grain Train Natural Foods Co-op, and Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Association. He has worked with the Local Food Alliance of Northern Michigan and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities' Northern Farms Foodshed to help foster the local food movement. He has also served on the board of the philanthropic Sinai Medical Staff Foundation and as a president of Temple Bnai Israel. Hal explores his creative side by photographing the beauty found in the natural world.

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Sara Lark Millies-Lucke

Board Member

Sara Millies-Lucke holds a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Comparative Cultures and Politics with a minor in environmental justice, and she is currently attending James Madison University to pursue a master's in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. From a young age, Sara visited Beaver Island with her family and grew to love it. As a student and graduate, she selected Beaver Island for her research and completed her thesis on renewable energy, observing that rural areas are often left out of the sustainability conversation. As a Tara’s Meadow board member and a professional sustainability consultant for ICF, Sara continues to strengthen the microgrid community on Beaver Island to explore pathways to a low-carbon, clean energy future.

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Ryan Doran-Fisher

Board Member

Ryan Doran-Fisher holds a B.A. in World Literature and Philosophy in addition to a graduate degree in Celtic Language and Literature from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has been teaching philosophy since 2004 with emphasis in teaching students to awaken the spirit of practical self-inquiry and to realize the wisdom of humility in knowing that we do not know. In 2012, Ryan was ordained by Haju Sunim of the Buddhist Society of Compassionate Wisdom as a Dharma Teacher after five years of training in the Maitreya Buddhist Seminary and in May of 2015 he was ordained as a full Teaching Monk by Deokwum Sunim of the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple and Zen Center. Drawing on comparative mythology, the Buddhist masters of past and present, the desert fathers of early Christianity, five years experience with urban homesteading, and deep involvement with an old order Amish community, Ryan has fallen in love with the simple life. The simple life is not an easy life, but rather one of full engagement with ordinary activities, which Ryan believes to be the very ground of our awakening, a profoundly ordinary path into the heart of everyday life.

DO YOU SHARE OUR VISION?

If you're interested in what we do and want be more involved, please get in touch with us. We always welcome volunteer inquiries, and our director will be glad to speak with you.