Spring Creek Project has convened thinking communities in many iconic Northwest landscapes—in the deep woods of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, in the blast zone of Mount St. Helens, on the rim of the Columbia River Gorge, as well as on the beautiful Oregon State University campus—to explore probing questions about our relationship with the natural world. Over the last decade, ongoing themes have emerged from our inquiries. We’ve assembled our events and programs here according to those themes as trail markers to remind us where we’ve been and where we hope to go. In the next decade, we invite you to join us as we deepen our understanding of these and other emerging themes at our upcoming events.

Catastrophe and Renewal
Catastrophes—volcanic explosions, floods, fires, and hurricanes—are part of the natural world. So is the renewal that follows these catastrophes. Spring Creek explores stories of destruction and renewal in all its human, geological, and ecological dimensions.

Climate Destabilization
The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of our time, and Spring Creek brings people into conversation to examine what is at stake and what we ought to do about it.



Environmental Justice and Human Rights
Spring Creek explores how we can create a world where everyone—regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income—receives fair treatment and the opportunity for meaningful involvement in a time of declining resources, climate destabilization, and toxic pollution.

Wendell Berry reminds us that “Eating is an agricultural act.” Spring Creek hosts events to highlight the ways in which the raising and consuming of food is a matter of highest cultural importance.



Long-Term Ecological Reflections
In a program that will continue for two hundred years, Spring Creek encourages people to reflect on how the relation of people and forests changes together over time.



Multiple Ways of Knowing
There are many ways of knowing the world: storytelling and poetry, observation and experiment, myth and mathematics are all authentic windows on the world.  Spring Creek hosts many events that seek to deliberately and provocatively bring together multiple ways of knowing.

New Metaphors
Critiquing old concepts and seeking fresh language for human-nature relationships is crucial to all our efforts to bring well-being and balance back into our landscapes and ecological integrity back into our lives.

Spring Creek hosts events that celebrate the oceans  and acknowledge the enormous environmental challenges that oceans embody.


Secular and Sacred
Is nature sacred? Is there intrinsic value in the natural world, or is its value entirely utilitarian? The ongoing inquiry into the relationship of humans and the natural world is central to Spring Creek’s mission.



The Commons
Thriving forests, rich soil, clean air, fresh water, bountiful oceans are our common heritage.  But the commons is everywhere diminished. How might our society be inspired to share both the gifts of the commons and the responsibility for their long-term well-being?

The Land Ethic and Wilderness
AldoLeopold set out the principles of a land ethic which calls us to understand that we are all members of a community of interdependent parts. Whether we live in an urban or rural, wild or domesticated landscape, learning how to preserve the integrity of the whole is of first importance.

Other Events
From discussion about the moral responsibilities of corporations to testimony on behalf of wild places, Spring Creek hosts many events that offer inspiring and thoughtful ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.