Mission & History

Tierra Learning Center first appeared in 2001 in Sunitsch Canyon. Before this time Sunitsch Canyon has held a full history, from native grounds to early homestead farm and on through incarnations of recovery ranch and conference center. Tierra was born with the transfer of the land to the current ownership. After an initial non-profit mission concluded in 2008, the current vision for the Tierra Learning Center was born: Stewardship, Inclusiveness and Positive Growth.



We're awed by the tranquility, depth and beauty of the land here. And we recognize the history here before and our own passing into the future. We're humble before this expanse and the responsibility entailed. We actively manage 320 acres of forest field and farm land adjoining a significant wild lands thoroughfare. We think about using less, using resources deliberately and more effectively and nurturing the natural pace of life in Sunitsch Canyon. As an organization, Tierra Learning Center requests a high degree of personal responsibility, asking everyone involved, from retreat center guests to preschool children, to see themselves as stewards of the land and facilities here.


The Tierra Learning Center has come to fruition, in large part, to act as a community that can include people of all abilities in a larger vision. Much of our outlook has come through extensive research into various long term housing options for people with developmental disabilities. Inclusiveness not only means working to integrate people with special needs into mainstream lifestyles, but forming a community that creates a shared pocket of positive energy. We also highlight our attempts to keep this community from isolation, providing opportunities for the wider community to interact with the Tierra Learning Center.

Positive Growth

Why are we a learning center? Because we consciously remind ourselves that we've signed up to a vision of life-long, affirmative learning. Often times this means jumping into endeavors with both feet .There is planning involved but also a willingness to keep trying and experimenting through to resolution.  Because - well - we may as well try something in the hopes of a more positive future. Along side our examples of sustainable agriculture and early childhood education, Tierra also offers a great deal of social interaction – daily doses of small community. Just to keep us all functioning, we are often asked to lay aside old defenses and open to new possibilities. As a core value, Tierra believes in affirming each individual’s experience and providing a collaborative framework for continued growth.