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About Us

Our Legacy, Our Future

Silver Creek Institute resides on a 40-acre parcel originally homesteaded by Dr. Gene and Jeanne Rondeau 25 years ago. In 2005, the Rondeau’s generous donation of their property, including a modern house, storage sheds, and greenhouses gave SCI a home. The property, just 4.5 miles north of Two Harbors, MN, is evenly bisected by Silver Creek, a North Shore tributary to Lake Superior. The 40 acres, excluding 4 acres surrounding current infrastructure, is undeveloped and governed by a conservation easement with Minnesota Land Trust.

The donation of property into the hands of current board members and founders of SCI, came about through a variety of donor and community meetings. Dr. Okey Ukaga, Jamie Juenemann, and eventually Cree Bradley, each regionally respected for their sustainable development work in community, energy and agriculture, were asked by the Rondeau’s to explore organizations for compatibility, capacity, and interest in taking the donation of their property with the intention of promoting sustainability. Many options were explored but ultimately, the Rondeau’s expressed their wishes with a decision that surprised us all. They liked the individual sustainability work that Ukaga, Juenemann and Bradley were doing and ultimately, desired that they take the donation and start a new organization. The donation was accepted and SCI founded.

The journey to develop a productive and financially-viable organization has not come without challenges. It has taken years to develop a vision for the property that lives up to the generosity of the donation. SCI is now grounded with a simple, yet strong vision for the future of the property with the board actively pursuing support and developing a strategic plan to make that vision a reality. Please visit Silver Creek Lodge to learn more!

Gene Rondeau with Bee Boxes

Gene Rondeau was an avid beekeeper.

Jeanne in greenhouse

Jeanne loved to tend a diversity of plants kept in her 4-season greenhouse.

In the interim, between 2005 through the present, SCI is proud to have supported and developed a number of sustainability initiatives that have had a lasting impact throughout our region. To learn more about SCI’s work, visit SCI projects and community sponsored projects.