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Silver Creek Lodge

Silver Creek Lodge – A Vision for Our Future

A unique northwood’s lodging opportunity that

promotes sustainability education and gives back to the community.

As the years have passed since the founding of SCI, many projects and workshops have been developed and/or have been supported by our organization; all of which have utilized the skills and experience of SCI board members and affiliates, but none of which have needed the Silver Creek property to fulfill project objectives. The Silver Creek property is the heart of the organization. This disparity between doing good work generally, and doing good work specifically with the generous gift of land and infrastructure that the Rondeau’s bequeathed has been a challenge to the SCI board. Our desire to honor Gene and Jeannie Rondeau’s legacy has been tempered with financial and other realities, such as zoning considerations, an aged septic and roof, and other constraints. Still, the board envisions more for SCI.

Over the years, we’ve talked about lodging at SCI. It’s a beautiful property with a lodge-like home. Sustainability is demonstrated through the gardens and greenhouses, books and forest, that could be utilized to educate the public about sustainable, rural living. The Superior Hiking Trail, bringing in hundreds of hikers annually to the property, bisects SCI’s land as it winds parallel to Silver Creek, a designated trout creek. It’s a destination waiting to happen!

SIlver Creek

Yet, for some reason, the vision never took hold until…

…a charitable component that gives back to the community was incorporated into the vision.

Now we are excited! With Silver Creek Institute’s low overhead and dedication to our mission, developing a business plan that enables us to both educate and demonstrate sustainable living onsite with guests while also providing financial awards to other regional organizations and active citizens doing good, sustainability work, feels like a tremendous way to honor Gene and Jeannie Rondeau and the legacy and intention they left behind.

The Vision

Silver Creek Lodge will rent the house, along with a yurt or other simple woodland dwelling(s), to single occupancy individuals or groups (families, small-group retreats). Lodging income will cover overhead, property maintenance and management, marketing and reinvestment. Profits above overhead will be pooled towards the Sustainable Communities Grant Giving Program, which will provide financial awards to regional organizations and citizens doing sustainability work related to agriculture, energy, tourism, natural resources, and community development.

Picture this:

Powered by the earth’s natural geothermal energy, Silver Creek Lodge is an evolving 40-acre MN Land Trust conservation area and rural lodging and retreat opportunity. Perched above beautiful Silver Creek, a designated trout stream, Silver Creek Lodge provides a captivating and creative environment to play, explore, create, relax and learn. Whether in need of a simple good night stay, on a small-group retreat or a family vacation desiring a vacation-home rental, or aligning your values to vacation by supporting a good community cause with your stay, Silver Creek Lodge is an ideal home away from home.

A visit to Silver Creek Lodge is more than a typical night’s stay. Your stay, in the modern house or in a more rustic woodland dwelling, will not only be quiet and refreshing. You will be exposed to sustainable living by simply being onsite. The Silver Creek property has a well-maintained garden (guests can help themselves to the harvest), 4-season greenhouse, a managed forest through a certified Forest Stewardship Plan, laying hens, composting system, geothermal energy, wood-burning stove, and an eclectic, fabulous library. More formalized education around sustainable living on a variety of topics is available upon request for those interested in a deeper learning experience.

Apples and dew

SCI Greenhouse in fall

Greenhouse starter plants

Silver Creek Lodge supports valuable sustainability work happening throughout the Lake Superior region. All profits from your visit will support Silver Creek Institute (SCI), a 501c3 charitable organization, through its Sustainable Communities Grant Giving Program. Each year, SCI donates 100% of lodging profits to regional organizations doing work related to sustainable agriculture, energy, tourism, natural resources, and community development. Your stay today will have a lasting impact on future generations!

Guests sleep in a completely furnished, modern yet woodsy, home or in an adjacent more rustic woodland setting that overlooks Silver Creek. All lodging options are single occupancy; individuals, families or groups will have the home or woodland dwelling to themselves. At most, three groups will be onsite at any given time, allowing for a quiet stay with plenty of acreage and recreation opportunities to share.

Often called ‘a magic garden’, the Silver Creek property is a sanctuary for all who visit. With Silver Creek running directly through the property, a forest of mature and young fir, aspen, oak, pine, and birch, and acres of raw woodland surrounding the 40-acre preserve, the property is home to diverse wildlife populations of deer, fox, beer, wolves, and a host of forest songbirds and grouse.

The wooded setting, along with the large picture windows of the home, makes it a sanctuary for the active birder. The trail system, to include the Superior Hiking Trail which runs directly through the property, is ideal for hikers and cross-country skiers. The garden, perennial beds, greenhouses, and chickens, are perfect for the avid dirt-loving, local foods enthusiast. The designated trout creek is an oasis for spring fishermen or summer rock hunting and cool-off. The quiet, rural, woodland retreat provides refuge for the solitary writer, reader, artist, photographer, and thinker. The educational kiosks and guided tour opportunities are a unique educational experience for families with children. And the close proximity to Two Harbors and Lake Superior (located just 4.5 miles south) and nearby Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks provide perfect convenience for exploring vacationers.

Visit Silver Creek Lodge today! Rekindle your connection to nature and expose yourself to sustainable living. Your stay will shape a lasting personal, group, or family memory and will positively impact sustainability work now and into the future.

Now Back to Reality…

Silver Creek Institute has a lot of work to do to actualize this vision! We seek funding, partners, community volunteers, and new, committed board and/or committee members to help make this vision a reality. Our needs with infrastructure are many, our vision and hearts are big, our resources are few.

If you have interest in helping SCI actualize this vision, please contact Cree Bradley at 218.834.0846 or by email. Thanks!