HAC Prepares to Get Natural And Take Workshops To A Whole New Level
For years, HAC Headmaster, Tom Tessereau, has dreamed of having a property suitable for workshops and retreats that would allow students to take in nature, ground themselves to the earth and make use of the energy that is available in a natural setting. This week, that dream became a reality as HAC purchased a 34-acre wooded tract in Cherryville, Missouri. Cherryville is fifteen miles south of Steelville, Missouri on Missouri Highway 19. The new retreat land is easily accessible by wide paved roads in just over 90 minutes from St. Louis. The property was once used as a hunting camp, but will become a refuge for wildlife hereafter. Neither hunting nor fishing will be allowed on the property by anyone. There are reports of bear, turkeys, deer, bobcats, coyotes and possibly mountain lions in the vicinity. HAC intends to make every attempt to minimize the disruption of the space as a natural habitat for these animals. We have seen a significant number of birds of prey in the area as well. The property overlooks a beautiful Ozark Mountain vallley that is home to a very large cattle ranch.
The retreat property is currently in a primitive state in that the only structures to be found on the land, at present, are a 1900 square foot steel pole barn with a concrete floor and a cedar observation deck overlooking the small pond that is nestled in a hollow on the north side of the property. HAC intends to put a number of small, rustic cabins on the land to accommodate visitors. At some point in the future, the school will add a meditation hall as well as platforms and clearings for outdoor yoga and meditation practice.
The nearly one-square mile property is readily hike-able in that there is very little underbrush or fallen timber. But be prepared for hills and sloping ravines because this land rolls down a considerably large ridge into the valley that is part of the Ozark foothills.
The school plans to keep the emerging retreat center rustic, as in 19th Century rustic, though there will be access to running water in barn area. Electricity will be generated on-site and used sparingly. Cabins and camping areas will be outfitted with wood-burning stoves and/or fire pits, composting toilets, but no electric lighting. Portable generators will provide electricity when and where needed. Oddly enough, the property has fairly good cellphone reception (three bars on ATT), though visitors will be encouraged to shut off their electronic devices when visiting.
For those less adventurous (or more so, as the case may be), there are accommodations in nearby Steelville which happens to be the epicenter of the "river floating" (canoeing and kayaking in non-Missouri speak) in Missouri. Thousands of Missourian flock to Steelville every summer for float trips on the Meramec River. There are a number of attractions in both Steelville and nearby Cuba, Missouri. Steelville hosts a rather robust classic rock concert series featuring the likes of The Turtles and The Marshall Tucker Band. There are also a number of cozy restaurants featuring Ozark fare and the Mark Twain National Forest is nearby as well.
The Healing Arts Center intends to make the retreat center available to individuals and organizations who would like to use the property whenever it is not in use by the school. For more information you can call us at (314) 647-8080.
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