In the evening, we will have a community dinner followed by a bonfire and Equinox Reflection Circle. Please bring contributions for the potluck and a favorite reading or your own thoughts to share in the circle.
If you would like to camp overnight, please bring a tent and any supplies you need. There will be room for several people in the main cabin and in the small rustic downstream cabin. If you would like to use either please check in advance.
Sunday we will have informal gatherings, hikes, and other activities according to the interests of the group. We are still working on reinforcing the foundation and bulkheads of the bridge, so if anyone would like to volunteer we could have a small work group.
The outlook for Saturday is a high of 82 and sunny with a 6% chance of rain, for Saturday night a low of 59 and 6% chance of rain, and Sunday a high of 83, and 6% chance of rain. So, it looks like we will be fortunate, with sunny skies and unusually mild weather.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology is inspired by a love of the Earth, and of the Land on which we live, and by the desire to gain deeper knowledge of both and to defend both against all forms of domination and exploitation. We are guided by a clear recognition that we are now living in the midst of the Necrocene, the period of the sixth great mass extinction of life on Earth, of developing climate catastrophe, and of other major threats to the integrity of the biosphere. The Institute was founded in 2013 with the goals of promoting social and ecological regeneration, creating a cooperative, non-dominating Earth community, and preventing regional and global ecological collapse. In pursuit of these ends, we sponsor courses, workshops, conferences, training programs, and other activities in New Orleans, and on eighty-eight acres at Bayou La Terre Woodland Center, near Dedeaux, Mississippi. The practical focus of our work is the creation of primary communities rooted in personal and communal awakening, in practices of liberation and solidarity, and in an ethics of care for all beings. We see the immediate development of communities of awakening and care, liberation and solidarity, and of vast local, regional, and global networks consisting of communities of these communities, as the best hope not only for survival, but also for the greatest flourishing of humanity and the entire Earth Community. The following guidelines are for our activities at Bayou La Terre Woodland Center. (Updated 9/17/21)
Essential Information for Participants and Visitors
Mindfulness & Care
The most useful guideline is to practice mindfulness and care while on the land. Pay attention to all the beings and phenomena that you experience. Thich Nhat Hanh has said that “the miracle is to walk the Earth” (La Terre) and that “mindfulness is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.” Cultivate the clarity of your own (that is, Nature’s) mind. Through our awakened presence on the land, we learn to appreciate, care for, and nurture its goodness, beauty, and creativity.
What To Bring
Bring clothing suitable for hiking through woods and appropriate for the weather. Long pants and sleeves are recommended for hiking to avoid poison ivy, thorns and brambles, and insect bites, especially in warm and hot weather. Bring a water bottle, insect repellant and head covering. Good hiking boots are recommended. Check the weather reports for Kiln, MS for the days you will be here. Bring food and drinks. We will also provide some food for potluck meals and some other basics. Bring a tent for camping. There is room for a few participants in the cabin and main house, but please request this ahead of time.
While walking, watch out for holes from rotted out trees. Be aware of occasional dead trees that might fall if disturbed. Watch out for slippery creek banks, Use the ropes on the trails up and down the creek banks. Be aware that where there are clay deposits the creek bed is often very slippery. Always look for poison ivy when walking in the woods. Be aware of ticks. Don’t get lost in the woods! Stay on the trails. If you should ever get lost, notice the contour of the land. Hike down the slope of the land and follow the creek back to the cabin. Wear long pants and shoes, not sandals, when hiking in the woods. Drink water when hiking, especially in warm or hot weather. Water is available any time from the faucet in the middle of the field behind the main house, at the house, or at the end of the water line near the cabin. If you are sensitive to the sun, wear a hat and use sunscreen. Don’t litter and be sure to pick up and dispose of any dropped objects or debris. Bring water and a flashlight on trails, along with your compass, if you have one. Snakes are seen, though relatively rarely. There are four kinds of venomous snakes (including several varieties of some): water moccasin or cottonmouth, copperhead, rattlesnake, and coral snake. A chart of snakes can be found at the house.
Wildfire destroys large areas of forest and grassland. We should always follow basic fire safety guidelines when in a forest or grassland. The general rule is to remove dead grass or other flammable materials from campfire sites, keep campfires small and under control, keep a shovel and water container nearby to douse escaped embers, and add water and stir hot coals until they are cool to the touch. We have three main fire circles at Bayou La Terre: in the field behind the house near the Pavillion; in front of the cabin; on the slope behind the cabin. Ordinarily, fires will be limited to these locations. Finally, remember that any ignition (cigarettes, campfires, vehicles) could cause a wildfire.
There is a toilet in the main house and a composting toilet in the structure behind the cabin. Please use the instructions posted in the latter. Proper disposal of human waste near campsites is important to avoid pollution of water sources, avoid the negative implications of someone else finding it, minimize the possibility of spreading disease, and maximize the rate of decomposition. In most locations, burying human feces in the correct manner is the most effective method to meet these criteria. Catholes are the most widely accepted method of waste disposal. Locate catholes at least 200 feet (about 70 adult steps) from water, trails and camp. Select an inconspicuous site where other people will be unlikely to walk or camp. Try to find a site with deep organic soil, which contains organisms which will help decompose the feces. Choose an elevated site where water would not normally go during runoff or rainstorms. Over time, decomposing feces will percolate into the soil before reaching water sources. With a small garden trowel or camping shovel, dig a hole 6-8 inches deep and 4-6 inches in diameter. The cathole should be covered and disguised with natural materials when finished. If camping with a large group, cathole sites should be widely dispersed.
Hiking and Trails
Please stay on the trails and in clearings along the trails and do not hike off the trails, unless as part of a planned activity. As mentioned, if you hike on the creek, remember to avoid stretches of the creek with clay deposits that are very slippery and dangerous. Please note that the creek trail has been diverted a short distance downstream from the main cabin to bypass an area that is now dedicated exclusively to the Inipi group for sweat lodge ceremonies and other activities. Please follow the marked trail and do not enter the Inipi group area, whether or not the group is there.
Directions to Bayou La Terre Woodland Center from New Orleans
1) Take I-10 East from New Orleans, through Slidell, continuing past the Mississippi state line. (Note: If there are delays on I-10 past Slidell you can take I-59 North after Slidell to the Hwy 43 exit in Picayune, and then take Hwy. 43 to Hwy. 603 North.)
2) Get off at Exit 13 (Bay St. Louis-Kiln exit).
3) Turn north (left) on to Hwy. 603 North.
4) Continue north 9.6 miles, passing through Kiln to Rocky Hill-Dedeaux Road.
5) Turn right on to Rocky Hill-Dedeaux Road (note the large blue water tower on the right side of the road and a high radio tower further down the road).
6) Continue for 4.7 miles to Rue La Terre.
7) Turn right on Rue La Terre and continue about .7 miles almost to the end of the road. The last two houses on the left are a one-story brown house and a two-story red house.
8) Please park on the right side of the front yard of the brown house.
9) If you have any questions, please call or text 504-920-6523.
10) If you do a search, please use the mailing address: 22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS 39556. Though we are about 10 miles from Kiln, this is our mailing address.