Inspiring Visitors

The next generation is filled with people who live their craft and care about sustainability. Here’s a story about them. 

At this time a year ago, I wrote a column about a disappointing experience that had occurred when we hosted a group of college students at our Mariposa project. What had seemed like a promising opportunity turned into a missed connection and left me less than optimistic about the trajectory of those young folks, and questioning my own ability to relate and communicate with them. 

I am pleased to report that a much more encouraging experience happened just a couple of weeks ago. A foursome of young entrepreneurs from the company Deadwood Revival Design on the West Coast hand-delivered several pieces of magnificent custom furniture to our project. 

In a rental truck and an SUV, they crossed multiple states, including stretches involving early winter weather that required them to buy tire chains and helped them get in and out of our remote, high-altitude location. 

These young men specialize in one-of-a-kind creations that are constructed with salvaged urban trees such as California redwood, red gum, American elm, and sycamore. Their artistry and commitment to quality were quite evident, but equally impressive was their knowledge of the various tree species and the characteristics of the wood each produces. Arriving in the late afternoon, after many hours of driving, they immediately began unpacking and unloading their cargo of spectacular beds, dressers, and tables. 


The side rails and footboard on the bed, as well as the nightstands and the wall hanging (which is over 9 feet long and 5 feet wide), are all “live-edge” American elm. The legs on the bed are Douglas fir.

They stuck with it until all the pieces were safely indoors, which was well after dark, and then followed us back into town, where they would spend the night. The next morning they would return to the project to complete the assembly and installation. Some of the items required all four of them just to move. 

At dinner, we learned their stories. Their backgrounds ranged from forest firefighters to one with a degree in architecture, but they shared a common love of the work they have undertaken and dedication to participating in improving the future in every sense. 

Undaunted by the challenges of climate crisis, social and political conflicts, economic uncertainties, and the ongoing global pandemic that has now claimed more than 5 million lives, they are determined to have a positive effect on the world they are ultimately inheriting. It was immensely gratifying to experience their enthusiasm and confidence. 

The following morning, they carefully completed the rest of the work and then took time to tour the project one building at a time. Rather than only being concerned with the long drive home ahead of them, they demonstrated a genuine interest in all aspects of the Mariposa Meadows project, from design concepts and material selections to energy performance and resiliency issues. 

They all expressed their intentions to come back next summer for an opportunity to enjoy the facilities and take advantage of all its recreational offerings. It was a refreshing and reassuring experience for us. We were left with a shared feeling that the future world may be in good hands after all and that despite all the hurdles we collectively face, there are those who are up to the task.