AAARC has been an
non-profit org since 1997.
PO Box 339
Lower Lake, CA 95457
The A. Austin Amerine Retreat Center (AAARC) began as a special project under the umbrella of another organization with a gift of twenty acres of land in 1985. Although this property was unsuitable for a retreat center, it became the cornerstone for other gifts. The property was sold in 1993 and research began for a more suitable site. Donations continued to come in during the research process adding to the capital fund. In 1997 the AAARC became an independent California nonprofit corporation and was subsequently designated as tax exempt by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3).
Over the next five years several sites were considered but rejected for various reasons. During this time the AAARC redefined and broadened its mission to “create a peaceful, nurturing environment conducive to the spiritual and personal development of people and organizations from all spiritual and cultural heritages". To that end the AAARC continued its search for property to meet these goals and provide a safe environment for organizations and individuals.
In 2003 the AAARC purchased 920 acres in Lake County nine miles east of Lower Lake. The following year an additional 585 acres was purchased to secure permanent legal access to all of the property; bringing the total acreage owned to 1505 acres or roughly two and a half square miles. One 80 parcel was sold in 2005 and a 40 acre parcel sold in 2006. Several other parcels are currently for sale with the goal of bringing the acreage down to a manageable size and raising additional capital. Eventually the AAARC plans to retain approximately 500 acres, with most of that remaining in open space or for agricultural uses such as orchards, vineyards, and vegetable gardens to supply the facilities.
Excerpted from AAARC's 2005 Business Plan Executive Summary