Maurice early days with the cowboys.
Hanne Strong and Shiela Devi.
Old Baca rodeo ground.
Baker Roshi and zen monks.
The Manitou Foundation was founded by Hanne and Maurice Strong in 1988 to create a sustainable interfaith community. They viewed the land as a special place for diverse peoples to have deep experiences of Spirit and Nature.
The original plan for the Baca development retirement community included the build-out of 15,000 lots. The plan failed as the real estate market collapsed and essential medical resources for the elderly were not available. A substantial amount of funding had already been invested in building infrastructure. This made room for a new vision.
Thousands of lots in the higher foothills of the Sangre de Christo Mountains were consolidated into what became part of Manitou Foundation’s Mountain Tract properties. Other lots were consolidated and eventually became part of the National Park. The Manitou Foundation then began its mission to establish a place where the wisdom traditions of the world could preserve and share their knowledge in a contemplative setting and go beyond the divisions that have historically fueled conflicts and war. The vision highlights the cultivation of a community of mutual understanding, harmony and respect, as a model for the world. A model that also exemplifies sustainable living and environmental stewardship.