Co-Founder Janet Silver


"No words can describe this place! Timeless....magical.....serene.....a slice of what is truly heaven for the soul, mind, and body. Janet is one of a kind. Thoughtful, joyful, and the perfect host!"
~Lost Sierra Retreat Center Guest


Janet was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in possession of an unexplained “Call of the Wild and Love of Nature.” (Her parents could not understand why she asked for hiking boots and a sleeping bag for her High School graduation, even though she had never been camping.  But she was ready to go if the opportunity presented itself).

Nature is not her only love, both music and art came naturally to her. Janet surprised her parents with a precocious knack for playing Beatle songs on her toy piano at 6 years old as the Beatles took the world by storm. That talent and love for music now expresses itself in West African drumming, percussion instruments and playing on her 1897 Fischer upright piano.

She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1978 at Chico State University, with an emphasis in Housing and Home Furnishing, Interior Design and Art. During her senior year she met Rich Silver, a California State Park Ranger, who made sure her hiking boots and sleeping bag were put to good use. They married in 1979 and as newlyweds, co-founded “The Endangered Species Faire” in Chico, California, which continues to be one of the longest running environmental education events in the United States.

“When we were young we all thought we were real mountain women
living here in the Sierra, but Janet was the real deal!”

~ Local 40-year Sierra Resident


Janet and Rich raised their family of four sons, while predominantly living in the Northern Sierra Nevada, which included living off the grid for several years where she mastered the art of woodstove cookery while traveling in and out two miles over snow.

As her early inclinations would indicate, she was perfect for the park life, enjoying life as “Parkies” living in various state parks as Rich’s career took him from “mountains majesty to shining sea,” before settling in the Truckee area; there enjoying raising the boys during their “formative years” as she became their biggest fan as they excelled in several sports.

During this time, in addition to being an extremely busy mom, she started back to work in Truckee in 1991 as a legal assistant, and became a Paralegal in 2004, before resigning in 2014 to care for her mother with Alzheimer’s. 

Janet receives her greatest enjoyment from being in beautiful landscapes where she has perfected the ancient transformative practice of Gazing. Hiking, snowshoeing, and x-country skiing are her avid pursuits. When time allows, backpacking, camping and enjoying her granddaughter and family bring her a deep contentment.

An accomplished gardener, her love of flowers, medicinal herbs and foods is a lifelong passion where she is constantly experimenting with new recipes that will one day be a family legacy cookbook.

Since 2012, Janet has helped Rich co-found and develop University of Earth and the Lost Sierra Retreat Center located outside of Graeagle, in beautiful Plumas County, California.  With her passion and love of nature, art, and design, she has easily slipped into her role in the administration and management of University of Earth, which includes workshops and retreats for participants, families and guests looking for a calm and peaceful get-away from their busy lives; her passions have found a home.

“I may be the visionary of University of Earth, but without my beloved consort Janet,
there would be no U of E, no EcoSpiritual Wisdom School.”
~Rich Silver

Janet can be contacted at (530) 386-4839