Copper Beech Institute is an independent, non-sectarian organization in West Hartford, Connecticut located on the idyllic campus of Holy Family Retreat & Conference Center which for over sixty years has been a refuge for those seeking quiet, contemplation, and peace. The Copper Beech Institute occupies a renovated wing of the facility operating independently from the historic Catholic retreat center. The campus includes an outdoor labyrinth for walking meditation, 48 wooded acres, sculpture and perennial gardens and trails. View our Campus and Building Map.
Copper Beech Institute shares space with three other independent non-profit organizations, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, The Golden Thread Gallery and The Spiritual Life Center who together share a common mission in fostering growth and the peace of the human family. The facilities and amenities available beyond the idyllic outdoors, include 210 beds, Healing Art Therapies, Conference Rooms, and Dining Areas that are all fully accessible by elevator and ramps.
Copper Beech Institute is located minutes from I-84 in West Hartford, is a 25 minute drive to Bradley International Airport, and is a 15 minute commute to Union Station, Hartford's Train and Bus Station. West Hartford, CT is a bustling and beautiful town, ranked by Kiplinger's in 2010 as one of the Top Ten Best US Cities for the Next Decade. Read more about the destination town of West Hartford, CT. We hope you visit soon!
The Copper Beech Tree
"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree…" - Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862
An ancient symbol of wisdom, the Copper Beech has been revered throughout the centuries for its unique beauty. Used by the Romans to craft paper, the Copper Beech became identified with the process of preserving and entrusting revered wisdom to the next generation. Creating a dense shade with its distinctive copper leaves, this majestic tree provides a place of solitude and sanctuary for all who enter beneath its branches. In parts of Europe, it was customary to plant beeches at crossroads, making the Copper Beech a symbol of intersection and decision. This slow growing tree sends out new growth in Autumn even as it surrenders its leaves—a reminder that life and death are constantly comingled. An image of mindfulness practice, the tree’s growth expands outward even as it sinks roots downward. Planted in 1951, four Copper Beech trees thrive on the grounds of Holy Family Retreat Center and Monastery, the home of the Copper Beech Institute.