Can’t make it in person this time? No worries — join us by Zoom:
Topic: Ecovillage New Jersey’s Zoom Meeting Time: Feb 11, 2018 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/8283857296 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16465588656,,8283857296# or +16699006833,,8283857296# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833 Meeting ID: 828 385 7296 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=u1Pbtt7zlz47yGS9qykUiKRAwpDNfgAh
There are a variety of types of ecovillages and cohousing communities.
Those who’ve joined the Ecovillage New Jersey Meetup have different lifestyle preferences. So it would be great, in the long run, if all the different options could be made available. That’s why our ultimate vision is to have a network of communities within New Jersey and the tri-state region — some rural, some town-based, some urban-based. And then (imagine) there could be gatherings where members of all the communities get together to socialize, share notes, celebrate events, etc. Hopefully some of the events will be celebrations of groundbreaking for another ecovillage!
Our next Meetup will feature several reports about recent developments of interest. First of all, Jane Bleeg, Coordinator of Flower City Cohousing Community (being planned for Rochester, NY) will join us via internet to relate how their group is handling many of the same issues EVNJ is facing. Then Larry White will report on the deliberations that led to the initiation of a Founding Investors Group for our project. This has already resulted in a significant enhancement of our financial resources — such that we now can start to consider employing some of the professional help we’ll be requiring in order to move forward.
So . . . progress is being made!
Join us on February 11 to hear all about it. As usual we’ll start at Noon with a pot-luck luncheon (please bring a dish to share).
Larry White has issued the following invitation to fellow EVNJ members:
Greetings fellow Ecovillagers! You are receiving this email because you have shown a strong commitment to living in an Ecovillage here in the Garden State. At our December holiday gathering, we announced a new initiative to jump start an initial Ecovillage in the Garden State. It involves working within the current Real Estate paradigm, with investors and future residents pooling money together to begin serious negotiation for a property after the investor/owner group does some preliminary work to establish the vision and parameters of the proposed community. Diversity will be achieved by establishing rental units within the community for those that don’t have the disposable income or real estate assets to invest.
The community will have the aspects of an Ecovillage that we all know and love; cooperative governance, a “green” ethos, regenerative and shared practices and structures, community rituals and activities that bind us together, outreach to the local community for residents and value added business or service, and education to help foster more Ecovillage development.
Initially, we are seeking at least 21 folks that can commit a minimum $1000 cash and a promissory note stating that they have an additional $24,000 in liquid assets that they can commit to a down payment on a property that the group agrees to pursue. That gives us $21,000 for legal/RE expenses in creating a legal entity and finding a property, and $500,000 for a down payment. Legal documents will be drawn up, and the investment group will include a way to come in or out without penalties. There will be risk involved, and there will also be an ROI for folks who want to invest but not live in the community. No one will be forced to invest in a community that they are not aligned with as an investor or resident. No significant funds will be spent without group approval, and the necessary ground work of vision and mission statements will precede any legal engagement beyond advice and the initial document binding investors to the project.
[In November 2017] more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issued a dire warning to humanity. Because of our overconsumption of the world’s resources, they declared, we are facing “widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss.” They warned that time is running out: “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.”
This is not the first such notice. Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, 1,700 scientists (including the majority of living Nobel laureates) sent a similarly worded warning to governmental leaders around the world. In ringing tones, they called for a recognition of the Earth’s fragility and a new ethic arising from the realization that “we all have but one lifeboat.”
At our annual holiday gathering we’ll look forward to hearing end-of-year progress reports about the various ecovillage initiatives in the tri-state region. There are ongoing projects in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania that some of our members have been participating with or have recently visited (for example: fourteen of us spent the Oct. 21-22 weekend at the Ithaca Ecovillage).
By offering up some good music, good food, and good vibes we’ll hope to entice members of Altair, Our Community, New York Back-to-the-Land, Ecovillagers Cooperative, and others to join us — toward widening the circle of holiday season camaraderie. It’ll be a pot luck as usual, so please bring a dish to share.
PLUS Special Guest: Brian Linson, a Philadelphia folksinger and a founder of the South Philly Jam, will do some background guitar playing for us on December 10. Steve Welzer writes:
Brian is a friend of our member Victoria Tredinnick (she went on the Ithaca trip with us). Brian and I will work up a couple of holiday songs . . . sing-a-longs that we can lead together.
Last year our group sponsored a one-day trip to visit and tour the Ecovillage at Ithaca (EVI). This year our colleagues in the New York Back-to-the-Land / Ecovillage Movement Meetup are sponsoring a similar trip, but it will be a two-day excursion involving an overnight stay.
It’s too much driving to go to Ithaca and back in one day from NYC. But it’s do-able from most points in northern New Jersey. So we NJ folks have two options if we want to piggyback on the arrangements being made by our New York friends: Some of us could sign up for the Saturday tour, drive up to Ithaca in the morning, eat dinner with the New York participants, then drive back to New Jersey at night. Others might want to allocate the weekend and join in with the full two-day program.
Coupled with his knowledge and experience in architecture and construction, a vision for a co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) group in upstate New York was born: Harmony Hudson Homes EcoVillage Cohousing, and a plan for that group has been developed; with an emphasis towards: passive housing, arts & crafts, yoga/meditation, permaculture/gardening.
Martin is currently enrolling members interested in participating in the formation of the co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) group, and is in the process of securing land for the development of that group.
If you want to carpool, please add your information to our sign-up sheet. After you’ve submitted your response, you’ll be able to see all the other responses and coordinate directly with other drivers and riders:
Adding to a growing list of possibilities, we’re in discussions with a South Jersey developer about creating an Ecovillage as part of a larger housing development project. We’ll share what we know about this opportunity at the meeting.
Both for-profit and non-profit developers are becoming interested in building new Ecovillages and cohousing neighborhoods, and converting older developments into a new vision of community living for the current generation. We believe it’s possible to combine the best of the ecovillage community creation process and the work of the builder / developer, which includes commissioning the design around the desires of the first cohort of eco-community residents.
Let’s get straight on all the buzzwords of the movement!
We’re part of a worldwide movement.
The movement is based on a recognition of how modern lifeways are stressing people and stressing the planet. It promotes remedies that are all about rejuvenating local community life while “living lightly on the earth.”
Within the movement there are a variety of models, methods, and concepts, like:
* intentional community
* egalitarian community
* pocket neighborhood
* community land trust
* community land cooperative
For our September Meetup we’ll be exploring what these concepts mean and how they relate to each other. The starting point for our discussion will be a short slide-show called “What Is Cohousing?” It raises issues that will enable us to touch on all the concepts listed above.
So: if you’ve heard the “buzzwords” and you’ve wondered what they mean . . . join us on September 17! Bring along your list of questions. And a friend or two. Also a dish to share! As usual, we’ll start with a potluck luncheon/social hour at Noon. Our discussion will begin at 1:00.
And in the meantime, check out this 8 min PBS story on cohousing, very powerful — and addressing the heart of the matter in dealing with social isolation and aging.