Holiday Party & EcoVillagers Cooperative pre-Launch!

Come and celebrate our first Ecovillage NJ Holiday Party! We’ll start with our traditional potluck at noon — accompanied by live music — and then will convene sometime after 2 pm for news, sharing, learning and discussion. This may be the best opportunity to bring children, as we will spend a good amount of time just getting to know each other.

Sunday, December 11, 2016 —  to

Zelin / Cloud Home — 8 Revere Drive, Bedminster, NJ*

Added attraction!! We’ll be privileged to be entertained by the folksinger and “Bard Insurgent” Tom Neilson. Tom won the 2016 IMA Peoples Choice “Song of the Year for Social Action” award. Combining art with activism, he’s appeared with Medea Benjamin, Amy Goodman, Cesar Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Howard Zinn and many others. Now he’ll be able to add EcoVillage New Jersey to that illustrious list!

Join us to hear our plans and participate with the EcoVillagers Alliance (EVA). EVA is a group of professionals who have developed a cooperative-based process for establishing ecovillage communities — which will be the focus of an inaugural regional EcoVillagers Cooperative (EVC) Assembly in the spring.

Important! We have a growing number of study groups that are gathering between the monthly Meetups. If you are not yet part of a study group, need to change your group or want to join one, please email or call Victoria Zelin at [email protected] or 908 507 3150.

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January 22nd Meetup – Imagining Our New Homes!

Sunday, Jan 22, 2017 12:00-4:00 PM
Zelin / Cloud Home
8 Revere Drive, Bedminster, NJ

This month we’ll be envisioning the location(s) of the first ecovillages in NJ. The process begins with each individual, as we imagine what our new home could be like within community.

Here’s an exercise that will help to articulate your vision of what that home would look like, how it would function, and who would be your neighbors:

What considerations are paramount for you, and what are you more flexible about? Dream big!

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Nov 19 Meetup: Exploring Coops: What, Why and How They Work so Well

Saturday, November 19 at 12:00 PM, at
Conservation Development LLC – Lise Thompson
626 Montgomery Road, Hillsborough, NJ (map)

RSVP here

Successful EcoVillages are built by people who understand what cooperative living is all about. Our coach in setting up an EcoVillage in NJ, the EcoVillagers Alliance, recommends that we form small, local “Study Groups” to discuss readings, and begin to bond with one another. Study groups meet between sessions, and report on their learnings at the larger Meetups. Continue reading

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Ecovillagers Cooperative: who we are, where we are going

We are a new Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) seeking to organize, incubate, and invest in shared-equity, cooperatively-owned neighborhoods across the United States, beginning with a 2017 phase focused on Mid-Atlantic cities.

Before building ecovillages, we are building an investment and solidarity network. Continue reading

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Creating an Ecovillage Co-op

As described elsewhere on this site, we have embraced a new approach to creating ecovillages in New Jersey, a cooperative proposal being led by a group of longtime activists and experts called the Ecovillagers Alliance. This post provides some of the key background documents on the Alliance, and invites your participation in founding the “mother” Ecovillagers Cooperative that will in turn give rise to, and nurture, the local community co-ops that will be started in each region.

Ecovillagers introduction video:

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October 22 Meetup to Feature Energy Efficient House

Updated flyer: KelloggHouseVisitOct22-16.

This month’s Ecovillage Meetup, on October 22, will feature a visit to “Half-Moon House,” the energy-efficient and Earth-friendly house designed and built by architect Chris Kellogg and his wife, artist Helen Carr. The house is located at 3 Walnut Street in Madison, NJ and the Meetup will take place between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 22, 2016. You can let us know that you’re coming at


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The Story So Far… A Brief History of EcovillageNJ

It may be helpful to anyone interested in becoming a member of Ecovillage New Jersey to get a brief sense of the group’s history, current status, and intended future.

Over the past few years, two key groups became interested in creating a network of ecovillages in New Jersey and/or Eastern Pennsylvania.

  • Steve Welzer, the founder of the EcovillageNJ Meetup group, had been working to create an ecovillage at Delane Lipka’s Mt. Eden Retreat.
    • Following Delane’s unexpected death, and because Delane’s heirs were not supportive of the project, the Mt. Eden site was no longer feasible.
    • However, Steve continued to host Meetups.

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Taking a New Direction

Over the past several months we’ve been exploring a new approach to “ecovillaging,” founded on a sustainability-based cooperative model developed by Joel Rothschild and the Ecovillagers Alliance.

Steve Welzer had reached out to Katie McCamant to find the closest “graduate” of the 500 Cohousing Communities program, and this turned out to be Joel, who is that and a lot more as well. He is part of a wider Ecovillagers Alliance, and has a more comprehensive view of the process than we had conceived of before, one which effectively seeks to build a committed, well-informed, and fully-democractic community before identifying a suitable project. And by a “suitable project,” he believes strongly that this should be not be a “greenfield” ecovillage but one that reuses and revitalizes workable urban neighborhoods. And our goal should be to transform the wider community by demonstrating the power of the cooperative business model and engaging local residents and their neighbors to be part of this New Cooperative Movement.

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Financial Disclosure (End of Summer 2016)

As of this writing, the account contains $6,028.51, representing donations from members (of the Central/Northern NJ Ecovillage Meetup) and a small amount of interest from our credit union account. There have been no withdrawals so far, though these amounts are owed:

  • Steve is owed $270 for 18 months of the Meetup subscription, which is currently $15 a month, since March 2015, when the bank account was opened.
  • CRCS is entitled to a 5% fee for overhead ($301.43 as of September 2016)
  • $130 of the money donated was targeted for support of the Ecovillagers Co-op
  • Mara is owed $25 for paying the meeting fee at the library in September

Of course there is also a great deal of time and effort which is not accounted for financially, including an extensive search for suitable properties, site visits, and the extended negotiations for a property in Andover Township.

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South Jersey Meetup Launched

A sub-group of our project has started holding its own Meetup gatherings in South Jersey. The next one is scheduled for June 18.

Ecovillage South Jersey

Glassboro, NJ
92 Communitarians

We’re a sub-group of the “Ecovillage New Jersey” project. We’ll be holding meetings and looking for parcels of land in the southern part of the state.Ecovillages are communit…

Check out this Meetup Group →

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