Sunday, Dec. 9: Ecovillage NJ annual holiday gathering

Do Ecovillagers Know How to Party?

If you haven’t yet been to one of our holiday gatherings, here’s what we do: We eat, then we socialize, then we eat, then we plan, then we eat, then we sing, and then we end with some eating and some socializing.

Yes, ecovillagers know how to party!

But we also know how to generate enthusiasm for our vision of a better way to live on the earth. If you have friends or family members who have vaguely heard about our movement but are desiring more in the way of specifics, please invite them to join us on December 9. Our program for the afternoon will include a number of presentations that might inspire them to get involved.

  • We’ll hear reports from representatives of the Hopewell Area Cohousing initiative (Mercer County) and the Altair Ecovillage group (Kimberton, PA).
  • We’ll start to arrange carpools for our January 12th trip to visit the under-construction Rocky Corner community in Bethany, CT.
  • Mike Bellamy will share insights from Chuck Durrett’s intensive workshop at the Regional Cohousing Summit held in Amherst, MA in September.
  • We’ll be introducing the members and mission of our new Cohousing Committee. They’ve come up with the idea of focusing on attracting owners of existing properties and/or developers who are aligned with our vision. This could be a solution to the hurdle we’ve been facing of needing to raise large sums for a property purchase down-payment. Instead, we could propose to partner with property owners who recognize that cohousing and ecovillage communities are the “coming thing:”

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-cohousing-inclusive-approach-smart-sustainable.html

After the presentations and discussions (and a break for more eating) the fun will begin. Local recording artist Kyrie London will again grace our stage. And no one will be denied the opportunity to lead the assemblage in a song or toast of holiday cheer.

Noon – 4 p.m.
8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

It’ll be a pot luck as usual, so please bring a dish to share.

‘Tis the season to eco-celebrate. Hope to see you on December 9! RSVP here.

Steve, Victoria, & Jonathan

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November 11/2018 Ecovillage Program Updated

The presenters from the People’s Institute have a conflict and can’t join us this month for their special presentation of Undoing Racism. But we anticipate that they’ll be able to do their intro session for us at a future Meetup. Toward that end, what we can do on Sunday is hold a preview discussion among ourselves around the themes of how to encourage diversity in cohousing and Undoing Racism in general. You might want to reference:

https://www.ic.org/wiki/desire-diversity-cohousing-perspective/

Additionally, we’ve added a presentation to the agenda: Steve Welzer attended the Northeast Regional Cohousing Summit in Amherst, MA in September, during which he got a chance to tour no fewer than eight communities (how lucky Massachusians are to have so many intentional community options!). He has pictures and commentary that he’ll share with us.

We’ll gather in Bloomfield (25 Yantecaw Avenue) for our Meetup on November 11, and we’ll start with a potluck luncheon at Noon, as usual. Please bring a dish to share. RSVP to https://www.meetup.com/EcoVillage-New-Jersey-Meetup/events/255399110/

See you there!

P.S. Save the date for the Ecovillage NJ Holiday Party: Sunday, December 9, 2018 (most likely in Basking Ridge).

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Being Proactive about Diversity in Cohousing

Would you like to have diversity in our group . . . but don’t know how to go about it? Are you challenged with how to deal with race issues? Have you ever wondered why there seems to be a big divide between white people and people of color?

Two trainers, Bonnie Cushing and Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, from People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, will be giving us a two-hour taste of their Undoing Racism Workshop. The workshop illuminates how systemic racism works.

The link below features Ron Chisom, the co-founder of the Institute:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rNcnXllLdg

We’ll gather in Bloomfield (25 Yantecaw Avenue) for our Meetup on November 11, and we’ll start with a potluck luncheon at Noon, as usual. Please bring a dish to share. The program will begin at 1:00.

This nation has always reflected a rich diversity, from the innumerable multitude of indigenous cultures that inhabited and sustained this land prior to arrival of European explorers to our present composition. Yet, unequivocally, whites continue to fare significantly better than people of color. In their workshops, Bonnie and Awo analyze power and how it is used to maintain this racial divide, in hopes of achieving equity and equality across all cultures and races. Surely our intended community could benefit from multiculturalist perspectives and a variety of life experiences.

The fabric of racism is inextricably woven and constructed into the founding principles of the United States. The People’s Institute believes that effective social and institutional change happens when those who serve as agents of transformation understand the foundations of race and racism and how they continually function as a barrier to community self-determination and self-sufficiency. Join us on November 11 when we’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of their unique wisdom and inspiration.

RSVP to Mary … 973-954-0572 or [email protected] (and/or at the Meetup page).

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Hopewell Area Cohousing Group Kicks Off October 8

Lynne Molnar, one of the organizers of the Hopewell Area Cohousing initiative, former resident of Cornerstone Village Cohousing in Cambridge, MA 

EVNJ has always encouraged the idea of sub-groups forming to pursue local projects. For instance, there was a period of time when some of our folks were holding their own Meetups in the southern counties of the state.

Now a local cohousing group is forming in the Hopewell area. Their idea is to look for a parcel of land in Mercer or Hunterdon or Bucks County. They’ll be holding an informational meeting at the home of Bob and Judy Lindenberger, 5 Hopkinson Court, Titusville, NJ on Monday, October 8 at 3 pm. If you can attend, please RSVP to Judy at 609-730-1907.

The basis for their project is summarized in their Vision Statement:

Hopewell Area Co-Housing (HACH) is looking for a property near towns, stores, and a good school system to build a community of about 15-30 households. We hope to find a property to create a group of single-family homes and multifamily dwellings on varying sized lots that is surrounded by woods or nature, and situated around a village green with a common building, walking paths, and a community garden. HACH will be open to a diverse and mixed-age group of people and we are planning for a community that offers aging-in-place, is designed to be disability friendly, and we are looking for ways to include affordable housing.

Continue reading

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Join us at the Northeast Cohousing Summit Sept. 21-23

Some members of EVNJ will be attending the Northeast Cohousing Summit to be held in Amherst, MA Sept. 21-23 . . .

https://www.cohousing.org/ne2018

Steve Welzer is going and has room in his car. If you’d like to get a ride, email: [email protected]

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What If We Really Meant It?

Raising money to build an ecovillage in New Jersey

Kicking around some ideas for how to get folks interested in tomorrow’s incredible concert — featuring three amazing singers — we thought about Mille Bojer’s question in connection with the UN’s 2030 Agenda “Transforming Our World”: “what if we really meant it?”

That is — what if we could really raise a half million dollars to start building tomorrow’s ecological communities, right here in New Jersey? What if we looked at towns Affordable Housing obligations, and joined other nonprofits in building affordable homes for people wherever commercial developers won’t step up to the plate?
Tomorrow, at the Ecovillage NJ’s Concert, we have 3 incredible vocalists singing their hearts out for the possibility that people can live, in community, as nature intended.
 
What if we really meant it? What if, tomorrow, we kicked off a campaign to raise half a million dollars as the seed money to start one or more Ecovillages in New Jersey? What if we launched a campaign to have Ecovillages dissolve the resistance to affordable housing in NJ? What if we caused towns to embrace Ecovillages as the way to integrate people from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds as responsible, generous and contributing members of the community?
 
What if our voices, in song, unleashed the vision of Ecovillage living as the way forward?

Continue reading

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August 18: Summer Extravaganza Celebration and Fundraiser

Three Professional Vocalists Featured at Our Annual Benefit Concert

This year’s EVNJ fundraiser-concert will feature a very special program:

Elaine Silver has performed at colleges, festivals, churches, clubs and children’s events throughout North America and Europe. She was featured nationally on The Wisdom Channel and on New Jersey Network’s program State of the Arts. A recipient of a Garden State Music Award for Outstanding Folk Performer, “Faerie Elaine” brings magic, love and blessings to her concerts. http://www.elainesilver.com

An award-winning songwriter, engaging performer and passionate environmentalist, Kathy Moser is dedicated to bringing positive change to the world through music, both on and off stage. For many years she was a principal with the Garden State Cohousing group, and she’s supported our own project numerous times through appearances at benefit concerts and active participation. http://www.kathymoser.com/

NJ-born Kyrie London is a singer-songwriter, artist, and activist, who is passionate about bringing people together through the healing power of music. Her collaborations with Grammy-winning producers and sound mixers have helped create her signature mix of pop, soul, dance, and hip hop. She appeared recently at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton (Mercer County). http://www.kyrielondon.com.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 Noon-4 p.m.
Zelin-Cloud Home
8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

We’ll start off with a potluck luncheon at Noon. Please bring a dish to share. The concert begins at 1.

If you find that you’ll be out-of-town and can’t make it, contributions are welcome at: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1892927930764804/ or http://www.ecovillagenj.org/donations/

Alternatively, checks payable to “CRCS-EVNJ” could be mailed to: Ecovillage New Jersey, PO Box 2029, Princeton, NJ 08543. Because of the non-profit status of our fiscal sponsor (CRCS, the Center for Regenerative Community Solutions) all such contributions are tax-deductible.

We hope to see you in-person on August 18 for some wonderful music, food, and eco-camaraderie. Admission is free, but . . . don’t forget to bring your checkbook!

Please RSVP here.

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Upcoming events in July, August, and September — and a story in New Jersey Monthly!

Upcoming events — and this just in: https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/the-jersey-utopians/ (More on this below).
JULY . . .

Join us on Sunday, July 29 for a special visit to the Threefold Community in Chestnut Ridge, NY. We’re arranging carpools for this visit. Let us know if you can be a driver, if you need a ride, or if you just intend to meet us there.

Located on 140 wooded acres, the Threefold Educational Center is at the heart of a community of programs and institutions that teach and promote forward-thinking practices in education, agriculture, the arts, spirituality, and social life. The surrounding complex includes Green Meadow Waldorf School (400 students, grades K-12), the Pfeiffer Center (environmental education, biodynamic agriculture, and organic beekeeping), Eurythmy Spring Valley (movement art), Sunbridge Institute (Waldorf teacher education and adult anthroposophical studies), the Otto Specht School (Waldorf education for children with learning differences), the Fiber Craft Studio (healing senses and soul through work with plants and natural fibers), the Fellowship Community (home for the aged), and the Hungry Hollow Co-op Natural Foods Market.

Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Location: 285 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

Chestnut Ridge, NY is just north of the border between New Jersey and New York State (it’s close to Upper Saddle River, NJ) . . . so it’s about a 40-minute drive from most points in northern NJ and about 80 minutes from most points in central NJ. Our carpools will assemble in Chestnut Ridge at noon so that we can enjoy our usual pot-luck luncheon together. Bring picnic-type food! Then we’ll tour the community and the complex between 1:00 and 4:00.

AUGUST . . .

Save the date! Saturday afternoon, August 18: Summer Extravaganza Celebration and Fundraiser, with singers Elaine Silver, Kathy Moser, and others. More information coming soon, so stay tuned.

SEPTEMBER . . .

A bunch of us will be going up to the Northeast Cohousing Summit Sept. 21-23 to spread the word about EVNJ. Early-bird registration discounts are available now.

Amherst, MA is only three hours away. The conference is very informative (and fun, too!). We encourage you to join us there: http://www.cohousing.org/ne2018

And this just in…

The Jersey Utopians Aspire to be More Than Just Fantasy

Visions of communal living run smack into a wall of financial and zoning-board reality. By Debbie Galant | | July 20, 2018 | Appears in the July 2018 issue of New Jersey Monthly.

 

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July 29 Visit to the Threefold Community

Join us on Sunday, July 29, 2018 for a very special visit to the Threefold Community in Chestnut Ridge, NY.

And save the date of August 18 for our summer extravaganza celebration & fundraiser…*

Located on 140 wooded acres, the Threefold Educational Center is at the heart of a community of programs and institutions that teach and promote forward-thinking practices in education, agriculture, the arts, spirituality, and social life. The surrounding complex includes Green Meadow Waldorf School (400 students, grades K-12), the Pfeiffer Center (environmental education, biodynamic agriculture, and organic beekeeping), Eurythmy Spring Valley (movement art), Sunbridge Institute (Waldorf teacher education and adult anthroposophical studies), the Otto Specht School (Waldorf education for children with learning differences), the Fiber Craft Studio (healing senses and soul through work with plants and natural fibers), the Fellowship Community (home for the aged), and the Hungry Hollow Co-op Natural Foods Market.

Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Location: 260 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

We’re arranging carpools for this visit. Click here to:
Let us know if you can be a driver or if you need a ride.

Chestnut Ridge, NY is just north of the border between New Jersey and New York State (it’s close to Upper Saddle River, NJ) . . . so it’s about a 40-minute drive from most points in northern NJ and about 80 minutes from most points in central NJ. Our carpools will assemble in Chestnut Ridge at noon so that we can enjoy our usual pot-luck luncheon together. Bring picnic-type food! Then we’ll tour the community and the complex between 1:00 and 4:00.

And Save the Date!

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Noon to 4 p.m.

Summer Extravaganza Celebration and Fundraiser, with Faerie Elaine Silver and other performers!

More information coming soon, so stay tuned!

Posted in Carshare, Community, Education, Events, Organization, Visit | 1 Comment

*Sunday, June 24, 2018*: The Fundamentals of Cohousing

with Lynne Molnar

Lynne Molnar resided for several years at Cornerstone Village Cohousing in Cambridge, MA. Now she’s a New Jerseyan who has aspirations to coordinate a project in Mercer County to build something similar. Her presentation to our group on June 23 will cover the fundamentals of cohousing and relate what she learned living at Cornerstone.

We’ll be hosted by Marc Laurano, who was the featured speaker at our March Meetup. He lives most of the year at Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland, but when he’s stateside he does what he can to show support for projects like our own.

Sunday, June 24, 2018
Noon to 4:00 PM
16 S. 2nd Avenue · Highland Park, NJ

We’ll begin with a potluck luncheon at Noon, as usual. Please bring a dish to share and, this time . . . bring along a friend!

RSVP

If you can’t make it in person, join us via Zoom from 1-3 p.m. at https://zoom.us/j/8283857296

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