Learn about Findhorn, Birthplace of the Ecovillage Movement

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM

Potluck — please bring a dish to share
Zelin / Cloud Home, 8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ
or join by Zoom videoconference (starting at 1 p.m.)
Please RSVP

And bring a friend!

The featured speaker at our March Meetup will be Marc Laurano, who’s been associated with Findhorn (an important center of the international ecovillage movement) for over thirty years. He lives there half the year and in New Jersey half the year.

Marc has been a life-long advocate of the intentional community concept. His experiences, dating back to the 1960s, make him a sage of our movement. We all could benefit from becoming well-versed in the ecovillage history in which Marc has been a participant.

The Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland now has over 400 members. The associated Findhorn Foundation houses about 40 community businesses and supports approximately 300 jobs in the local area. In 1995 it hosted a major conference, “Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities for the 21 Century,” which led to the founding of the Global Ecovillage Network (http://gen.ecovillage.org). Ever since then, Findhorn has been well-known for offering holistic education programs, including an annual ecovillage training program and permaculture workshops.

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Posted in Community, Ecovillage, Education, Events, History | 2 Comments

Let’s Talk About the Resources We’ll Need to Get It Built

Join us this Sunday, Feb. 11, at noon for a potluck (please bring a dish to share). The discussions and presentations will begin at 1:00.

Location: 46 Greenwich Drive, Bergenfield, NJ 07621 ==> RSVP

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.

Some are rural, usually including a farming component: http://ecovillageithaca.org/

Some are specifically created to be within walking distance of a town center — in order to minimize automobile usage: http://wildsagecohousing.org

There are ecovillage-type intentional neighborhoods within cities: http://laecovillage.org/ and Ecovillagers Cooperative:

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!

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February 11 Meetup: Investments, Deliberations, and Plans

Jane Bleeg
Photo by Mark Chamberlin

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).

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Ecovillage Investor/Owner Organizing Meeting

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.

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Posted in Community, Cooperatives, Ecovillage, Ecovillagers, Events, Finances, Organization, Properties | 2 Comments

The Role of Ecovillages in (Avoiding) the Coming Global Collapse

In “What Will It Really Take to Avoid Collapse?,” Jeremy Lent writes:

[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.”

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Posted in Agriculture, Cohousing, Community, Conflict, Ecovillage, Education, Empowerment, Energy Efficiency, Events | Leave a comment

Holiday Convening of Eco-Communities Sunday Dec 10, 2017

Save the Date
…and join us for some
Collegial and Collective Holiday Cheer!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

12:00 – 4:00 PM
Zelin / Cloud Home8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

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.


Or you can Zoom in for the presentations(s) at https://zoom.us/j/8283857296.

Let us know if you’ll be coming. In New Jersey, ’tis the season to eco-celebrate!Need a ride? Or want to offer one? Sign up here.

We’d also like to talk informally about the cooperative economy we hope to establish as the basis for building an ecovillage in New Jersey.

Let us know if you’re interested in joining us in launching Common Good™ Credits, and creating a Clean Economy Cooperative.

Posted in Community, Cooperatives, Ecovillage, Ecovillagers, Events, Ithaca | Leave a comment

October 21 Trip to visit the Ecovillage at Ithaca

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.

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Posted in Carshare, Ecovillage, Events, Ithaca, Visit | 5 Comments

NY Potluck Picnic & Speaker Event: Intentional Living Co-housing Development

Date & Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 1:00 PM — 3:30 PM
Location: NY Central Park
RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/New-York-Back-to-the-Land-Ecovillage-Movement/events/243326861/?

Martin Tomczyk visited and researched extensively about co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) groups and eco-villages in the New England region.

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.

For more information and to RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/New-York-Back-to-the-Land-Ecovillage-Movement/events/243326861/?

Posted in Cohousing, Community, Ecovillage, Events, Organization | Leave a comment

Why Sign Up for a Carpool?

Many people have asked about carpooling to EcoVillage Meetups. We now have a way to do this and request that you sign up — whether or not you need a ride or you can offer a ride. Why?
  • You may enable someone(s) to attend that wouldn’t have come, otherwise.
  • You’ll save carbon emissions — we are about living lightly on the earth at Ecovillage NJ!
  • If you share a ride, you’ll be able to share your interests and meet like-minded people — who knows what connections and opportunities you’ll come away with!
Click here to add your location and contact info to our Carpool list. You’ll immediately be able to see others needing/offering a ride. Please call or email each other to make arrangements.
If you have a better method, please let us know at [email protected] and [email protected]!
Posted in Carshare, Ecovillage, Events | Leave a comment

Working with a Builder / Developer?

Join us in Basking Ridge on Sunday, September 17, from noon to 4 (the usual potluck, of course) for an enlightening conversation about cohousing — that will now include the possibility of working on an Ecovillage project with a professional builder or developer. RSVP here.

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:

Sign up as a driver or rider (or both) here.

If you want to save carbon and don’t want to make the drive, join us via Zoom at


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.


Posted in Agendas, Cohousing, Ecovillage, Properties | Leave a comment