January General Meeting in Princeton 1/21 at 2:00pm

Please join us for our first general meeting of the year at the Princeton Library at 2:00pm. Be sure to allow time for parking if attending in person.

Author and activist Diana Leafe Christian will be joining us virtually to speak on what makes a successful community.

More details, RSVP, and ZOOM link on our Meetup page:


New participants are welcome. We hope to see you there!

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Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability

Next Wednesday, January 10th at 7:30pm we are hosting a virtual get-to-know-you meeting to ramp up to our book club.

Have you read a good article in Communities Magazine lately? Or watched a great documentary? Join us and share what you’ve been reading and learning about ecovillages and community living.

Our member Will Powers will share his reflections on a recent read from our EVNJ Lending Library: Jonathan Dawson’s 2006 Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability from the Schumacher Briefings series. This publication explores the concept of the ecovillage and reviews 5 international case studies.

You can view a copy of this book digitally for 1 hour at a time by logging in to the Internet Archive for free: https://archive.org/details/ecovillagesnewfr0000daws/

Copied below is a summary with excerpts prepared by Will:
New Frontiers for Sustainability

We look forward to a lively discussion!

Meanwhile, get ready – our next book will be
Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities by Diana Leafe Christian

Book Club Info Meeting & Knowledge Share

The following is an attempt by EVNJ member Will Powers to highlight and share the key points from a recent read of the book: Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability, by Jonathan Dawson.

The book was provided by EVNJ’s lending library, thanks to member Steve Welzer. The author Jonathan Dawson is President of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and lives at the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland. The points that follow are either direct quotes or a paraphrasing of his ideas.

* “The Ecovillage movement was born when the ancient idea of intentional communal living met the burgeoning international green movement of the 1960s and 1970s”. Ecovillages are the newest and most potent kind of intentional community, and their popularity has led many people to imagine them to be the only type of intentional community. Yet, the term ‘Ecovillage’ had not been coined until about 40 years ago. “Today, it proliferates under a dizzying array of guises”. A web search on the word ‘Ecovillage’ takes the browser on a journey through the world of intentional communities in the industrialized North, community development projects in the countries of the Global South, luxury tourist destinations worldwide, large-scale developer-led housing projects, and education centers. “It truly is a term that has entered the zeitgeist, even if, in the process, it has made sacrifices in terms of clarity of definition”.

> The rise of the term ‘Ecovillage’ dates back to the 1980s, a time when community integrity was being steamrolled by economic policies favoring mass production and distribution, and the free flow of capital across the globe, which corresponded with increases in the rates of crime, depression, drug abuse and suicide—sure indicators of the growing alienation experienced by many. “By the late 1980s, the fall in quality of life was tangible”. Prior to, “The Back to the Land and hippie movements of the 1960s and 1970s represented a rejection by youth of mainstream, materialist values, a yearning for reconnection and the launch of myriad experiments in the re-creation of community in the West. The cohousing movement, launched in Denmark and spreading rapidly internationally, represented a less radical but no less important attempt to create human-scale settlements that tread more lightly on the Earth while offering to their residents a real sense of community”.

We live in a time of severe breakdown of the community fabric within countries of the global North, and of unprecedented threats to ecosystems globally. Globalization carries in its wake a range of costs that are unsustainable, and at the root of numerous ecological crises. “Climate change, the most serious of these, is directly linked to the large-scale, centralized industrial processes favored by economic globalization and to the emergence of settlement patterns and social structures that facilitate, even require, high levels of mobility”. The movement to create ecovillages is perhaps the most comprehensive antidote to dependence on the global economy. Around the world, people are building communities that attempt to get away from the waste, pollution, competition and violence of contemporary life. The primary gift of ecovillages to the wider sustainability family has been the impulse to move beyond protest and to create models of more sane, just, and sustainable ways of living.

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Our Visit to Ithaca

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Almost 30 members of three different ecovillage projects (the EcoVillage New Jersey Meetup; Rachel Carson EcoVillage (Gibsonia, PA); and our own Altair EcoVillage project) visited the EcoVillage at Ithaca on August 19. The day included a get-to-know-one-another picnic on the … Continue reading

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Next General Meeting: 6/29 at 7:30pm

EVNJ Meeting Flyer 7/29/23

New and former members welcome!

We are excited to re-energize our efforts and re-start regular meetings, potlucks, and educational events. We are hosting this low-key event to get to know one another better and build some momentum!

In this meeting we will..

  • Introduce ourselves and get to know fellow communitarians
  • Hear updates on developing communities in the region
  • Plan for an in-person meeting in July
  • Discuss our plans for a trip to Ecovillage at Ithaca in August

Please RSVP via Meetup to receive the Zoom link


Email us at evnj@ecovillagenj.org

Seeking online community?
Join our facebook group: EVNJ Community Connections

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External Event: Sustainable Living Empowerment Conference

Ecovillage New Jersey sees itself as a regional clearinghouse for tools, resources and happenings related to sustainability, cooperative culture, and community living. To that effect, we promote local events that help us to network with and learn from others who share like values.

Check out this virtual conference coming up on June 22:

Please join Newark Science and Sustainability virtually for their 11th annual Sustainable Living Empowerment Conference:

Branching Communities together through Sustainability

Hosted by moderators Tobias A. Fox and Jaqueleen Bido, the conference will feature a panel of presenters discussing:

  • Creating a Sustainable Food Economy
  • NJ’s Transition to Clean Energy
  • Food Waste Recycling
  • Local Environmental Advocacy

You will hear from

  • Sandra Meola Bodner of Energy Foundation
  • Isaiah Greene of Green Bucket Compost
  • Sarah Mack of the Lesniak Institute for American Leadership
  • Jonathan Wetstein of Roots to Prevention

Registration is FREE at the following link:

For more information about Newark SAS, click here:

To contact the event organizer, reach out to :

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Our visit to Altair

We had an excellent afternoon with the members of Altair Ecovillage on May 20th! We enjoyed getting to know the land and getting to know one another. We look forward to future social events with the EVNJ membership

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Spring Reemergence Zoom Call

After a long pandemic hiatus, we are back and excited to build together!
On the agenda for Sunday 5/21:
– Hello & Introductions
– Report back from 5/20 Altair Meet & Greet and progress update
– Progress update on Towaco site
– Envisioning the future of EVNJ
– EVNJ Survey! What are your ideas & desires for EVNJ?
– New FB group
The pandemic unfortunately put a halt to much of EVNJ’s activities, which at the time were regular potlucks and meetings. The excitement over a property in Towaco, NJ has revived our common energies around creating an Ecovillage in New Jersey. The regular meetings held by farmer Barbara Joy Hertz on Sunday nights throughout fall and winter of 2022 have attracted many curious people to learn more about the possibilities for her parcel and beyond.
We are encouraged by this momentum and eager to build together after a long pandemic hiatus. Due to changes in geographic location and personal priorities among the EVNJ founding members, there is now an opening for new leadership within the organization. Adam Salem of Eden Ecovillage and communities enthusiast Krystyna Soljan have stepped up as interim coordinators to help usher forward the work of EVNJ. We envision a group that supports both local projects to develop into ecovillages as well as promotes overall education and outreach about the idea of sustainable community living.
Please join us for this conversation!
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Altair in nearby Kimberton, PA now has zoning approval

It looks as if Altair will become the first ecovillage project to come to fruition in our area. It’s located about an hour’s drive west of Trenton:

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We have access to a parcel of land in Hillsborough

In October a group of us toured the property and started to brainstorm projects that could establish it as an environmental and cultural center promoting green lifeways.

At 3.5 acres it’s large enough that we could envision:
. community gardening
. drumming circles
. informal camping
. movie nights
. study groups
. mushroom farming
. musicales (around a campfire!)
. an ecological education center for children and others

In the long run perhaps an intentional community.

We’re considering sponsoring some “field trips” to visit existing ecovillages (suggestions: the Ecovillage at Ithaca (NY) and the Sirius Community in Shutesbury, MA).

In the wake of the pandemic, there’s much interest in overcoming the kind of isolation that’s endemic to our current society. People are looking for support, as well as ways to help each other live more lightly. Ecovillage Hillsborough has a land base and now will be working to mobilize the kind of resources that will enable us to realize our vision. Human resources are key! We invite you to participate.

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This Sunday – the Opportunity to Join a New Ecovillage/Cohousing Initiative

Welcome, Fellow Founders

We’re launching an effort to create a new ecovillage/cohousing neighborhood in central New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania. We have some pretty definite ideas of what we want: (a) a site of 10+ acres that could be ecologically restored/enhanced with permaculture; (b) a variety of building styles; (c) agricultural potential; (d) a receptive local community (e) carbon-neutral (or “carbon positive”), (f) nondenominational (g) all of us being interested in both the natural ecosystem and the human one.

Who’s the “we” in this initiative? The core group consists of four individuals / households, combining experience, intention, and understanding of what it takes to establish a new eco-community. Some of us are focused more on the eco- part or more on the community; in reality both are needed, at the level appropriate to each.

Ecologically, our goal is to restore and enhance a degraded property, in such a way that the humans living on the land and its natural inhabitants can coexist for the benefit of the place and of all life. Socially, our goal is to build a cohesive, collaborative, and congenial community made up of individuals who are effective at living and working together towards common goals, and find a municipality that will welcome us and that we can contribute to. Join us online this Sunday to find out more about how you can become involved.

Building a Post-Pandemic Community

Sunday, May 24, from 2-4 pm

Please RSVP for this event.

Please note that this is not our regular Zoom meeting room. You must be registered to attend the event (limited to 100 participants).

If you’re not able to attend the event, but want more information, please email evnj@ecovillagenj.org. Thanks.

Posted in Agendas, Cohousing, Community, Dynamic Governance, Ecovillage, Education, Empowerment, Energy Efficiency, Investment, Organization, Properties, Renewables | 3 Comments