We can meet up this month, but it will still have to be virtual!
April has turned to May, but in-person Meetups still might be a couple of months in the future.
There’s nothing like face-to-face interaction (that’s one of the reasons we want to create an intentional community!), but for the time being virtual is the way to go. So we’ll be hosting an online Meetup on Sunday, May 24, 2-4pm, on the topic of how cohousing and ecovillages are surviving the pandemic… what’s possible, what’s feasible, and what the future holds for eco-communities in the post-COVID-19 world.
There’s one thing we feel certain about: Change is in the air. The unusual situation we’ve all been facing clearly has ecological, economic, and social implications. Many feel this could be a turning point. There’s a sense that a more cooperative and communitarian lifestyle would provide the kind of support (and hope) people need during times like these when the global economic and public health systems demonstrate their unsustainability.
So it would be of interest to find out how and what the pioneers of our movement have been doing during the crisis. We’re lining up presenters from some successful ecovillages and cohousing communities to get feedback about issues such as:
- At your community has there been a special division of labor beneficial for the special circumstances?
- How has access to the facilities of the Common House been handled?
- How have procedures for monitoring social distancing and other healthy behaviors been implemented?
- What kind of preparations were put in place when the initial details about the pandemic became recognized?
- Have you found that cohousing relationships can maximize support and minimize the stress of a crisis situation?
- How will the lessons of this experience be incorporated into your community’s practices going forward?
The information presented during this roundtable discussion should be fascinating and unlike anything we’ve addressed before.
Also on the agenda for May 24th’s Zoom meeting we’ll describe several opportunities for cohousing, both immediately and in the near future
In particular, we’re looking to establish a new headquarters for Possible Planet, EVNJ’s fiscal sponsor.
Ideally, it will be a property that has at least three things: (1) the alignment of the municipality and the community, (2) the potential for cohousing, and (3) the suitability for generating a “surplus” or profit from the land (e.g., organic farming that regenerates the land). Possible Planet is developing an innovative financing model for this kind of eco-community development as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance.
The priority right now is to identify people who might be able to purchase a unit (perhaps like a condo or co-op structure). We are also interested in attracting renters at various price-points. It all depends on location, of course… our target areas are central NJ and eastern PA.
At the virtual meeting on May 24th, we plan to form a serious group in which each household invests $1000+ (or equivalent) into a dedicated account to be used to evaluate and ultimately acquire a property. More details will be presented during the Meetup, so don’t miss it if you’re available — or make sure you look for the recording!
In the meantime, we are also seeking one or more like-minded individuals or couples to share our current co-living arrangements, a six-bedroom home with amazing views and amenities, until we’re ready to move into a new community in a year or so. (Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Please note that this is not our regular Zoom meeting room. You must be registered to attend the event.
A Final Word
These are undoubtedly special times. The distinctive ideas of our movement have never been so relevant. Our vision of a transformed society has never been so appealing. Join us from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 24 to hear about how ecovillages and cohousing communities have been coping and to discuss the implications for our own efforts in the tri-state region.
(Here’s a homework assignment between now and then: Can we figure out how to do a Virtual Pot-Luck?)