This is how we Dreem Reality

Our Mission: To educate ourselves and others on the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability through the creation and sharing of research, specialty projects, and hands-on experience. To develop an Education and Research Eco-Facility to explore, enact, and demonstrate sustainability in a community setting.

Monday, December 26, 2011

EVRP - Earthaven Research Overview

This blog will offer an overview of the preparing research done on Earthaven Ecovillage, exploring the various foundational, organizational, and sustainable elements. The abundance of information below was gathered from the Earthaven website, which is exceptional!

For more detailed information you can check out:
·      Full-Detailed Earthaven Report on The D.r.e.e.m. Reality EVRP Creation Site
·      The Earthaven Website

I. Foundational Information
·      Founded: 1995 (paid off in 2005- $580,000)
·      Location: Black Mountains, North Carolina. Southern Appalachain Mountains, Katuah Bioregion
·      Geographical Information: 320 acres, 2000-2600 ft elevation, forested mountain land (3 valleys, streams & springs, flood plains, bottom land, steeper ridge slopes)
·       Infrastructure: Approx. 35 buildings throughout 14 neighborhoods. Roads, footpaths, bridges, campgrounds, ponds, constructed wetlands, off-grid power systems, gardens, Council Hall, kitchen-dining room, small swellings, several homes
II. Organizational Information
·      Land Ownership: Legal entity is Homeowners Association (members own all property & assets in common), Individual Site Leases for member homesites (not deed or title)
·      Decision Making: Consensus based, Council and committee structure
·      “Income-Independent Community” – each member responsible for earning own living

III. Visiting Information
·      Tours: Alternating Saturdays at 10:00am
·      Classes: Various topics
·      Live & Work Arrangement: Hosted by members, multi-month commitment, approx. 24 hrs/wk, site development
·      In-depth Vistor Week: tour, panel of members, presentations, etc
·      Camping: April 3 – Nov 1

III. Social Information
A.    Membership
·      Approx 60 members (40-50 live on site, 8-10 children)
·      Membership process: Supporting member (financial contribution, camping), Exploring member (lives onsite months to a year, non-member fees, community service), Provisional member (6mo – year, community members asses better), Full membership (live in community, build home/hut, full decision-making rights)
·      Fees (varies due to annual economics): 1-time joining fee $4,200, 1-time residential site lease $10,500 – $21,000 depending on size of site & family
·      Annual Community Service Requirement: Full members- 1,500 hrs over 10yrs, Provisional members- 48 hrs per quarter
B.    Community Life
·      Shared meals in various locations/neighborhoods, individual homesites
·      Community Events: movies, music, potlucks, dancing, games, holidays, yoga, crafts, etc
·      Children & Families: Kids homeschooled in “Forest Children Collective”
·      No community-wide spiritual practice, general awareness of Earth’s Spirit

IV. Environmental Information
A.    Energy & Water
·      100% off the grid! Hydro-electric/micro-hydro, passive & active solar, propane where necessary, active energy conservation
·      Automobiles: some biofuel production, mostly gasoline vehicles, future goals for ethanol-based vehicle fleet and car co-op
·      Water: Retain as much as possible – roof catchments, swales, dug ponds
B.    Agriculture
·      Not yet growing all own food, near future goals
·      Developed fields, orchards, terraced areas used for variety of farms & gardens (herbs, animal, medicinal plants, trout pond, nursery, CSA farm, biofuel, honey/bees)
·      Practice Sustainable Forestry and preserve much wilderness
C.    Architecture
·      Build with natural Earth-friendly materials, living roofs, lumber milled from trees on land, recycled building material, straw-bale, cob, etc
·      One Earthship on location
·      Community buildings and Individual homes
D.    Waste Management
·      Composting, human waste management

V. Economic Information
A.    Assets & Liabilities
·      Earthaven Association: all Earthaven members own all Earthaven property and assets in common through homewoners association, individual members have Site Lease but not deed and title to homesite
·      Land: Homeowners Association, Land Use and Common Rights Agreement of Earthaven Association, purchased by private member loans, if disbanded sales distributed proportionately, profit distributed evenly.
·      Expenses: Annual Operating Expenses (property tax, insurance, repair & maintenance, roads, bridges, equipment, promotions, admin costs of committees, legal & accounting services. One-time Expenses/Capital Expenditures (clearing land, build new buildings, roads, bridges, power systems, improving/remodel, new equipment, repay debts for infrastructure build by members)
B.    Income
·      “Independent-Income Community” – each member responsible for earning own income
·      Developing “Village-scale economy” – encourage members to make living on village by operating own small-scale ecologically sound businesses, hiring each other when possible, or telecommuting to outside jobs
·      Community Non-recurring income: new member joining fees & site lease fees
·      Community Recurring: monthly dues & fees from non-member & member residents, special event fees, agricultural lease fees, electricity sales, grants & donations
·      Member Income – various partime on/off site jobs, workshops/classes, site development, energy system installation, rental, plant/herb sales, consultation, etc  

Thanks for following along!


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