2017 at the Port Townsend EcoVillage was full of blessings, opportunities and challenges, as we grew to 28 adults and 10 children.
John and Gretchen moved into the beautiful home they had been building mostly themselves for 4 years and are happily settled in as housemates doing a tenancy in common.
Bekka moved from her apartment on 35th Street to Kees and Helen’s upstairs. Liseth has been a long-term guest of Kees and Helen since early summer.
With the completion of Kees and Helen’s duplex in May, three new families arrived in June. Brandon and Erica and their two girls, Josie and Zella; Jonathan and Liz Arp and their daughter Milena; and Gene and Crystal Eisele and their two children Byron and Rowan.
Beau Baker, Melanie Krupa, their son Lochlan and daughter Meriel, arrived in late spring, built a beautiful wooden yurt kit next to the duplex, and moved in in December.
Kate Schinhofen and Gene and Crystal and the Site Team/Tiny House liaison puzzled through tiny house designs and layout of the tiny houses on the tiny house rental lot. Kate obtained approval of her plans from the city and will begin construction this spring. Gene and Crystal, designing for family of four, had numerous challenges, but have submitted their plans to the city and are on track to start building in 2018.
The arrival of many children at about the same time was exciting and sometimes challenging, representing a huge step toward our vision of a vibrant multi-generational intentional community. The new children blended with the already present children, and the energy of the pack of children playing on the Commons and devising “shows” for the adults to witness raised our collective spirits.
The birth of baby Josiah to Marc and Zhaleh helped lead to their decision to move their family of 6 out of their house on 35th Street, to a home not far away in Port Townsend, where they have more room for their family and business. Their house is now for sale.
Progress was made on the design of the Common House and related projects, such as finding new places to store materials in the red shed/barn that will be coming down in 2018 to make way for the Common House. A storage area was built on the north side of the Shop/Art Center (SAC), and the ground floor of the west end of that building will be finished in 2018 for community use.
The Art Center rooms were used for some small and some larger meetings and some community dinners, since we no longer all fit in most homes’ living rooms!
For the first time the Community Garden had a paid garden consultant/manager to help plan and plant a very productive annual vegetable garden. Planning for and planting perennials is still a vision.
Monday night shared meals continue to be part of our community glue, and also we share community meals after our monthly community meetings and work parties. Special community happenings are planned by different individuals each month that contribute to community spirit.
The Family Task Force and the Diversity Task Force brought thought provoking and fun activities to the community.
We continued to build relationships both with individuals and the community-at-large of Port Townsend. We hosted many visitors to the village, including a tour for the Economics of Happiness Conference held at Fort Worden in October, as well as a visit from a sustainability class from Evergreen College, and people looking for intentional community. The Membership Team was kept busy with applications for rental housing under our affordable housing initiative.
The Process Team was kept busy with the responsibility of keeping tabs on the “health of the organism” when some personal, interpersonal and group issues surfaced that affected the whole community. The increase in new residents moving into a community of residents with a long standing history with each other motivated the village to do some research on alternative models of governance and decision making, as well as to do some trainings on anti-oppression work.
The Finance Team guided the community through the establishment of an updated Development Budget so that planning for the design and construction of the Common House and other infrastructure could go forward.
Only one house lot remains available for sale. We welcome new members, including families with children. If you are curious what life is like here in community, we invite you to come to a tour, a community meeting, a work party, or all three. We believe that building relationships with potential residents is the surest way to grow a happy, healthy village.
Looking forward in 2018 to…
Finishing plans and starting to build our Common House.
Welcoming the new tiny house builders and watching the three homes emerge on the land.
Continuing the process of integrating new members and enjoying the joys and challenges of a family-rich village.
Setting up a metal/bike multi-use shop on the west end of the Shop/Art Center.
Exploring governance options.
Continuing to learn and reflect about dynamics of oppression and how we can change them in our ecovillage and broader communities.