Alexa Sunshine Rose and family
Alexa lives with her three children in a rental home at the EcoVillage, with partner and co-parent Aimee living nearby. Alexa is a sound engineer, musician and song-leader and visual artist who grew up in Port Townsend. She lived in California and Hawaii for a number of years and then came back to Port Townsend to raise her children here. She moved to the EcoVillage in 2016, although she was actually one of the early “members” of PTEV back in 2002, at the age of 17, when she paid a membership fee and attended meetings to brainstorm the potential future of the EcoVillage… before realizing that she wanted to travel the world before settling down. Now, 20 years later, she is grateful to be back, raising her family in the town that raised her. Alexa’s children are currently 14, 11 and 8 (although that number just keeps changing!). They love biking, art projects and exploring the natural world.
After living in Port Townsend for almost a year, I showed up for a tour of the PTEV, stayed for the meeting and dinner, and was drawn to the community’s welcoming friendliness. Soon, it was clear to me how committed this group is to clear, honest and respectful communication. Eight years later, I find myself building an Ecovillage with a bunch of fun, talented, kind, and energized people.
Originally from the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay, I’ve been adventuring westward since 1996 when I took a break from my career in job training to explore national parks and visit intentional communities. I spent several years at Sandhill Farm in northeast Missouri where I enjoyed rural life at an income-sharing community and acquired a passion for growing food.
I’m living across the road from the PTEV while my friends Jim, Terri and I build our earth-sheltered house, and I spend a lot of time on the land especially in the gardens. I currently serve the Board and the Food Team, and previously served as Secretary for 2 years.
This last year, I’ve been exploring what’s next for me work-wise and have done some traveling. I helped organize the Jefferson County Local Food System Council and joined both the Farm To School Board and the Kul Kah Han Native Plant Garden. When I’m not sewing, braiding wool rugs, writing, making collage, in the garden, watching films, or riding my bike to the beach, you might find me curled up with a science fiction book.
I enjoy life here on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and living in the EcoVillage. I moved here in March 2014, rented a room for 2 years, then moved into a beautiful cottage in the EcoVillage woods. Everyday I make a bit of time to appreciate and take in the incredible land and seascape that surrounds me. I feel fortunate that my work is focused on empowering others to protect and restore this environment that sustains our lives and the natural resource based industries here (think oysters, salmon and forests). I have an awesome, well balanced, artistic 22 yr old daughter, Autumn, who is about to finish up her undergraduate degree in Art Therapy. I love surfing, swimming, hiking, dancing and music festivals, as well as cooking and partaking in our local food system.
David Berrian and Viki Sonntag
We left the big city in search of a place with heart and found Port Townsend EcoVillage, a community within a community, nestled in nature – a place of intimacy, caring and aliveness. Since joining the village in November of 2012, we have been making the shift from doing to being and have stepped out on the learning curve of what it means to be a communitarian.
David: After a long, varied “career” that included teaching, community organizing, economic analysis, planning, assembly line work, and being a bureaucrat, I am settling into a mutually supportive community that reflects my values. I continue to be a supporter of the Nonviolent Peaceforce and a war tax resister. I enjoy the beaches and forests; delight in playing in the mud (a.k.a. gardening), and occasionally get a kick out of photography and video production. I think the world and all of us are in for some tough times in the years ahead and having the means to care for one another will be essential to our ability to adapt. I am grateful to my partner, Viki, and to all of Port Townsend EcoVillage for providing a place I can call home.
Viki: It has long been Viki’s dream to live in a human-scale community, harking back to her days of growing up overseas in small villages on the edge of the known world (to those back home) and reading bucket loads of science fiction books starring small bands of folks on quests to live differently. For her livelihood as a grassroots researcher and data maven, she studies sustainable production/consumption systems, resource flows in networks, and artisan and community economies. Her passion is summed up in the belief that everyone should have enough and no one should have too much. She feels blessed in her relationships with family (a beautiful, funny and compassionate daughter, her partner David’s gifted daughter and two peachy grandkids) and many friends, those back in the city and her new found ones in Port Townsend.
Deanna grew up on a small dairy farm in Michigan where neighbors helped each other harvest, and social events centered around Farm Bureau meetings, 4-H, ice cream socials, school and extended family gatherings.
After university music school, Deanna got involved in her son’s alternative day care center and an alternative high school, helped start a hands-on children’s museum, and began a career as a legal worker in law collectives in Michigan and in Seattle. She worked closely with the National Lawyer’s Guild, a progressive organization that promotes the principle of human rights over property rights.
During early retirement to Port Townsend, Deanna focused primarily on visiting grandchildren, making prints and books, playing music, hiking, and caring for beloved parents and relatives.
Deanna has a life-long enjoyment of connection with the natural world through gardening, being around animals, playing in trees, hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing. Her connections with Port Townsend EcoVillage folks, especially with her partner Laurence, evolved into a decision to become part of the community.
Building a natural home with Laurence and the help of designer Anne Raab, natural builder Joseph Becker, local builder and friend Doug Milholland (Blue Heron Construction), and the many friends and volunteers who became friends, who came to sing, to fill the walls with light straw/clay, to plaster inside and out, to carve ornamental designs in the moldings, to create cabinets, to sit around the table to tell stories and share meals, to memorialize this living dwelling in poetry, has changed Deanna’s life.
She’s currently part of the Food Team and the Comprehensive Site Plan Team, and excited about building community in a variety of ways in this special place.
Erin and Sergio Scabuzzo
Longing for community, the lush greens of the PNW, and a slower more intentional life, Erin, Sergio, and their pup Charlie moved to the Port Townsend EcoVillage in early 2021 from the mountains of Topanga Canyon, California. They live in one of the three tiny houses in the EcoVillage. They have been living in small dwellings for many years and, as a bonus, love the reduced amount of cleaning!
Erin plays an active part in planning & tending to our beautiful, large organic gardens. She feels great joy when watching a wee sprout turn into a mighty collard or spending the summers picking and eating raspberries, peaches, and tomatoes amongst the towering sunflowers in the EcoVillage. She is a professional film photographer, avid crafter, bread baker, and overall Do-It-Yourself-er who values human connection, kindness, and play.
Sergio was born in Córdoba, Argentina and has been in the United States since 1989. He is passionate about living lightly on this wonderful blue orb we call home, the kingdom of flora, natural building, water harvesting (rainwater and greywater), composting toilets, Permaculture, and land management practices. Actually, good luck finding something that won’t interest him! He gets the bills paid by helping maintain/optimize the websites of Eco-friendly, community oriented, organizations.
Gretchen moved from Seattle to Port Townsend in 2006 to help create this quirky experiment we call the PT EcoVillage. She loves the way this enables her to integrate community, social life, working on a common project for the greater good, cultural shift and spiritual/personal growth and learning. A full and rewarding life here also includes co-directing the PT Songlines choir with fellow ecovillager Laurence Cole, songwriting, making music and conversation with friends, solitude, hiking, and exploring our beloved Cascadia home, and leading workshops that combine group singing and Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects . She’s a freelance translator of Spanish and English, has lived and worked extensively in Latin America, is the mother of two wonderful grown children in Seattle, and a sucker for huckleberry pie. Ask her and she’ll whip off her necklace and tell you the Story of the Universe in beads.
After spending a year living in a small town in the Peruvian Andes, Helen and her husband, Kees, moved to Port Townsend to escape the frenzy of Seattle where they had raised their two children. They bought 7 acres and have been collaborating with a dedicated group of folks to create the Port Townsend EcoVillage on that land.
Helen has spent her time mainly as an educator and activist. She taught high school Sociology in Puerto Rico, was a family planning educator with Planned Parenthood, helped organize the Beyond War peace movement in Seattle, volunteered as a mediator, planned conferences, and co-authored a field guide to the wildflowers of the Peruvian Andes. She has organized discussion courses through the NW Earth Institute and has been active in her Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She has led adult wilderness quests with Rite of Passage Journeys. She enjoys painting, biking, hiking, being a grandmother, and working to realize the Port Townsend EcoVillage vision.
Kees was born in the Netherlands, and his first name (pronounced “Case”) is the official Dutch nickname for Cornelis. He is a retired Pediatrician with experience in public health. After serving 17 years as Medical Director for an Hispanic Community Health Center (SeaMar) headquartered in Seattle, he and his wife Helen volunteered in the Peruvian Andes for a year with The Mountain Institute. They returned determined to live more sustainably, bought 71/2 acres, and co-founded what is now the Port Townsend EcoVillage. He has served as President of Jefferson Land Trust as well as Mayor of Port Townsend.
Kees was founding chair of the City County Climate Action Committee and of the Green Sanctuary Committee at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He is President of Jefferson County Recyclery, with a mission to promote bicycle use for a healthier and more sustainable community, and also serves as one of the elected commissioners of local Jefferson County Public Hospital District. Kees likes to sing, keep bees, bike, hike, backcountry ski and show off his experimental Trombe Wall water bottle home heating system. He and Helen have a daughter Adri and son-in-law Randy who live in Seattle, and their kids Adam and Cora love coming to the EcoVillage.
Jim Salter and Terri Wardrop
Jim: Jim is a native of central Puget Sound. His love of nature comes from camping and hiking in the Olympic Mountains as a child. Jim has been a social, political, environmental activist since 1969 and has been growing organic food and herbs for over 35 years. Recently, Jim has been building a home for his wife and another member of the ecovillage. Jim’s wealth of knowledge and experience in community living comes from co-creating and living in a nine family cohousing group for 16 years before joining into developing the Port Townsend EcoVillage. He also has experienced the value of raising children in community, for the child as well as the parents. At the co-housing community, Jim built a small house with 75% recycled and salvage materials, using his skills as a self-employed building contractor and finish carpenter.
The house Jim is building is utilizing many natural building techniques such as recycled materials, light straw clay walls, cob floors, lime and clay plasters and a live roof. Many hands (and feet) over the years helped us to create this home and are greatly appreciated.
In the summer and fall, you may not find him, he’ll be picking blackberries, huckleberries or mushrooms at his secret spots (he tells no one) or harvesting herbs for his medicine chest. When you do find him not working on ‘the house’, he’ll be working with plants, propagating, planting trees and shrubs and experimenting with growing staple foods. His other favorite, all year around, thing to do is biking to the Salish Sea for an early morning skinny dip before breakfast.
Terri: Terri moved 12 times between the ages of six and seventeen (and she was not a military brat). She has lived in four states and a foreign country. She eventually had a houseboat built so she could take her home with her. On her first visit to Port Townsend in 1984 she felt like she was coming home. It took Terri over 20 years, but she has finally made it home. As an adult, she has lived in numerous shared housing situations, including a co-housing community for about five years. Terri thought she had died and gone to heaven when she read the PTEV’s vision statement and saw the words consensus, social justice, nonviolent communication, and permaculture. Some of her other passions are children, poetry, garlic, walking/hiking, reading, dancing … Maybe she is quietly passionate about too many things to list. One of her favorite pastimes is laughing with her partner, Jim. Terri earns money adjunct faculty in early childhood, though she has had a number of career incarnations over the years.
I’m drawn to the ecovillage by my desire to live in community with others who also seek simpler more sustainable ways of living. I’m motivated by the thought of moving ever closer to a lifestyle that the Planet can actually support, and being surrounded by community in the process.
I was born and raised in the beloved Mountains of Montana, but have lived in the this sweet community of Port Townsend for 25 years now. Though I don’t live on site yet, I have been involved with the ecovillage since its conception. I value the mix of community within community.
I have always had a deep connection with nature. The natural world is the basis of my inspiration, spirituality, recreation, basic well-being, and in fact survival. I bring an array of practical skills to the ecovillage, and look forward to co-creating a home there over the next 2 years.
The Kleeb-Mason household arrived in Port Townsend in 2019, building their house on the last full lot in the EcoVillage.
Ocean was born in Seattle and has lived their whole life in the Pacific Northwest. They love the being in and on the water, the mountains and making meaningful connections with others. Ocean’s roles as a parent, partner and community member bring them richness, and they find great joy in learning in finding ways to create a more loving and equitable world.
Hillary fell in love with the Pacific Northwest over 20 years ago, and hasn’t looked back. She shuns the heat of her childhood, and loves the many textures of gray, and how very special the blue sky is. She dreamed of living in an intentional community when attending college, and is so happy to be doing that now. She makes things with her hands, most often out of wool, herbs and fruit.
Aspen is the child of Hillary and Ocean. She loves animals of all sorts, but especially chickens and sharks, in which she is extremely knowledgeable. She likes to be active, draw, read books, grow plants and learn new things. Her family, chickens, cat, books and drawings are the five things she would save from a fire, in order.
River is part of the Kleeb-Mason family
Laurence is a 70 year old Grandpa who for six years lived in the woods at PTEV. For the last 4 years he has been living in the home of his sweetheart, Deanna Pumplin, who is also a member of the PTEV. Laurence and Deanna are in the middle of building a light straw clay house at the EcoVillage. Laurence has fallen in love with stone masonry as part of that process and also is enjoying re-upping his woodworking skills to add unique finishing touches to their home.
A student of cultural anthropology and applied behavioral science, and having lived in various intentional communities over much of his life, he has extensive experience in the joys and pitfalls of community living, which has helped him form a deep respect for the uniquely creative and skillful bunch of folks who’ve been drawn to the PTEV.
Laurence is a song writer and is the founding director of PT Songlines Community Choir here in Port Townsend, and for the last 4 years has been co-directing the choir with another PTEV member, Gretchen Sleicher. In 2010, he completed a CD and song book of 18 of his songs, entitled “This Fire, (Songs for Singing)” and enjoys travelling to various communities to lead groups in the joyous, community strengthening experience of spirited harmonic singing. His website is www.laurencecole.com where you can oreder or download his music and find out this schedule.
Laurence’s main focus at the EcoVillage over the years has been the attention he gives to the compost piles, taking great pride in the beautiful, dark and fertile addition to our garden soils every growing season.
I moved to the Port Townsend EcoVillage in 2005 for the opportunity to have a hand in shaping a community-centered way of life from the ground up and to live in a beautiful rural setting in a unique town. Learning about permaculture, participating in natural building workshops, non-violent communication skill-building and diversity training are just a few of the things I have experienced in the past few years. I am so enriched by the relationships I have developed in my community. Before joining Port Townsend EcoVillage, I had been a member of Winslow Cohousing Group on Bainbridge Island for nearly 7 years. I learned so much about working in community there, especially gaining skills in consensus. Looking back on my start in a large family living in a one-mile square section of Boston, I don’t think there have been many times I have not lived in community. And there’s no way I would ever consider anything but a community life. I have two wonderful daughters who are the pride and joy of my life, a very special son-in-law and a new grandson. Life is certainly very good.