2016 was a milestone year, with lots of building, comings and goings, and moving together in forward motion. The blessing of being in a community with friends who share a vision for a just and sustainable world was made even more dear to us when the outside world took such an unhappy turn. Yet, we have so much to be thankful for:
- We updated our Vision Statement, which has served us well since our inception in 2004, and committed to keeping it a living document to guide us toward collective manifestation.
- We began the process of designing our Common House, which we plan to build over the next year or two.
- The community consensed on creating an open space, a village green in the center of the community, suitable for gatherings, play and hanging out, and the area was graded, raked and seeded.
- Zack, Judy, Eliott and Henry moved to their new home outside the EcoVillage, and Julie and Kai moved on, allowing Bob to move into the cabin in the woods and opening up space in the West CoHo for Warren, Alexa, Ian (8), Olivia (6) and Tobin (4) to move in.
- Bedelia left the East CoHo for South America, and Alex moved in.
- Beau, Melanie and their two children, Lochlan (12) and Meriel (2) bought Lot 10 with the intention to move here from Iowa and build a wooden yurt kit in 2017. Hooray, another new family, and the penultimate lot sold!
- The Wyeth family left Ruth’s house upon her return from a long road trip, and they maintain connection through Monday night dinners.
- 3 tiny home sites were prepared – grading done, utility lines brought in – and negotiations were made with the City to make space for small affordable homes to be built on site or brought in on Lot 9.
Duplex under Construction
- Kees and Helen’s duplex on Lot 11 went up – SIPs walls, roof, windows and doors – moving us closer toward a shared vision of affordable space and more families at the PTEV.
- 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.
- Marc, Zhaleh and family acquired a dog, Tara, and have a new baby on the way!
- Melanie Rios facilitated our spring retreat, helping open the way to deeper understanding, and introducing useful processes and perspectives for looking at issues and making decisions.
- The wood shop and arts/craft spaces in the SAC were substantially completed and are starting to get used a lot (especially the wood shop).
- Volunteers helped plant young fruit trees in the early spring, and the woody debris pile was chipped in the fall to sheet mulch our expanding orchard area.
- The community garden raised a lot of delicious, healthy vegetables with the guidance and extra effort of Bekka and planning help from Deanna; compost from Jim.
- We continued to build relationships both with individuals and the community-at-large of Port Townsend and hosted many visitors to the village, including a tour for Northwest Permaculture Convergence attendees in October, and a visit from classes at Evergreen College.
- Several people who visited Laurence and Deanna became volunteer helpers on the land or other residents’ house-building projects.
- Great progress was made on Jim/Terri/Bekka’s home and John and Gretchen were close to finishing theirs at the end of 2016.
- The Membership Team prepared to accept applications for rental housing under our affordable housing policy.
- Thursday nights became a time for many of the village women to gather and explore being “joy buddies” through laughter and tears.
Looking forward in 2017 to…
- Welcoming new residents along 35th Street: in the duplex, in the small homes yet to be built or brought to Lot 9, and in Beau and Melanie’s round house.
- Maybe we’ll even find a buyer for Lot 8, the last one available.
- The moving parties and celebrations we’ll have when John and Gretchen and Jim, Terri and Bekka get occupancy permits on their homes.
- The challenge and fun of designing the Common House and beginning construction.
- Gardening in community and working toward more intentional soil building and land stewardship; adding to our perennial plantings.
Only one house lot remains available for sale, and there are three spaces for small (tiny) homes available to lease. 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.
In 2014 the EcoVillage focused on homebuilding and growing our community. We are eager to welcome new members, especially families with children.
- We are now 26 residents and core participants, including 5 kids.
- Great progress was made on 3 new houses being built:
- Laurence and Deanna’s innovative and beautiful home with light clay straw walls was signed off for occupancy at the end of the year, thanks in part to lots of help from a gang of natural builders from Olympia who came for multiple convivial stints of building, singing and bodywork.
Laurence and Deanna’s home and keyhole garden beds
- The Jim/Terri/Bekka home got a cool pyramid roof over the second floor and earth berming, and the John/Gretchen home got windows, doors, and siding with a mountain profile made out of their site-milled fir boards, and stucco applied at a big party in November.
- Ruth had a two-bedroom addition built on her house, making it a much roomier, functional and flexible space. We celebrated winter solstice there to Ruth’s delight.
Stucco party at John and Gretchen’s
- Kees and Helen completed a sunroom with multiple energy-boosting functions and a Trombe wall that will supplement their already super-efficient home and provide a warm space to enjoy year round.
- Zach and Judy have the latest EcoVillage baby in the oven, due in March 2015.
- Brian and Sarah departed for Portland and Bob Simmons has become our most recent and valued addition to the residents of our large shared house, which we call the CoHo.
- After almost 9 years in Port Townsend, Gretchen finally moved onto the PTEV land, joining Kees and Helen in their home, while her house is being completed.
- For food-growing, we experimented with a community garden approach in which each participant chose a crop to plant and tend, with guidance from Zach and Judy, resulting in a great abundance of delicious veggies and fruits.
- We planted a fedgerow of hazelnut bushes and huckleberries along the east side of the village.
- We cleaned up the boneyard and made huge progress on insulating and wiring the woodshop and finishing the youth space in our large Shop/Art Center building.
- Our kids and visiting grandkids have graced the land with their happy youthful energy.
- We considered only a few proposals and focused more on process, including seasonal celebrations and the creation of a haybale gathering circle near the center of the property, bedecked with flags of the 6 directions.
- We continued Monday night community meals attended by most ecovillagers and share yummy community meals after our monthly community meeting and work parties.
Looking forward in 2015 to…
- Welcoming Laurence and Deanna full time on site, when they move into their beautiful home (still not quite done) in March!
- Welcoming the arrival of Zach and Judy’s baby and supporting them as a growing family.
- More homebuilding, completing the woodshop, and organizing the Shop/Art Center.
- Community gardening and adding to our perennial plantings.
2015 was a year of big comings and goings, big happenings, and big progress at the Port Townsend EcoVillage.
- Laurence and Deanna finished (well, almost finished) their beautiful light-clay straw-walled house and moved in in March.
- Elliot’s new baby brother Henry arrived at the end of March, and has become the bestower of the best smiles in the village, as his parents Zach and Judy surely would agree!
- Ruth retired from her job with the school district, and took off on a big road trip, renting her house to the Wyeth family, who have blessed the village since August with their two spunky 10 year-old girls!
- New renters Bedelia, Julie and 5 year-old Kai arrived in September at the CoHo, the village’s large shared home, and are adding their energy and presence to the village.
- Bob purchased the cottage in the woods, becoming the newest ecovillage co-owner.
- Bekka travelled to Europe, worked as a woofer in Latvia, and brought back some excellent buckwheat recipes.
- David fulfilled a lifelong dream of walking across the Olympic Mountains, first dipping his toes in the waters of Puget Sound and ending at the Pacific Ocean. We celebrated his journey, and his 70th birthday, at our first community meal of the fall.
- Stacy became Port Townsend School District’s director of food service, realizing her passion to feed kids healthy food, and, with Kees’ election to the hospital commission, the number of hospital commissioners here at the Village doubled!
- In June, we held a design workshop/charrette to explore low-cost housing alternatives for people interested in joining our EcoVillage, especially younger folks and families with limited income. The workshop included both current EcoVillagers and people outside of EcoVillage who helped us envision creative, yet practical strategies for affordability.
- At the end of the year, we consensed on a low-cost affordable housing proposal that provides for building a duplex house for families on one lot, and installing infrastructure to accommodate 3 tiny houses (to be built by their inhabitants) on another lot. Plus, we’ll start designing our Common House!
- The CoHo got fresh stain on the entire exterior and is looking spiffy, having received some major maintenance attention, with lots of elbow grease from many community members.
- Huge transformation took place at the shop/art center: the exterior was stained, a beautiful bridge built to the second floor to make it accessible without going through our newly organized and well equipped woodshop on the first floor. Plus a storage loft and an insulated arts and crafts space were created, with more windows added, opening up lots of new possibilities for using this amazing community resource.
Shop/Art Center with New Coat of Paint and Bridge to 2nd Floor
- For a second year, we experimented with a community garden approach in which each participant chose a crop to plant and tend, leading to great abundance despite the dry and seemingly endless summer.
- Monday night shared meals continue to be part of our community glue, and also we share yummy community meals after our monthly community meetings and work parties.
- We continued to build relationships both with individuals and the community-at-large of Port Townsend and hosted many visitors to the village.
Looking forward in 2016 to…
- Building a duplex for affordable housing for families, and putting in infrastructure for 3 tiny houses and finding new people to join us as we grow!
- Designing a Common House, to be constructed by the end of 2018.
- Working with an outside facilitator to help us examine and refresh our vision, community dynamics and processes.
- Gardening with coordination from Bekka, working toward healthier soil building and intentional land stewardship, and adding to our perennial plantings.
- Blessing the journey of the Gayne family (Zach, Judy, Elliot and Henry) as they move to land they have purchased and plan to farm nearby, and having Bob move in to the cottage where they’ve been.
- Welcoming Ruth back from her amazing post-retirement 9-month road-trip.
Only two house lots remain available for sale. We welcome new members, especially 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 owners is the surest way to grow a happy, healthy village.