2019 – early 2022 Highlights

To fill in the gap in our postings of highlights, here’s a very brief summary from 2019 to early 2022.

Comings and goings

As of early 2022 we are 44 ecovillagers! Several folks formerly living at the EcoVillage have moved on, and others have arrived to bring new energy, including a new baby born in February. We look forward to filling living spaces that will come available this year, hopefully including families and young folks to balance our demographics.

Tiny house video!

For great visuals of the village and special focus on two of our tiny houses, see the beautiful video from Tiny House Expedition crew.

Major construction is almost finished

Sergio and Erin Scabuzzo broke ground for building the last home on the tiny house lot in January 2022. They moved from Southern California in the middle of the pandemic and have been living in rental spaces while finishing their home design, getting approval of the plans from the City, lining up contractor work. They have brought a lot of vibrant energy to the community, along with their dog Charlie. 

The Mason-Kleeb family, who bought the last of the 12 lots for homebuilding, have a beautiful home in the finishing stages that they will move into in 2022. Both parents and the two children are looking forward to finally living at the EcoVillage and being close to all the action and interactions here!

The Common House

Construction started in 2019 and has progressed slowly, but the end is in sight. The goal is to have an occupancy permit in August 2022, and there will still be many finishing touches to complete after that. We can’t wait to cook up some community dinners in the spacious kitchen and share them in the spacious great room. Plant and food lovers are scheming up herb gardens just a few steps through the kitchen door and landscaping.  

Kids’ play structure

Built at the edge of one of the central gardens, right in the center of the community. And a new community fire-pit sprung up to accommodate more people at outdoor gatherings, which take place there and at our established village green.

Sociocracy, a new governance and decision-making system

After experimenting with sociocracy, a governance and decision making model, since late 2018, and lots of trainings, surveys and evaluations, the community consented, in January 2022, to a Governance Agreement that uses sociocratic structures. While our former consensus decision making model worked well for many years, with more people we’re learning to like our structure of empowered circles and sub-circles, a HUB for coordination, and a standard of “good enough for now, safe enough to try” and built-in review cycles to guide our decisions.

Pandemic challenges and successes

The pandemic has brought challenges to everyone, and we feel it especially around weakened “community glue” due to limited in-person gatherings. We transitioned skillfully to meeting mostly on Zoom, and have discovered some unexpected bonuses to that format, as well as gathering outdoors and treasuring all the random daily connections that can happen in an intentional community setting, to counter isolation.

 A newly formed Human Rights SubCircle created and proposed an Agreement on Prohibition of Harassment, which has a no tolerance statement and clear processes for handling, investigating and resolving complaints of harassment. 

 Though the community has long used and offered Marshall Rosenberg’s NVC (NonViolent Communication) practices to deal with conflicts, we decided to seek the help of an outside facilitator whose guidance resulted in the creation of a Conflict System Team to create a conflict engagement system. The system will offer facilitators, processes and practices to help us build more confidence and trust in working through conflict to come to understanding, if not agreement, in working together and in interpersonal relations.

The Gardens Grow

There have been community gardens since the initial days of planning for this intentional community. We have grown with them, in understanding of the needs of the soil, in the practices we use to tend the gardens, and creative experimentation. Scion wood grafted to dwarf and semi-dwarf root stock almost ten years ago is now producing some bumper crops of apples, new trees have been added to the orchard area, nut trees planted, raspberries flourishing in new beds, thornless blackberries and elderberries taking off. Deer fencing has been extended and reinforced and so far of late we have had few incursions.The Annual Garden SubCircle guides the planning, planting, maintenance and harvesting of a large variety of vegetables for the community. Some individually tended Pea Patches have expanded, some contracted or changed locations, and private gardens around homes are either maturing or just taking off.

Reuse and recycling of materials

An important value in the EcoVillage, and our Resources Circle has sorted, consolidated and tidied up the “Bone Yard” and other areas where materials are stored. We replaced the old pump for the well we use for irrigation: a good reminder that Water is Life and how fortunate we are to have a well.

2018 Highlights

What a big year!

We finished designing our future 2100 square-foot Common House, with input from the whole community and a dedicated team of Common House shepherds, and submitted plans to the city. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2019 and there will be lots of opportunity to help with this project that is an important part of our community vision.

We gradually emptied and dismantled the red shed, on the site where the Common House will be built, in the center of the village, and used part of it to build a new garden shed/gathering spot on the edge of our central open space.

Jim, Terri and Bekka got their occupancy permit, and are living in their beautiful, innovative home, with living roof, trombe wall, many hand-built touches.

We welcomed Nancy Riou as our second future tiny house dweller, and construction got underway on the two small homes on our tiny house lot.

Gene and Crystal, and their children Byron and Rowan, moved on to their new digs in their homemade yurt, on nearby farmland.

Nancy Powell joined the community, buying the house built and formerly occupied by Marc and Zhaleh and family, and is settling in and thriving, along with her elderly pup.

We welcomed Samara Jade as a long-term guest.

We consensed on undertaking a year-long experiment in using Sociocracy as our governance model, conducted trainings, organized ourselves into 4 main circles (Organization, Resources, People, and Land and Animals), several subcircles, as well as a coordinating HUB. Subcircles currently include governance, legal, finance, animals, transforming conflict, membership, Economic Access Council, common house, facilities.

Our gardens provided abundant food for the community over the growing season, receiving twice weekly boosts via fun work parties Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

We received frequent visits from work-away guests, helping out the Shelley-Rose family, and from grandchildren, who are forming lasting friendships with our ecovillage kids.

We celebrated the seasons, including a Winter Solstice fire circle and giving circle with a fabulous meal and toasts to the incredible people that make up the Port Townsend EcoVillage.

Post 2018 update: In April 2019 we sold the last of our 12 lots to Hillary and Andrew and their two children River and Aspen, filling in our village to the point that our only remaining vacancy is one tiny house site. If you are interested in being that lucky last one(s), please explore our website further and contact us at info@ptecovillage.net.

Looking forward in 2019 to…

Finding a member or members for the last tiny house site
Getting going on building our Common House
Reconfiguring fencing and parking
Continuing our Sociocracy experiment, incorporating feedback, fleshing out our circles and subcircles and adjusting our governance system as necessary.
Deepening our connections with each other, the land and the greater community.
Basking in gratitude for the heartfelt contributions of all our residents to this amazing EcoVillage, as we continue to move toward our beautiful vision.

2017 Highlights

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.

2016 Highlights

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.

2014 Highlights

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 Highlights

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.

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