EcoReality Sustainable Land Use and Education Cooperative is developing an ecovillage in the south Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. This ecovillage will be a model of sustainable food and energy production and will include public outreach and education as goals.
We have acquired a 43-acre property next to a 61-acre “community farmland” site, backed by a thousand of acres of public parkland, all the way to the highest peak on the island, and down to the ocean.
The property has cleared, productive farmland (mostly in hay), riparian and laucustrine areas, and young forest. The public parkland extends from the highest point on the island (Bruce Peak, at 704 metres), all the way to the ocean at Burgoyne Bay, and up the other side to the second-highest point (Mount Maxwell, at 579 metres).
All of the property is irrigated by a two-acre pond and two year-round streams via an extensive buried irrigation system. The class-2 soils are in growing zones 8 and 9. We have been implementing a Permaculture design for the site.
Two houses with a total of 4,200 sq ft of living space have ten bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two kitchens between them, as well as ample room for meetings and home-based businesses. Three members live in these buildings, sharing them with renters, WWOOFers, and visitors.
A garage/studio/workshop of about 1,200 sq ft is used as a classroom for Permaculture and agriculture classes and public events. The classroom seats 40.
New in 2012 is a 3,550 sqft greenhouse, divided into zones for propagation, nursery, and direct seeding.
We have begun a public education campaign leading to re-zoning that will enable construction of a number of additional dwelling units. Current zoning allows three additional houses and a cottage. We have completed studies that show a larger number of dwelling units are appropriate, based on both carrying capacity of the land and agricultural labour needs, which is the legal requirement for more dwellings. This will be a political process, with at least three government bodies and public hearings involved.
We are seeking additional members who can contribute approximately half the value of a typical North American suburban house to the project. Prospective members with outstanding skills who can contribute less are encouraged to contact us.
Status: seeking funding members
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: EcoReality is developing an ecovillage on 100 acres of public/co-op land in the South Gulf Islands of British Columbia. This ecovillage will be a model of sustainable development, and will feature public outreach and education as included goals.
Gulf Islands Driftwood
: Article about EcoReality's goats serving the community as an invasive species intake site.
: A newspaper article about EcoReality's metamorphosis.
Escape From Suburbia
: Co-founders Jan Steinman and Carol Wagner are featured in this documentary film by Greg Greene.
: Co-founder Jan Steinman is interviewed at 7:30 into this video blog. (Warning: considerable profanity before the interview.)
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