Rock Ridge is an intentional community, land preserve and has a housing cooperative for fulltime or parttime use. We are dedicated to land restoration and peace within ourselves, our communities and the world.
We have a full house right now for residential members. But we accept non-resident members and we keep a waiting list for residential vacancies. We encourage those who want to help preserve prairie, wetlands, and oak savanna to join us in work parties. Or visit if you need some time in the country to restore yourself for the activism in your daily life. Or if you want to re-connect with a 30 year old peace and justice community. Or if you just need a quiet retreat on the land.
We have garden space and a hundred acres on which to hike, gather, and restore. But we also stay connected to our neighbors and local community which feature the arts, peacemaking, and mutual sustainability.
Our housing cooperative's duplexes are earth-sheltered so they stay cool inside in the summer(about 70 degrees)without need for air-conditioning. They stay 47 degrees or warmer all winter so wood stoves or infrared heaters are sufficient for heating.
We are organized like two non-profits. Rock Ridge Community, Inc. owns the land in common. The Rock Ridge Cooperative, Inc. owns the five earth-sheltered apartments plus some co-housing gathering space and laundry.
After 30 years of wellbeing, we've had some transitions. For an overnight stay in our co-housing space we suggest a $10 donation.
We value resolution of conflicts in a timely and affirming manner so all commit to this before joining. We have a 9 month probationary period before funds can be contributed to join.
Rock Ridge Community is probably the longest enduring intentional community in Wisconsin. One of the three incorporators was Elspeth Colwell, who is still a member in good standing.
From the beginning Rock Ridge has been dedicated to exploring new ways of living, working and learning for responsible stewardship of the land, spiritual enrichment, and circles of peace within ourselves, our community and the world.
By 1971 a recognized meeting of the Society of Friends held “meeting for worship” in a yurt on land-locked land nearbyd. When the adjoining farm went up for sale, several of the Quakers decided they would like to be part of buying it. They announced to co-ops and other like-minded groups around Madison the desire to raise money and purchase this farm. That's how we got our start.