June 23, 1992 Land Closing on 176 acres. Westhaven Farm?
Summer ’93 First resident group, or “FROG” hires Jerry and Claudia Weisburd as development consultants. First harvest of Jen and John Bokaer-Smith's organic CSA farm, which leases 3 acres from EVI.
Summer-Fall ’95 Final Site Plan approval for FROG granted July 18, after 11 months of Town Planning Board meetings. Labor Day ground-breaking ceremony attracts 200 people. Road, sewer, water and pond built.
Spring ’96 EVI sets aside 55 acres for a permanent conservation easement administered by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, in response to a request from Bill and Mary Webber who forgave their $130,000 loan for the land.
Fall ’96 First families move into FROG in October. FROG suffers major construction fire on Nov. 16. Eight homes and the Common House are burned to the ground, and six other homes are damaged. Joan Bokaer retires from her role as co-director. Second neighborhood group begins to form under the guidance of Liz Walker.
Summer-Fall ’97 Completion of FROG. Common House opened in August for first time.
1998 EVI named a finalist for the World Habitat Award (one of five in developed nations).
1999 SONG hires Rod Lambert and Liz Walker as co-development managers. Katie Creeger leases 5 acres of EVI land to start an organic berry farm.
2000 EVI secures low-interest $100,000 loan from Equity Trust Fund in October, to help SONG build infrastructure.
2001 Mike Carpenter is hired as SONG construction manager. SONG receives final Town approvals. Groundbreaking on the infrastructure for SONG begins.
2002 EcoVillage doubles in size! Verse I , the first fourteen homes of SONG are completed and residents move in. Verse II, the next sixteen homes are started. EVI becomes the first cohousing group in the country to construct two neighborhoods. EVI forms partnership with Ithaca College Environmental Studies Department, which together receive a three-year National Science Foundation grant.
2003 This year stands out as the year we became a village. SONG homes are completed. An intensive Common House design process starts, with the CH slated to be built in 2005. The “Debt-Free in 2003”campaign is a success, and the mortgages on the land are completely paid off. Educational work takes off, with two Ithaca College courses taught by EVI residents (continued every year since then), and mini-grants given out to IC faculty and EVI residents.
2004 Educational work on sustainability really takes off, with the collaboration of IC/EVI/and Cooperative Extension to launch "Sustainable Tompkins County". Ithaca College holds its first “Sustainability Summit” and makes a major commitment to sustainability. Gaia Education, a project of the Global EcoVillage Network, forms at Findhorn, Scotland, to develop a world-wide ecovillage design curriculum. Liz Walker serves on the founding board of directors.
2005 EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture is published by New Society Publishers. Design Charette with architect Greg Ramsey takes place for Master Site Plan, after multiple village-wide Big Picture Forums are held and Guidelines for Development are revised. Ground-breaking for SoNG CH.
2006 First year of education workshop program led by Liz Walker and Elan Shapiro (based on Gaia Education training). Partnership with Ithaca College is adopted by I.C. as permanent part of their budget. Kestrel’s Perch Berry Farm opens, as first U-Pick, organic, berry farm CSA in country. Song CH completed.
2007 Root cellar constructed, designed by Ithaca College Students and built by EVI residents. Passive solar bus shelter completed. Goals for Development approved to guide planning process for future development. $25,000 grant received from a local foundation to explore creating an EcoVillage Education Center. TREE (third neighborhood) begins to meet, aiming for small, affordable and accessible homes.
2008 Big Picture committee introduces new Site Design process, which includes potential designs from residents. Green designer Steve Bauman is hired to help complete the process. Cornell President David Skorton speaks at a fundraising dinner at EVI for the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (part of the EVI Ed. Center). EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education feasibility study completed.