Practical Tools for Transforming Yourself and the World

Eco-Gap offers programs for young adults to explore possibilities for leading a life of passion and commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability.


Eco-Gap Programs give you a chance to become part of daily life at EcoVillage Ithaca, one of the largest and most successful ecovillages in the US.

We are seeking a diverse group of young adults to take part in our Eco-Gap experiences!  

Applications for 2019 are now being accepted.   Scholarships Available.

Two Program Possibilities:

Spring or Summer 2019 – an independent internship program of 2-10 weeks
(flexible dates April – July)

Fall 2019 – an 8 week long structured program with a cohort of up to 8 participants
(September 8th – November 1st)

You will experience first-hand what it means to live in a community with a strong connection to the environment and where social relationships and equality are among the most important aspects of life.  The village will be your classroom.  You’ll live, cook and eat most of your meals there,  and spend time indoors and outdoors learning about dimensions of community life that are centered around the concept of leaving the world a better place than we found it.


“The EcoVillage was honestly life-changing. I feel so much more open, confident, and peaceful as a person. I would love to live there one day.”

Having fun on a summer day at the EcoVillage pond.

Are you ready to look at the world through a lens of hope?

  • Would you like to live in greater harmony with the natural world and with respect and equality for all people?
  • Are you wondering how you can apply your interests to work for positive change in the world?

These are crucial questions to ask ourselves and questions that the residents of EcoVillage Ithaca have answered with a resounding YES since the community was first established in 1996.

EcoVillage Ithaca (EVI) is part of a global movement of people seeking to create positive solutions to the social, environmental and economic crises impacting our planet. 

There are 220 people living together in 100 homes just outside the thriving small city of Ithaca, NY.  Since 1991 the mission of EVI has been to promote experiential learning about ways of meeting human needs for shelter, food, energy, livelihood and social connection that are aligned with the long-term health and viability of Earth and all its inhabitants.  LEARN@EcoVillage, the educational branch of EVI, has been offering educational programs for people of all ages for over two decades to share this lived learning experience.

Come live and learn with us!

Beautiful Taughannock Falls, just a few miles from the EcoVillage, in the fall season.

We will provide the structure in which you can explore the many dimensions of ecovillage life and ask you what you want to learn about and how you want to learn.  You will work as a group, along with the Eco-Gap staff, to shape the Eco-Gap experience for yourself and future students.  This is an amazing opportunity to help LEARN@EcoVillage develop a program that will touch the lives of countless people and train them to work towards environmental and social justice.  It will develop your leadership skills and look great on your resume!

“Thank you for this incredible experience. It has made me hopeful for the future!”

Planting trees with friendly dogs!

You will:

  • Live your days with a focus on the health and well-being of your body, mind and spirit

  • Plan meals, cook and eat locally harvested foods in community

  • Spend time outdoors, including helping out on the ecovillage farms

  • Contribute to green building projects in the community such as garden sheds and solar ovens

  • Consider and discuss the challenges that arise when people live together as part of an intentional community

  • Focus on a personal interest related to sustainability (such as renewable energy, herbal medicine, food justice, or appropriate use of technology) and work with a mentor to learn more about the subject matter

  • Explore the Ithaca area, with its thriving culture of eco-conscious living, its many waterfalls and parks, and tour Cornell University and Ithaca College

  • Help EcoVillage Ithaca design future Eco-Gap programs

“This was a great experience.  It opened me up more to other people and my surroundings. Spending time at the EcoVillage allowed me to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life!”

A student group learning how to compost.

You can also expect:

  • To have fun and make new friends as you work and create projects together

  • To contribute your skills and interests to co-create a meaningful program for yourself and others

  • To negotiate tough issues related to how to create a good life for all on our planet, including yourself

  • To find your own voice as you communicate with others in a way that is inclusive and productive

  • To think and feel deeply as you consider issues that are important to you and your future

  • To hone in on your interests and find value in your unique skills

  • To find techniques to manage and balance the many demands that life presents us

  • To develop leadership skills and a vision for how to move forward with a life of purpose

A cozy moment of reflection in one of the Common Room areas.

At the end of your time you will have a deeply expanded sense of what it means to live in a community of people dedicated to a vision of justice and sustainability, and to recognize your unique qualities and talents and how to use them to work for positive change in a complex world.


Note: Eco-Gap is a program of LEARN@EcoVillage Ithaca.