What is an Ecovillage?
An intentional or traditional community using local participatory processes to holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability in order to regenerate social and natural environments. – Global Ecovillage Network
Who we are
EcoVillage Ithaca is a community of people living mainstream lives in a sustainable way. Caring for the land and connecting with nature. Greening our built environment. Consuming less and cooperating more. Growing food and eating hyper-local. Always learning, and leading by example. LEARN@EcoVillage, a program of the Center for Transformation Action, leads our education work, including tours, immersion experiences, visit coordination and publicity.
In 1991, EcoVillage Ithaca was one of just a handful of cohousing communities in the US, and twenty or so intentional sustainable communities worldwide. With mutual support, we thrived and garnered tremendous interest from media, researchers, and people seeking to create more ecological communities. By hosting over 17,000 visitors during the past 27 years, EcoVillage Ithaca has helped grow an interconnected global movement. Now the US is home to hundreds of cohousing communities and thousands of ecovillages around the globe.
The breadth and pace of the movement are growing, aided by technology and an awakening sense that we must evolve our humanity to cooperate with Earth and each other. The Global EcoVillage Network and the Fellowship of Intentional Communities are two of the several national and international organizations which build and support our network.
Located in Ithaca NY: Hotbed of Sustainability Innovation
At the same time, our hometown of Ithaca, NY is bubbling over with creative approaches and practical solutions. Long-time organizations such as GreenStar and the Ithaca Farmers Market take new ground in social justice and zero-waste. New CSA farms and renewable energy businesses are launched and thriving. Local governments and schools are embracing and applying sustainability principles. We are fully engaged in this local movement.
Growth and Development
Over 27 years, EcoVillage at Ithaca has developed into a large and fully functioning community. Buildings and landscape, farms and gardens, roads and paths, governance structures and group process, and most importantly relationships are created and cared for. We’re an integrated, vibrant organism with many dimensions and moving parts. Healthy and whole. Always learning, always evolving.
Sharing the Learning – Education & Outreach
We grow greatest when we share with others. Hospitality, knowledge, stories, skills, inspiration, and affirmation. We have benefited and we pay it forward. A thousand visitors annually bring us their questions and hopes, expertise and encouragement. We educate each other. Tours, workshops, immersion experiences and home stays. Films, study groups, hands-on service projects.
For two decades, these learning activities were led and coordinated by Liz Walker, LEARN@EcoVillage’s (originally named EVI-CSE) visionary director (in January 2020, Liz retired and our new director is Nathan Scott). This small organization of villagers, volunteers and shoestring staff has operated behind the scenes to incubate a host of successful initiatives, including the formation of EcoVillage, Inc. and each of its three neighborhoods. We’ve also helped launch:
- Three cohousing communities
- Gaia Education Network international
- Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming
- New Roots Charter High School
- Ithaca CarShare
- Ithaca College Sustainability Partnership
- Sustainable Tompkins (County)
Growing Our Capacity to Serve
As climate change accelerates and the yearning for cooperative community grows, EcoVillage at Ithaca is more relevant than ever. To meet the need, we must grow our capacity to serve. After years of successfully incubating other entities, we are now focused on building our capacity as a robust and financially sustainable educational organization. We welcome your participation in our programs, and the support of many generous volunteers, donors, and funding partners.