As of spring 2015, a small group has come together from diverse backgrounds and different areas to talk about the possibility of a site where we can have a combination of co-housing, co-op businesses, community farm, education centre….perhaps called ‘Surrey Ecovillage’ as an all-encompassing name.
One of the goals of Village Surrey is to help people work towards goals such as more resilience, sustainable living, and energy descent plans. The target of an 80-90% reduction in our carbon footprint might seem impossible, but there are many things we can do. Demonstrating that at an Ecovillage where people can live, work and garden would be a model for other areas in the Lower Mainland.
What is cohousing? “A type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents – who also share activities which may include cooking, dining, child care, gardening, and governance of the community.” Traditionally, the front porch of your home is where you go when you want to greet your neighbours, have conversations, make connections. Times when you want to have quiet and privacy, you sit out the back of your home. Many intentional communities share 2-3 dinners a week together in the common house, where there might also be guest rooms, laundry facilities, playroom for children, a library, music room, etc. There are several co-housing projects in the Lower Mainland, including Windsong in Langley, Cranberry Commons in Burnaby and Vancouver Co-housing opening in 2015.
What is an Ecovillage? The term was coined in 1989. It is “a community whose inhabitants seek to live according to ecological principles, causing as little impact on the environment as possible.” There are currently seven in Canada, two in British Columbia: Yarrow Ecovillage near Chilliwack, and O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island. We want to have a suburban Ecovillage project in Surrey as it’s close to schools, a hospital, major routes and transit, as well as potential markets for food we grow and services we offer (such as classes in an education centre).
If this is something you are interested in becoming involved with, please contact us through this website. You can read more online about similar projects at websites such as Diana Leafe Christian’s site, the Global Ecovillage Network, or watch a short intro video on ecovillages here.
We believe a project such as this in Surrey, BC can become a hub for many different activities, be a part of the conversations!