Jan 022014
 
Click on image to view on Amazon.com

Click image to view on Amazon.com

At long last, Songaia, An Unfolding Dream, a “community autobiography” drawn together by NICA past president Fred Lanphear, has been published and is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Here’s additional information:

About Songaia, An Unfolding Dream

On a gently sloping 11 acre stretch of land just north of Seattle a remarkable group of people has grown from a simple idea into a thriving cohousing community. Nurtured by an inspiring vision of possibility, a rich spirit life and a creative culture of cooperation, they are living their dream and re-defining what it means to co-habitate sustainably. Songaia: An Unfolding Dream walks us through the early years of planning and construction, the momentous move-in and the subsequent years of evolving together as a close-knit, multi-generational neighborhood. Weaving together personal stories from a number of community members, it recounts the challenges, victories and learnings that continue to shape the community today. Examining twenty years of living together, the book discusses personal relationships, sustainability, sacred space, health, aging and death, group process, social context and relating to neighbors and the broader community network. Written by a community pioneer and elder who spent more than half his life living and facilitating community around the world, this is an invaluable book for anyone interested in community and cohousing.

About Fred Lanphear

FredLanphear

Click image to view other writings by Fred on his Memorial Site

Fred Lanphear, a passionate communitarian, spent the last 40 years of his life engaged in building community. It was his Great Work and he left an indelible mark on the growing communities movement. He began writing Songaia: An Unfolding Dream soon after he was diagnosed with ALS, knowing this would be the closing chapter to his life.

Where to Purchase

The book is available now for $10 at Community Bookshelf of the Fellowship for Intentional Community.

Sep 022013
 

Thanks to the 25 folks who joined members of the NICA Board at East West Bookshop on August 21  for a presentation and discussion with Diana Leaf Christian on “Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community.”

The three aspects are:

  1. Community Glue: taking time to do shared enjoyable activities that tend to generate feelings of gratitude and trust
  2. Good Process and Communication Skills: the ways members gather together specifically to get to know each other better, consider ideas, understand each others’ emotions or upsets, or discuss and resolve conflicts and the ways people talk with each other, both in groups and meetings and one on one
  3. Effective Project Management: the ways a community creates and maintains its legal entity(s); the ways it finances, purchases, and physically develops its property; organizes and tracks its internal community finances and member labor requirements; attracts, processes, and orients new members; and maintains the community’s documents, policies, and decisions

Effective community governance, according to Diana, is at the center of all three aspects of healthy community — and benefits and enhances all three.

She was also kind enough to provide a printed summary of her talk (excerpted above), which can be downloaded from the following  link:

[download id="495" template="button"]

Diana is writing a series of articles in Communities Magazine on sociocracy and will be returning to British Columbia in February. Watch for future updates; we may be able to catch her on her way through again.

Jun 202013
 

The Ananda Community of Lynnwood welcomes everyone to an Open House and Solstice celebration from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

There will be tours, presentations, and opportunities to ask questions about this thriving intentional spiritual community. There will be booths of various Ananda projects, food and entertainment, and tours of the community. The afternoon concludes with a Solstice Celebration gathering from 6 to 7 pm, featuring speakers from other Intentional communities, and a spaghetti dinner.

DETAILS:

  • Event: Open House and Solstice Celebration
  • Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
  • Time: 1 to 7 pm
  • Venue: Ananda Community of Lynnwood (20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood WA 98036, (425) 778-4628)
  • Cost: Free

MAP AND DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Apr 182012
 

Just received this exciting message from our colleagues at Clearwater Commons. If you are available, you may want to stop by.

Clearwater Commons, the most comprehensive low impact development project in the Puget Sound, is being featured on the 2012 Green Home Tour April 21 & 22, from 10am – 4pm.

The only site in Snohomish County on the tour, Clearwater Commons provides a unique blend of low impact features, energy efficiencies and the latest in green home building techniques. Situated on seven acres in a suburban environment alongside North Creek, the site includes raingardens in the right of way, pervious pavements, wetland mitigation and homes on pin-pile foundations.

Deck and Trellis

With five of 16 homes in the final stages of completion, the Green Home Tour will showcase an affordable blend of features that maximize energy efficiency and integrate low impact development, with such elements as advanced framing, heat recovery ventilation systems, zero VOC finishes and ample insulation. The Commons is also the home of the Mini B, one of the first certified “Passive Houses” in Washington. At 300 sq ft, the Mini B uses only $100 per year in heating costs, the returns of building tight and ventilating right.

Clearwater Reach of North Creek

The model development took six years from conception to occupancy, due to its original approaches and green commitment. The story of the Common’s long road through permitting and financing hurdles is featured in the article “The Clearwater Commons Story: Turning Low Impact Development into Positive Impact Development”.

An intentional co-housing community, Clearwater Commons is a designed as a pedestrian friendly village with common garden, shop, storage shed, guesthouse and creekside acreage. Commons members will be on site during the two day tour, as will sponsors, partners and suppliers of featured building materials.

For further information, call Tom Campbell 206.919.7449 or email commons@clearwatercommons.com

Clearwater Commons Featured Site on 2012 Green Home Tour – April 21 & 22

Clearwater Commons, the most comprehensive low impact development project in the Puget Sound, is being featured on the 2012 Green Home Tour April 21 & 22, from 10am – 4pm.

The only site in Snohomish County on the tour, Clearwater Commons provides a unique blend of low impact features, energy efficiencies and the latest in green home building techniques. Situated on seven acres in a suburban environment alongside North Creek, the site includes raingardens in the right of way, pervious pavements, wetland mitigation and homes on pin-pile foundations.

Deck and Trellis

With five of 16 homes in the final stages of completion, the Green Home Tour will showcase an affordable blend of features that maximize energy efficiency and integrate low impact development, with such elements as advanced framing, heat recovery ventilation systems, zero VOC finishes and ample insulation. The Commons is also the home of the Mini B, one of the first certified “Passive Houses” in Washington.  At 300 sq ft, the Mini B uses only $100 per year in heating costs, the returns of building tight and ventilating right.

Clearwater Reach of North Creek

The model development took six years from conception to occupancy, due to its original approaches and green commitment. The story of the Common’s long road through permitting and financing hurdles is featured in the article “The Clearwater Commons Story: Turning Low Impact Development into Positive Impact Development”.
An intentional co-housing community, Clearwater Commons is a designed as a pedestrian friendly village with common garden, shop, storage shed, guesthouse and creekside acreage. Commons members will be on site during the two day tour, as will sponsors, partners and suppliers of featured building materials.

For further information, call Tom Campbell 206.919.7449 or email commons@clearwatercommons.com

Sep 282011
 

From Sept 23-25, 2011, FIC (Federation for Intentional Community) presented a weekend conference in Occidental, CA, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

About 250 people attended. 20-30 communities were represented, mostly from the Bay Area and the West coast.

The keynote speaker was Kevin Danaher, founder of the Green Festivals and Global Exchange. He gave a lively and inspiring talk about some of the many success of individuals and organizations in building a sustainable economic system. Some companies, for example, are finding financial success in making useful products out of free “used” or recycled materials. Mr. Danaher is also involved with bringing together “green” investors with “green” companies, with considerable financial success. You can hear a similar talk of his here.

There were a great many workshop choices, on such subjects as consensus, power and leadership in IC’s (intentional communities), meeting facilitation skills, history of IC’s, spirituality, legal and financial structures for IC’s, CoHousing IC’s, Ecovillages, songs and games for community building, and many more.

The main event Saturday night was the premier showing of a 2-hour movie, Within reach, by Mandy and Ryan, two young people who bicycled over 6,000 miles around the country. They visited 100 IC’s, and the movie is filled with many voices enthusiastically talking about their communities all over the nation. Here is a 3-minute trailer.

There was dancing, lots of music, gentle yoga, laughing yoga, great food, and lots of great connections with new and old friends. I came away with a renewed optimism that despite the obvious problems so often covered in the media, there are in fact a great many small and local successes as people of all kinds are finding ways to join together to build a more sustainable future. There is indeed hope for a better world.

Larry Rider, President, NICA

Sep 192011
 

On Thursday, September 1, 2011, NICA hosted its 3rd panel presentation at the East West Bookshop at 6500 Rossevelt Way NE Seattle. About 30 people attended. The topic was

Intentional Communities: Models for Sustainable Living. Our goal was to share with people some of the many benefits of community living, and how examples of a saner, more sustainable lifestyle are now being developed in communities, and that many of these developments hold the promise of benefits that can spread in the wider community as well.

The panel consisted of :

  • Phil Noterman and Helen Gabel from New Earth Song in Bothell;
  • Larry Rider from the Ananda Community of Lynnwood;
  • Jonathan Betz-Zall from Bright Morningstarin Seattle, and
  • Francis Parks from Duwamish Co-Housing in Seattle.

In addition to briefly describing their communities, panelists shared examples from their life in community on such topics as simple living and shared resources; sharing food growing and meals; a sense of belonging and creative participation; and more satisfying models of leadership and decision-making.

There was a wide range of questions from the audience, sharing their own stories and asking questions of the panelists. From these questions there was a sense among the panelists that the interest in intentional community is growing as people become more concerned about the need for more sustainable lifestyles.

Jan 092011
 

Video segments from the Hope for a Better World panel discussion, hosted by NICA at East West Bookshop, October 13, 2010, are now available on the nwcommunities Youtube site.

Communities represented on this panel included Bright Morning Star, Ananda Community Lynnwood, Jackson Park Co-housing, and Sherwood Co-op.

Each community provided an introduction as well as a reflection on specific benefits of living in intentional community, such as Satisfying Relationships, Harmonious Living, Shared Resources, and Cooperation.

Here are a few samples:

PANEL DISCUSSION WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS:

BENEFITS OF LIVING IN INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY

The entire playlist can be viewed here.

And the playlist from the previous Panel Discussion (Models for Sustainable Living) can be viewed here.

Thanks to all who participated.

May 102010
 

Port Townsend EcoVillage and Songaia Cohousing welcomed bee hives this spring. Here are a few shots, the first two from Port Townsend, and the second two from Songaia:

Kees Kolff from Port Townsend shared this cautionary tale about being sure to count your zippers while tending the hive:

There I was, all suited up with the top of the hive open.  The bees were particularly feisty and this hive at Sunfield Farm was not my favorite.  I suspect they were a slightly aggressive Russian hybrid but don’t really know since I had volunteered to care for them after the previous beekeeper left.  So I was treating them with all due respect and care when I noticed that part of my blue shirt was sticking out of the zipper in my bee suit.  In fact, my bee suit wasn’t zipped up at all and there were hundreds of bees on my shirt and now inside my suit.

The next scene would have been a hit on YouTube but unfortunately nobody was around to film it.  I went racing down the wide-open field in a panic, shedding my veil, gloves, boots and eventually the entire suit while I ran for my life with a stream of bees in pursuit.  The queen guardian of beekeepers must have been smiling down on me that day since I did not get a single sting!

So what’s the moral of this story?  If you have a zipper on your blue jeans and you are fully suited up and you need to relieve yourself, remember to count the number of zippers you zip down and then zip up again.  And count your blessing every day!