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Bay View Ecovillage

Last updated: December 9, 2015 (11 months ago)

Listing created on: April 21, 2008

Bay View Ecovillage

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States)

Mission Statement:

Bay View Ecovillage was established to provide a model of micro-community life in an
urban environment. Living arrangements are designed to align people, planet and
pocketbook by creating opportunities for individuals to build sustainable social, environmental and financial systems.

Community Description:

The Bay View Ecovillage is a diverse, urban intentional community focused on social connections and environmental action. Located in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, only blocks from Lake Michigan, we believe quality of life increases as our “footprint” decreases. Representing multiple different decades of experience, we have 14 members/residents living in two duplexes.

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Urban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0.2 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 4
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments: We installed solar panels in 2014 on one of the duplexes!

Membership

  • Adult Members: 11
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Visitors can find more information on our website.
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process: Generally we like to get to know potential members over a period of time. We have a somewhat official standard of having those interested attend at least 3 dinners as well as a meeting and workday, if possible, but exceptions always exist.

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments: We do have 3 founders, 2 of whom own the houses we live in.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 1
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments: We share meals, shoveling, a garden and other incidentals and everyone is expected to attend our weekly meetings as well as participate in the monthly community work days. Most members follow a standard “tenant” model with major expenses being to pay rent to the members who own the houses in order to pay the mortgage. We take turns cooking the shared meals, so members are able to individually budget for shared food-related expenses. We also have a community bank account that all members contribute a small amount to each month to cover repairs/replacement of shared resources (i.e. washer & dryer).

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Gym or sports area, Internet, TV area, laundry, storage, freezer
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments: Nearly all community meals are vegetarian, gluten-free, and cane sugar-free. If any members or guests have dietary needs, we try to do what we can to cater to those at community meals.

    Wine is somewhat common at our meals.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Buddhist, Quaker, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Agnostic
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

We began as a meeting with about 15 people in my living room.

We moved into the 2 duplexes in late August ’07.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network