EcoVillage at Ithaca, TREE, the third neighborhood

Last updated: January 15, 2012 (4 years ago)

Listing created on: August 5, 2008

EcoVillage at Ithaca, TREE, the third neighborhood

(Ithaca, New York, United States)

Mission Statement:

sustainable healthy community

Community Description:

TREE (Third Residential EcoVillage Experience) is now accepting new members! At the beginning of 2011 a decision was made to increase the number of units in TREE from 30 to 40 to make all the units more affordable and to increase the number of fully-accessible units. TREE is on track to begin construction in April, 2012, with projected occupancy in December, 2012 for some units and January, 2013 for the rest. TREE is well on its way to meeting its ambitious goals of sustainability, affordability, and accessibility. As the third neighborhood at EcoVillage at Ithaca, TREE will be part of the larger environmentally-oriented EcoVillage community on the crest of Ithaca’s West Hill. Surrounded by 176 acres of rolling meadows, organic farms, and woodlands, and nestled close to the existing village, TREE will feature cutting edge green design, with most homes built to the stringent Passive House standards that originated in Europe. To date there are only 13 of these homes in the U.S. that are certified by the U.S. Passive House Institute, yet there are 25,000 built in Europe. We want to popularize this proven energy efficient model, and once built, TREE may be the first and largest showcase for this type of deep green design in the U.S. Our vision is to create a neighborhood of 40 reasonably-priced, energy-efficient, small footprint homes; live in a socially responsible, healthful, and ecologically sustainable way; and make group-centered community decisions based on consensus. We will have our own common house for shared meals and social activities. We seek families with or without children; people interested in aging in place; and people of diverse backgrounds and income levels. Our home designs are based on the passive house concept. In addition, the houses will be built using non-toxic, regionally produced building materials, and will include water-saving and reuse features; accessibility for those with special needs; and attractive exteriors and interiors. We currently have four house designs, plus apartments in the common house. We have planning meetings every third weekend at EcoVillage at Ithaca. For more information, please go to TREE’s website where contact information and membership requirements are listed.


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)


  • Area: 175 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 40
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit
  • Additional Comments: TREE will be located on about 5 acres



  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Contact TREE’s membership committee if you are interested in attending a meeting and having a pre-meeting tour of EcoVillage at Ithaca. For tours at other times, see EcoVillage at Ithaca’s website.
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: diverse religions are represented

    Homeschooling; public schools; alternative schools


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: attend meetings and participate in committees

    Associate Member-$250; full member-starts at $25,000

    As needed to finance design and construction

Sustainability Practices


  • Dietary Practice: Other
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments: When TREE is built, 2 to 3 times per week

    EcoVillage at Ithaca’s two CSA farms will be available to TREE,; also garden plots will be available for each household

    Varied dietary practices

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (includes “all religions”)
  • Education Style(s): Up to each individual

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

Community Affiliations

EcoVillage at Ithaca, TREE, the third neighborhood

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
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.