EcoVillage at Ithaca

Last updated: February 21, 2012 (3 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

EcoVillage at Ithaca

(Ithaca, New York, United States)

  • Status: Established
  • Started Planning: 1992
  • Start Living Together: 1996
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: EcoVillage at Ithaca
  • Phone: 607-272-5149
  • Address:
    115 Rachel Carson Way
    Ithaca, New York, 14850
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: Yes
    People are welcome to come to our free public tour at 3 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, you can arrange a private tour by contacting our visit coordinator at least one week in advance ( We ask that people who take a private tour join our nonprofit educational organization as members ($35/single, $50/household) in exchange for our time. We have some overnight accommodations available; check with the visit coordinator regarding availability.

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: Yes
    TREE (Third Neighborhood)

Mission Statement:

Ecological Cohousing Village

Community Description:

Located in the beautiful region of New York’s Finger Lakes, Ecovillage at Ithaca has two thriving cohousing communities with plans for a third underway. The village features cooperative dining in the common houses, a swimming pond, neighborhood community gardens, hiking trails, play spaces, and sixty passive-solar, energy efficient homes in a multigenerational village-scale community.

The pedestrian village is surrounded by woods and open meadows. We have a 10-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm on site that provides produce for residents as well as the wider Ithaca area, and a 5-acre CSA berry farm that has delicious organic u-pick berries.

Our goal is to build a replicable model of a cooperative, environmentally sensitive village that can also serve as a demonstration site for teaching principles of sustainability and permaculture.

Our nonprofit educational organization is affiliated with both Cornell and Ithaca College. Our developing educational program provides hands-on training in community life and on building sustainable communities. We have helped to initiate and contribute to a sustainability movement in our locality that is bringing about profound changes in the region.

EcoVillage is located on 175 acres, two miles from downtown Ithaca, and three miles from Cornell University and Ithaca College. Ninety percent of the land is preserved as green space for organic agriculture and wildlife habitat. For more information about EVI, read Liz Walker’s book, “EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture,” New Society Publishers, 2005. It is available from our website.


  • Adult Members: 155
  • Child Members: 55
  • Non-member Residents: 10
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: We have a wide variety of spiritual traditions practiced.

    Plans for a Sustainable Secondary School are underway.

Social Factors

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Other
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private Schooling at the Community, Private School off the property, Public Schooling


  • Type: Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property.)
  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No

Land and Buildings

  • Area: 175 acres
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit
  • Current Number of Residences: 60
  • Additional Comments: EVI, Inc., the educational non-profit which started the project, owns most of the land. The Village Association, made up of residents owns the land surrounding the village.

    There are 30 duplexes. All homes are attached.

    Second Neighborhood homes were completed in 2004. First Neighborhood in 1996. Third neighborhood is in the design stages.


    Third neighborhood underway

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Required Labor Contribution: 0


  • Additional Comments: 2-4 hours per week

    $75 to get on waiting list. No fee to join.

    There are monthly maintenance fees for each cohousing neighborhood. Plus an annual membership fee to the Village Association.



  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Current food produced: Between 25-50%


  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian


  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.


  • Tobacco Use: No~ this community does not permit tobacco use.


  • Additional comments: There are two Village-wide meals a week, plus one limited to each neighborhood. All are optional.

    lots of veggies, some fruits

    There are a wide range of individual dietary choices from omnivorous to vegan.

    Never in Common Houses but there is no policy against general use. However no members are tobacco users.


Additional Comments

We’re on the edge of a small town. Our land includes farmland.

FROG (First cohousing neighborhood)

Cohousing Info

  • Building site status: Completed
  • Year construction was (or will be) completed: 2004
  • Shared common building: No
  • Architect: first neighborhood…Housecraft Builders, Jerry Weisburd
    second neighborhood…multiple
  • Developer: In each neighborhood, the residents were the developers, but we used development managers. For the first neighborhood Housecraft Builders was the development manager. For the second neighborhood residents Liz Walker and Rod Lambert were development managers for the pre-construction phase.
  • Commercial Lender: Tompkins Trust Company

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Ecovillage Network of the Americas, The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US, Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

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.
Bryan Bowan Architects California Cohousing International Communes Desk ICSA NICA Wolf Creek Lodge