The Vale

Last updated: February 11, 2013 (3 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

The Vale

(Yellow Springs, Ohio, United States)

Mission Statement:

learning to live in community

Community Description:

The idea for The Vale began in 1946 when Jane and Griscom Morgan invited a family to share their home on 40 acres of land two miles south of Yellow Springs. In 1950 the second house was built and more followed. Now there are 11 homes and 20 members. The group incorporated as The Vale in 1960. Gris and Jane felt strongly that land should be shared, and not used as a commodity, so in 1980 they donated the land to the Community Service, Inc. Land Trust, from which it is leased by The Vale. Seventeen of its wooded acres were put into a conservation easement, so they would never be built upon. Each family lives in its own home, but many share space with additional people. Most families earn their livelihood outside the community. The land, (woods and common areas), utilities, and a half-mile gravel lane are managed together. Gardening is important to many members. Prospective members must live at The Vale for at least one year before applying for membership. At the moment The Vale has no openings for renting or for building.

Business is decided by consensus. Business meetings are usually every month, with the addition of weekly and seasonal get-togethers (potlucks and soup suppers, and an annual retreat).



  • Area: 40 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 11
  • Land owned by: Independent land trust (not controlled by the community)


  • Adult Members: 25
  • Child Members: 18
  • Non-member Residents: 5
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Contact Heidi Eastman at the email address listed above.
  • Open to new Members: No


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


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • 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.
  • Education Style(s): Private School off the property, Public Schooling
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