Watermargin Cooperative

Last updated: June 5, 2012 (3 years ago)
Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Watermargin Cooperative

(Ithaca, New York, United States)

Mission Statement:

cooperative living

Community Description:

Begun in 1948 as a radical student experiment in interracial living, Watermargin today is less politically charged but continues to educate its members, all Cornell students, about community living with members of diverse backgrounds. Many house members are very politically or socially active and bring very different perspectives to our nightly dinners together. Watermargin often sponsors speakers or events open to the Cornell community that address a variety of social issues, in keeping with the house motto, All People Are Family.


  • Adult Members: 23
  • Child Members: 5
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: No

Social Factors


    • Decision Making: By a council, group of Elders, or leadership group
    • Identified Leader: Yes
    • Leadership Core Group: Yes

    Land and Buildings

    • Housing Provided: Yes, for all or most members.
    • Location: Other, Other
    • Land owned by: An absentee landlord
    • Current number of residences: 1

    Labor and Money

    • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
    • Shared Expenses: Little or no share of expenses
    • Required Labor contribution: 0
    • Join Fee: No


    • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
    • Current food produced: Up to 25%
    • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
    • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
    • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
    • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
    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