Do you want the advantages of country living, close access to a progressive small city, and next door neighbors to boot? White Hawk Ecovillage rests on 120 acres, surrounded by family farms and small town charm. Our homes are built in a village circle in the center of the property, so we’re close enough to our neighbors for daily interaction while leaving plenty of land for projects and natural open spaces.
We’re super excited because we’ve successfully navigated the legal rigmarole of establishing a community and we’re over the the big hump of getting it all started – now we’re into the fun part of shaping our collective futures! At the moment, we have ten houses built, two more currently going up, and at least one or two more set to start come spring. That means we are just about half full, with room for sixteen more houses.
Projects currently in process include a hazelnut and berry farm, a blueberry patch, a food forest and pond, an apple orchard, a coppice grove, and heritage bread baking. In addition, some of us tap maple trees in the spring and hunt in the fall. Chickens, rabbits, turkeys, and bees are just some of the animals that residents have humanely cared for here. Plus, there are acres and acres of land that remain in their natural state. Permaculture, wild land, and other projects are waiting for you!
White Hawk is actively seeking folks who share our mix of high ideals and aspirations with a practical, non-judgmental approach. We have diverse lifestyles – some of our members are self employed, telecommute, or work in the local community. Many of us also stay busy with homesteading projects, some of which we collaboratively share with other member households. Some of us are vegetarian with leanings toward raw food, while others hunt deer for food, or procure meat from local farms. We boast a constant roaming, joyful pack of kids who range from babies to teens. White Hawk kids learn in a variety of settings – from home/un-schooling to public, charter, Waldorf, Montessori, and other local school programs. The greater Ithaca community has one of the largest homeschooling collectives in New York state, and our public schools are highly ranked with school district and city bus service at the end of our meandering country lane. Current count is nineteen children under eighteen years old!
Our community is based in a practical, efficient form of consensus, and we’re improving all the time. We don’t enforce work days or participation, but everyone contributes to running the village to the extent that they are able and comfortable.
White Hawk strives to be affordable. The cost of building here is below the average home cost in Tompkins County, New York. Over the next few years, affordable housing grants are a possibility for those who qualify. All of the
homes here meet basic community regulations for sustainability, and members are free to design and build their homes as they please. We welcome creativity but we also have some dependable and proven designers and builders we are happy to connect you to. For the most part, we think our homes are pretty idyllic, cozy and simple but not bare. Many feature green technology and systems including SIPS, solar panels, and air source heat pumps.
And if you haven’t visited the Ithaca/Finger Lakes region of Central New York, you’re really in for a treat. Ithaca consistently ranks as one of the most livable towns in America–home to the downtown pedestrian Commons shopping plaza, Cornell University and Ithaca College, the iconic Moosewood Restaurant, a huge farmer’s market and scores of independent bookstores, retailers, restaurants, grocers and boutiques. The thriving city also offers many opportunities for employment while still retaining its small town charm.
Then there are the festivals! The Downtown Chili Cookoff. Apple Harvest Festival. Ithaca Festival. Wizarding Weekend. Porchfest. Grassroots Festival of Music and Arts. And so many more!
The greater Finger Lakes region is, to many of us who’ve traveled the country and the world, one of the most picturesque regions we’ve come across–no surprise, then, that we’re a popular tourist destination. We’ve got stunning gorges (Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock Falls–Ithaca is Gorges, after all!), swimming holes in abundance, and the internationally renowned Finger Lakes Wine Trail. Larger cities such as Rochester and Syracuse are just a stone’s throw away, and a weekend in Boston, Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Philadelphia, and Cleveland are all possibilities.
And yet, even with all our neighboring resources, it’s beautiful right here at White Hawk. The air is clean, the water plentiful. Our ponds are swimmable and hopping with frogs and other fun creatures, the trails snaking the land are perfect for a late afternoon stroll, the view of the neighboring valley is stunning, and the snow keeps us active in the winter.
Speaking of seasons, autumn in central New York rivals anything you might see in New England. Crisp air, local apple cider, stunning fall colors, and community friends in your kitchen while you’re canning applesauce or the harvest from your garden is a joy.
We don’t want to mislead you and say this is paradise… but it kinda is. Open hearts, a willingness to contribute, and a variety of skills really help us fly. There is always something to do, whether it’s in the trenches helping to lay the pipes of the water system, discussing how to make meetings enjoyable and efficient, or talking through the inevitable conflicts that arise when people live close to each other and find a workable resolution, we find a way to work together.
There’s so much more to discover. If any of this resonates with your vision, take a closer look. Let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other!