Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Rutledge, Missouri, United States

  • Last updated: November 23, 2018 (3 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 15, 2008

Mission Statement

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a growing, rural, ecologically sustainable town.

Community Description

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage invites you to live, play, and work with us to help build a better world!

We founded Dancing Rabbit (DR) Ecovillage to discover how to live rich, vibrant lives while leaving an ecological footprint the planet can sustain. If you yearn to live a more fulfilling and sustainable life, we might be what you’re looking for.

By making sustainability the primary focus of our long-term vision and daily lives we’re creating a healthy alternative to modern mainstream US culture.

In 1997 the DR Land Trust purchased 280 acres in the rolling hills of northeastern Missouri. Since then we’ve been building a village from the ground up, creating homes, gardens, kitchens, and community infrastructure, not to mention the less-tangible necessities for a sustainable culture. We use consensus in our Village Council governance, value clear communication and peaceable co-existence with our neighbors, and continue to create our own songs, stories and traditions.

Members are responsible for meeting their own economic needs and do so in a wide variety of ways, primarily on-site (including telecommuting). Our popular and healthy local currency is used by all Rabbits and our neighboring communities as well. Our vision is to grow to the size of small town (500 – 1000 people), with businesses, residences, and agricultural areas radiating out from the central village green.

We build natural and green homes, use sun and wind for power, and run our cooperatively-owned vehicles on renewable electricity or biodiesel. Diets are individually chosen, but many prioritize local, organic, and in-season foods.

We strive to be good stewards of our land, reserving many acres for wildlife habitat. We are reintroducing native prairie plants to help revitalize our region’s biodiversity and have planted over 10,000 trees to restore our land, stabilize the riparian zone, and provide sustainable wood for our community.

We are made up of individuals, families, and subcommunities, cooperating with each other to varying degrees and sharing as much of our lives as we choose. We encourage the development of cohousing and cooperatives.

To allow for economic diversity and simple living, we keep lease rates low, have no buy-in fee, and membership dues are income-based.

Outreach and education are integral to our mission, and the primary focus of the ecovillage’s own education and research nonprofit arm, the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture. We’re also home to the Fellowship for Intentional Community (publishers of this Directory and Communities magazine).

Interested in Dancing Rabbit? Contact us to arrange a visit, get on our e-mailing list, or apply for a work exchange stint or workshop. We actively seek new members to live, play and work with us, modeling change for the better.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 280 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Natural built structues, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 50
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Community-controlled land trust
  • Additional Comments:

    Individuals and families are responsible for meeting their own housing needs. Residences are sometimes available for sale or rent, and once one is a member, space can be leased to be built on (members own buildings and improvements while the community owns land), either by the member themselves or by hiring a local builder.


  • Adult Members: 50
  • Child Members: 11
  • Non-member Residents: 10
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please check out the visitor page on our website (www.dancingrabbit.org/visit), which describes a number of ways to visit Dancing Rabbit, including several one- to three-week visitor periods at set times between April and October. If the visitor program is the best match for you, request a visitor questionnaire and our visitor team will help you plan and schedule a visit. It generally helps to contact us at least two months in advance, as spots in these programs fill up quickly.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    After a successful visit, one can begin the process of becoming a resident. After 6 months of residency, one can apply to become a member. For details see: www.dancingrabbit.org/about-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/residency-membership/.


  • Decision Making: a Village Council, empowered committees, and a Board of Directors (all operate by consensus)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage makes most decisions by committee or an elected Village Council. These groups operate by consensus, with clear power levels assigned to them for the areas they have responsibility for, and all community members can have input into decisions.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Membership dues are 2% of income. Other expenses include rent/lease payments, as well as fees for various co-ops (some of which can be opted out of). Members are strongly encouraged to be on at least one committee or community-level task, and most are on more than one.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Wind
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Dietary choice is an individual matter, and we have a wide range of diets at DR, inlcuding vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore. Individuals may eat on their own, with family, or in a food co-op or group kitchen. We have a potluck with two other local communities once a week, and a community dinner, where Rabbits bring their meals to eat together in the Common House, once each week.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    One of the major differences between DR and many other communities is that privately-owned vehicles cannot be used or stored here (after a short transitional period when one is a new resident). We have a vehicle co-op, which is how most Rabbits meet their local transport needs. Biking and walking are also popular transportation options.

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Ecovillage Network of the Americas, Global Ecovillage Network – North America (GENNA)

Community Affiliations

Sandhill Farm, Red Earth Farms


sustainability, ecovillage, natural building, green building, alternative currency, co-operation