Heathcote Community.

Freeland, Maryland, United States

  • Last updated: January 2, 2019 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: January 22, 2005

Mission Statement

Heathcote’s mission is to learn, practice, and share the tools and skills to create loving, just, and sustainable communities.

Community Description

Heathcote Community is a 53-year-old immersive school, intentional community, and permaculture farm. Its mission is to learn, practice, and share the tools and skills to create loving, just, and sustainable communities. Our areas of study are multidisciplinary and include sustainability, social justice, ecology, ecovillage design, permaculture design, regenerative agriculture, heirloom plants, food systems, holistic health, nutrition, vegetarianism/veganism, homesteading, natural building, intentional communities/ecovillages, consensus decision-making, facilitation, conflict resolution, cooperative economics, alternative education, homeschooling, eco-spirituality and the arts. We are currently resolving some zoning issues so we are not offering workshops, but we hope to resume offering them soon.

Heathcote is nestled in a beautiful wooded valley on 44 acres of land with a stream in Freeland, MD, near the MD/PA state border, only a 45-minute drive from Baltimore, MD and a 20-minute drive from York, PA. The land is part of the School of Living community land trust. School of Living is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization that explores solutions to the challenges of living, holds land in trust for present and future generations, promotes personal empowerment, and supports the development of just and sustainable communities. Heathcote’s education program is fiscally sponsored by School of Living.

Heathcote currently has 3 resident members living on site, a small core group of active non-resident members, and a loyal network of supporting members and friends. We are seeking up to 6 new resident members to serve as staff for our farm and our education programs. Resident members live in 3 buildings on the land. There are several bedrooms available for individuals and one space for a small family. We eat vegetarian meals together once a week. We focus on healthy, organic whole foods and grow most of our vegetables on our farm. We make our decisions by consensus and have business meetings every 1-2 weeks.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 44 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Planned number of residences: 1
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    School of Living (community land trust)


  • Adult Members: 3
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Attend a visitor day. See the visiting page on our website.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Interested persons first visit to see the community and meet members. The interested person would then fill out a membership application and meet with a membership committee. The next step is a 21 day visit, which can happen in bits, or all in one go. Following the 21-day visit, the person would meet with the whole community and, if all support moving forward, become a provisional member. The provisional period lasts for 9 months with regular check-ins. At the end of the provisional period, another meeting is help in which the person can be approved for full membership.


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


  • Join Fee: $13000
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 9
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    About 9 hours per week

    $50 membership fee, approximate 13,000 one time fee (can be paid over 10 years).

    Pledge system for dues, plus separate food payment

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet, Meeting/ gathering room
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Common kitchen is vegetarian with no fish. People may eat as they choose in private areas. Very adaptable to vegan and gluten free diets.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), School of Living


Permaculature, education, farming, internship, gardening