Heathcote Community.

Freeland, Maryland, United States

  • Last updated: February 23, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: January 22, 2005

Mission Statement

sustainable cooperative living

Community Description

The adults and children of Heathcote Community strive to live in a healthy, loving, and sustainable manner. We are located on 42 acres of wooded valley which is part of the School of Living community land trust. We believe that we have a responsibility to care for the land and each other, treating both with dignity and respect.

In community we support one another in living a life that we love. We don’t currently have community businesses, so each member earns income individually and makes monthly contributions. We get together for evening meals most nights, weekly community meetings, regular meetings about relationship issues, monthly community work projects, and quarterly retreats. Many of us often gather for meditation, yoga, sing-alongs, celebrations, spiritual retreats, dances, world music drumming, and other events. All community decisions are made by consensus.

We strive to practice ever-more-sustainable ways of living. Our current projects focus on creating a living demonstration of permaculture principles and ecological sustainability, including the expansion of our organic gardens and the renovation of existing structures. We recently built an alternative, energy-efficient house with individual and family units, and renovating our 150-year-old grist mill to improve our shared spaces and conference center.

We welcome inquiries from people who share our passion for creating a better world, and hope to see you at one of our monthly visitor days.


  • 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: 42 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: 8
  • 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: 6
  • Child Members: 2
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • 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), Hot tub or hot springs, 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: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian
  • 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)
  • 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

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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


Permaculature, education, farming, internship, gardening