The EcoVillage in Ithaca was co-founded by Joan Bokaer and Liz Walker. It is 175 acres, houses 160 residents, and focuses on community. The village is constructed to maximize community interaction. Cars are parked on the outskirts of the property so children can play safely and people can walk from house to house. There are a few communal meals every week. Resources, tools, and appliances are shared, to conserve money and resources.
The village also works to produce its own food. There are two farms: a ten-acre organic vegetable and fruit farm, and a five-acre berry farm. There is also a village root cellar.
Community members are expected to volunteer a couple of hours a week for maintenance, cooking, finances, and other such tasks that help the community as a whole.
The EcoVillage also has green buildings. The people in the village use 40% less energy than other middle class American households. They have low-flow toilets and faucets, shared heating systems between houses, and solar panels that are newly purchased and should pay off in fifteen years. Their environmental footprint is 70% less than the average American.
The people at the EcoVillage show that when we work together, we can make bigger changes. By sharing utilities, they can reduce energy costs. By focusing on building community instead of roads and strip malls, there is a safe, welcoming environment to raise children. They conserve money and resources by sharing, such as by having clothing swaps and cooking meals for the village to share. Their community shows us that while individually we are small, together we can make something great.