Green Acres Village: Intro

Want to build community, live sustainably, and, above all, have fun? Life in our growing neighborhood village connects you on a daily basis with others who choose to live lightly on the land while deepening their connections with each other and the natural world.

Green Acres Village (formerly called Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage (GANE)) is an intentional community forming within the boundaries of an established suburban neighborhood. We are using the “retrofit cohousing” model, inspired by N Street Cohousing in Davis, CA. While most cohousing communities are built from the ground up, like N Street we chose the practical, cost-effective alternative of taking advantage of already-existing resources and built structures. In other words, why build a new community from scratch when all you really have to do is change perceptions in your neighborhood?

Launched in August 2011, our ecovillage consists of a cluster of three homes and their inhabitants (both renters and owners) within the established 400-plus home Green Acres Neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana. Our ecovillage is one growing node within the official Green Acres Neighborhood Plan for sustainability that was created by the Green Acres Neighborhood Association and filed with the city of Bloomington in 2007.

This sounds simple, and it is — in theory.

In practice, however, we realize that profound changes in perception take years. Which is why we are consciously modeling our new retrofit village with dynamic, evolutionary changes to the way the energies of human, plant, and animal species intermingle at the corner of DeKist and Overhill. The grounds, the homes, and the common spaces of the original two properties now blend together via permacultural practices and, in 2016, with permission from the landlord, we are beginning to permaculture the grounds of the rental house behind these two as well. The grounds of the three properties now begin to flow into one another; we have more chickens and can grow more food.

In order to grow an ecovillage within an already existing neighborhood, we intend to inspire and encourage multiple clusters of two or more houses located next to (or very close to) each other. All the clusters together constitute the ecovillage. We will work together to gradually expand our presence in the neighborhood until we reach critical mass, when hopefully, the entire neighborhood will begin to recognize itself as an ecovillage.

Green Acres neighborhood is conveniently located within walking/biking distance of Indiana University (which borders it on the west), of downtown Bloomington (west of campus), and of one of Bloomington’s major shopping hubs (to the south and east). Buses to all parts of Bloomington and Indiana University conveniently run on major streets that mark the outside boundaries of the neighborhood. Green Acres is also a short drive from three state parks and numerous lakes of various sizes, all with walking trails.

With its prime location, excellent schools, and an exceptional record of neighborhood safety, Green Acres is a prime location for singles, families, retired folks and IU students, all of whom we welcome in our ecovillage!

Next: Read about our Vision and Values.