Founded in 1999, OUR Ecovillage is an education centre and demonstration project for sustainable culture on Vancouver Island, BC. Owned by OUR Ecovillage Cooperative, the village incorporates a not-for profit that runs educational programming, a protected park and a small housing cluster that showcases natural building and low impact building techniques. It also includes a working farm and hospitality services and it is all woven into an integrated permaculture model that strives to research and demonstrate practical solutions to the challenge of living in harmony with the earth and each other.
The number of people who have been touched by this initiative is staggering. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world go there to visit, volunteer, take a tour or otherwise participate in one of the many educational programs in permaculture, natural building, community living, wellness, and much more.
Memorable or Unique Characteristic(s) :
- the place is a full immersion into many layers of sustainability.
- open to anyone to visit
- precedent-setting land use zoning
- food and hospitality services
- protected parkland
- public tours and camping
- educational programs
- examples of natural building
- examples of sustainable agriculture
- demonstrations of permaculture design
- exquisite architecture utilizing natural and recycled materials.
- most of OUR Ecovillage has been created by community contributions from individuals, corporations and funders who have recognized the importance of this experiment.
- collaborations and partnerships with many universities and colleges to provide and immersed learning environment
- green burial on protected land
OUR Ecovillage has also successfully been working since its inception to address issues in zoning, ownership and financing and to create precedent-setting models that facilitate the creation of similar initiatives that serve the broader community.
A look at the website ourecovillage.org or a search on youtube will show some of the breadth of its impact.