PAST EVENT: Together on the Land Tour 2009
New Insights into Eco-Living for Tour Participants
Franklin County, MA – Early Saturday morning on June 6th over 20 people climbed into vans to tour examples of ecological and sustainable community living in Greenfield, Colrain, Montague & Gill. Amid the sunshine of a gorgeous June day they walked the land and peeked in the homes of both established communities and neighborhoods that have just begun.
The tour looked at a variety of approaches to green living and how each example tried to answer questions of affordability, community-building and sustainability. “It’s nice to know that there are so many types of community living within a short drive,” said tour attendee Adam Grandin of Colrain after visiting each of the seven tour stops.
The tour traveled from the rural Valley Community Land Trust neighborhood of 5 homes on land trust land in Colrain, to a triplex in Montague City owned by the Pioneer Cooperative of Franklin County. The sites also ranged in size from a single family zero-net energy home built by Bick Corsa in Montague to the 18 home Katywil Ecovillage that has just begun construction in Colrain.
“I hope that the tour will inspire collaborative projects that include some of the different things we saw today – like cooperative housing on land trust land or farmers building affordable green homes,” said Megan McDonough of the Valley Community Land Trust, one of the tours organizers.
Each site tackled the issue of affordability in a unique way – whether through subsidies from the state Agricultural Preservation Restriction program facilitated by Mount Grace Land Trust or through smart site development like the Salmon Falls Land Association that shared the cost of installing a Photovoltaic System.
In Montague tour participants learned that green housing can be done on a tight budget if you follow the “6 S’s of green building” that builder Bick Corsa described – Small, Simple, Shell (invest in insulation and air sealing), Solar (get energy from the sun), Site (build in town near resources), and Safe (use non-toxic materials and provide ventilation).
Paul Daniello from Mount Grace Land Trust talks to tour participants at Bascom Hollow Farm in Gill, MA PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Grandin
Tour participants smile and talk in the van between stops. PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Grandin
TOGETHER ON THE LAND: Options for Sustainable, Affordable & Ecological Living in Community
MULTI-SITE GUIDED TOUR: 9am-4pm Saturday June 6th, 2009 Franklin County, MA
Tour Stop Summary:
- Salmon Falls Land Association – Shelburne Falls, MA
- Katywil Ecovillage – Colrain, MA
- Valley Community Land Trust Site – Colrain, MA
- Pioneer Coop of Franklin County – Greenfield & Montague, MA
- Zero Energy Home built by Bick Corsa – Montague, MA
- Wisdom Way Solar Village built by Rural Development Inc. – Greenfield, MA
Katywil Ecovillage - Colrain, MA - PHOTO CREDIT: Peter Schlessinger
Cooperative Development Institute
(CDI) is the Northeast's center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. CDI's mission is to increase economic opportunities and benefits for people in the Northeast by fostering the growth and success of all types of cooperative enterprises. http://www.cdi.coop/
is a regional network of local communities creating a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future, organized as a consumer-owned energy cooperative serving New England and New York. http://cooppower.coop/
is envisioned as a community of people who treasure the beauty of this land and its subtle pleasures, who wish to simplify their lives, and who relish the company of others. http://katywil.com/
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
protects significant natural, agricultural, and scenic areas and encourages land stewardship in North Central and Western Massachusetts for the benefit of the environment, the economy and future generations. http://www.mountgrace.org/
The Valley Community Land Trust
(VCLT) is a non-profit organization that holds title to land, considering it neither as private nor public property, but as a sacred resource to be held in trust for present and future generations. http://www.vclt.org