Then and Now #24 – August 2006 and August 2014


Visitors touring CoHo sometimes ask how our expectations for community prior to move-in differ from our current day-to-day reality.

Comparing “then and now” is the framework for this series of blog postings.  The source of historical perspective is the CoHo newsletters published in 2006 and 2007 (they are still available on our website).  This was an intensive time, with the primary focus on actively building the community (both in terms of actual construction of buildings and the collection of folks who would be our neighbors). 

What were our dreams in 2006?  What is our daily life like now in 2014?

First, read the original newsletter (link below), then return to this posting for current perspectives.


Cohousing in Corvallis, Issue 24 – August 2006



Sustainability is still a key focus at CoHo Ecovillage.

At the time of move-in (fall of 2007), all CoHo teams were restructured and the idea of a separate sustainability team came up.  However, the decision was made to include a sustainability focus in each Team’s task list and to have our Steering Council monitor sustainability community-wide.

By 2012, the thinking shifted again and a Sustainability Action Team was formed with three central aims:

  • Support individuals, groups, and teams in taking sustainability actions
  • Provide coordination, communication, and other administrative efforts to assist and document sustainability-related activities at CoHo
  • Connect to the larger community around sustainability issues

In developing the team charter, the team members decided to compile a slideshow of CoHo sustainability features to celebrate what we had accomplished so far.  In building the slideshow, it was clear that “community” as a key factor in sustainability (flagged in newsletter 24) was evident in many photos.  In fact, the slide show is now used for tours and orientations because it gives an excellent overview of life at CoHo as well as highlighting some of the more tangible sustainability features.

SAT (Sustainability Action Team) has done some behind-the-scenes projects as well as some more group-oriented activities (including National Hanging Out Day I and II, the Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunts I and II, and a highly entertaining session on heating tips by Virtual Bruce).

Beating the Heat

Floats down the river continue to be a big draw, especially with warmer weather hitting Oregon sooner in the season.

CoHo had an irrigation well drilled and also added a cistern.  The summer of 2014 is the first season relying on the well for irrigation water (primarily for our gardens).  Having a cistern that can run dry has highlighted issues around the enjoyment of water play as well as unexpected/unexplained spikes in water usage.  Perhaps this is a preview of shortages to come and our community response.

CoHoots teamed up to position the cistern

CoHoots teamed up to position the cistern

No More Preunions

Now that we are all next-door neighbors, getting together is a lot easier.

It’s interesting seeing the dynamics of so many people knowing their next-door neighbors.  Sharing is easy and frequent (see the post called Got It! for more insights).  Socializing can take a few minutes or a few hours.

Clusters of like-minded folks tend to get together more often.  Some events are open to everyone.  A small-group dinner program features dinners in peoples’ homes (rather than the common house) and gives us a different perspective on our neighbors.

CoHo’s newest owner lives in a two-bedroom unit.  A tour of two-bedroom units is in the works to give some ideas/inspiration on decorating and storage options within that footprint.


Posted in Biking, Community, Sustainability, Then & Now.