The Whole Village newsletter is published on line to keep our friends, near and far, informed on how our project is progressing. For background information and previous issues, please visit our website at: http://www.wholevillage.org . Click here to view our Membership Policy. Click here to read our Farm Plan.
A detailed topographical survey of the site has been completed and compiled. A Geotechnical survey has also been completed based on 10 test holes dug in the area where building will take place. The results have been analyzed and reveal a stable, well drained soil type ideal for supporting building foundations. We have located a 30-meter tower and anemometer that can be erected on the site for gathering wind speed data. This information is needed to determine if there is enough wind to justify a windmill large enough to generate power for the WV. Data must be collected for at least six months and perhaps up to a year to be considered reliable. The tower may not be set up until the ground thaws in the spring.
In November, WV was invited to attend an environmental forum sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Fifty Plus, featuring Dr. David Suzuki as the guest speaker. This was a good opportunity to network with others and pass out brochures. On November 28, we had our first meeting with our neighbours, those people who live on or own property within 110 meters of the lot line. Seventeen out of the 32 people on our mailing list attended, as did Pearl Karal (the owner of the WV site) and Ian Sinclair, one of our local councilors. The meeting was quite lively. There were many questions answered and concerns expressed. For an initial meeting, it went well. We are preparing a detailed response to the concerns raised at the meeting and look forward to a more public event in the near future.
January 28 was our third year at the Guelph Organic Conference. As always, this trade show and seminar event attracted thousands of people from all across the country. The WV table drew a lot of interest, hundreds of brochures were passed out and 24 people signed up for our mailing list and for orientations.
Watch for an article on the Whole Village that will be appearing in New Directions magazine at the end of February. New Directions is distributed to health food stores and other locations in the Guelph and greater Toronto area. WV will also be at the Erin Health Fair on Saturday March 3, 2001.
Whole Village members have been instrumental in forming the Shaws Creek Watershed Association, a local citizen’s group supporting land stewardship and the conservation and enhancement of the natural and recreational qualities of the Shaws Creek watershed. As part of its commitment to maintaining and improving water quality and ecological health in the watershed, the SCWA encourages cooperative efforts among watershed residents, municipal, provincial and federal government agencies, along with other interested groups and organizations, to improve the quality of stream water, protect sensitive and natural areas, and enhance wildlife habitat. Shaws Creek runs along the southern edge of the WV site and is part of the headwaters of the Credit River.
WV met with Julia Von Flotow of the Festive Earth Society (www.festiveearth.com), a non-profit catalyst that helps businesses and organizations build their community profile by producing environmentally themed special events, education programs and trade shows to develop community traditions and strengthen the environmental sector. We anticipate attending their Spring Fair, May 6 in Toronto, and possibly organizing a similar event at the WV site with their help, some time in the future.
In early December, WV members Denis Bowman, Bev Trounce and Jeff Gold joined Jason Whitfield, a grad student in Planning at the University of Waterloo who is researching the WV as part of his thesis, on a visit to Cobb Hill in Hartland, Vermont. Cobb Hill (www.sustainer.org/cobbhill) is an ecovillage very similar to the WV in design and intent. We toured their housing site, where one house was already up, had several hours of intense discussion with Dana Meadows, one of the central organizers of the community, and also attended a workshop on Systems Analysis put on by the Sustainability Institute, which is run by Cobb Hill members. We learned a lot from our short visit, on both the technical and community levels, and look forward to returning when Cobb Hill is further along.
Much of the organizing and development work of the Whole Village resides with our mandate groups. Some recent progress:
We recently welcomed Jayne and Vic Kulikauskas and their six children as our newest members. Membership now stands at seven families, one Subscriber (member-in-waiting) and six Associate members. Orientation meetings for potential new members and other interested friends were held at the WV site on November 19, December 17, January 21, February 4, February 1 and February 11. If you are interested in attending an Orientation Meeting, the next ones are scheduled for February 17, February 18, March 18, April 8 and April 21, 2001. Contact Jeff Gold at 519-941-1099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and for directions. Personal Orientations can be arranged, and all WV members can also conduct their own orientation sessions for potential members.
*The major issues WV presents to the town from a planning point of view are:
- the ownership model and how WV will deal with changes in membership over time
- how we intend to finance the project
- do we have a spokesperson or consultant who can speak on our behalf
- what kind of enterprises will take place on the property
- how many children will there be and where will they be schooled
- will the project be sustainable
- what kind of taxes will be generated.
*The Town’s current policy is to concentrate new growth around existing settlements, except for the Palgrave area where estate lots are permitted. This allows for simpler services and reduces sprawl. The WV proposal does not follow this policy, however it could be considered as an experimental pilot project that would require a site-specific Official Plan amendment (OPA) and a development agreement, not a change in policy. The amendment and the agreement would be registered on the title.
*The process will take a minimum of 3-4 months from the initial application to Council, up to 6 months in case there are any difficulties with the application. The Town will seek clarification from the Region of Peel to see if a regional OPA is required as well. There will also be a condominium agreement or something similar applied to the project.
We were cautioned to be very pragmatic when addressing legal, financial and sustainability issues. Ms. Konefat invited us to review the documentation that the Planning department has on other projects in Caledon that have been built or are proposed, to see how others solved similar problems to the ones we are now facing.
We looked at various options for wall systems, floors, windows, house designs, and waste treatment, before going on to look at Project Management and timelines. There are still many decisions to make before the building and site designs are finalized in the coming months.
On January 7, another day was devoted to meeting with Greg Allen, an engineer specializing in sustainable building design. Greg has a long history of working with innovative technology such as Living Machines. He has designed and built many energy efficient structures using regenerative design principles. During the workshop Greg presented a slide show on various projects he has been involved with and we discussed the pros and cons of composting toilets, solar hot water, district heating, wind power and photovoltaics. We will be working closely with Greg and his associates in the design phase.
While still on the lookout for a farmer who wants to join the WV, this mandate group is working closely with the Design and Project Management team to create a site plan that incorporates all the elements contained in our Farm Plan. They are working closely with Michael Schmidt, an experienced Biodynamic farmer near Durham, Ontario, to develop a comprehensive and realistic plan for the WV farm.
Wellness, Arts and Culture
The members of this newly formed group are spread out from Kingston to Uxbridge to Alton to Rockwood and have decided to set a precedent by meeting on line. They will be looking at home-based businesses in the WV, the possibilities of creating a wellness or therapeutic centre as part of the village, facilities and amenities to be included in the community building and what similar resources exist in nearby communities.
Be sure to attend our third annual Whole Village May Day party on Saturday April 28, 2001 at Karalane Farm, starting with a potluck lunch at 1 PM. Bring a 15 foot (3 meter) piece of ribbon for the Maypole. You will write your hopes and dreams for the next year on the ribbon and weave it with all the other ribbons as we celebrate the coming of Spring. RSVP at 519-941-1099.
For more information, please contact us at:
Whole Village Ltd.
Phone: (519) 941-1099 Fax: (905) 833-2813