Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TOGETHER ON THE LAND: Options for Sustainable, Affordable & Ecological Living in Community


Megan McDonough
Valley Community Land Trust
413-218-0683 or 413-624-5128

Options for Sustainable, Affordable & Ecological Living in Community

8:30am-5pm Sunday September 11, 2011
Pioneer Valley Massachusetts
$20 per ticket, discounts & scholarships available
Pre-Registration Required at VCLT.org

Co-sponsored by:
Cooperative Development Institute, Co-op Power, Equity Trust, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust & Valley Community Land Trust

Northampton, MA – Many people in the Pioneer Valley have shared an apartment or developed informal neighborhood communities, but few could explain the differences between co-ops, condos, and cohousing.

A group of local non-profits involved in community-based housing, affordable housing and land conservation have teamed up to organize a guided tour of several locations throughout the Pioneer Valley where residents and supporting organizations are creating affordability, sustainability and community.

The third annual Together on the Land Tour highlights long-standing and new examples of housing and land ownership that tackle tough questions about the problems and benefits of green and affordable housing, community involvement and interdependence. These examples cover a range of approaches for sharing resources between neighbors, providing onsite gardening, ensuring permanent home and farm affordability, permanently protecting land, plus other solutions to the problems of living together on the land.

The stops on this tour include:
  • A manufactured housing park that is now a resident owned co-operative (Quabbin Sunrise Cooperative – Ware, MA);
  •  A farm addressing the need for permanently affordable farm housing and land tenure (Red Fire Farm – Granby & Montague, MA);
  •  An established cohousing community with a common house, walkable multi-generational community and energy efficient homes (Rocky Hill Cohousing – Northampton, MA);
  • An urban community land trust helping to keep housing affordable by removing the cost of land from the cost of housing (Holyoke Community Land Trust, Holyoke, MA); and
  • A small cluster of homes that were built with lots of volunteer labor and meet high energy efficiency standards (Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, Amherst, MA)
Register online at www.vclt.org/tour. Information from tour co-sponsors will be available at the tour and online. Those who can not participate in the tour are encouraged to be in touch with cosponsoring organizations with questions.

Special Thanks:
  • Collective Copies Print Shop for their donation of copying services for tour flyers and handouts. Collective Copies was founded in 1983 by recently unionized workers from a long-gone copy shop. Committed from the start to worker-ownership and collective decision-making, Collective Copies remain the only worker-owned cooperative copy center in the nation. http://www.collectivecopies.com
  • River Valley Market for their donation towards snacks for the event. River Valley Market is a communityowned, full-service grocery store specializing in fresh, local and organically grown food. We offer fresh produce; meat & seafood; groceries; a deli with homemade soups, a hot and cold bar, sushi, house-made pastries, desserts, and organic, fair-trade coffee; gifts; and a complete wellness department. http://rivervalleymarket.coop/
  • The Valley Advocate for their media sponsorship. The Valley Advocate is a free weekly magazine that provides news, arts & entertainment information for the Pioneer Valley. http://www.valleyadvocate.com/
Co-Sponsors include:
  • Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the Northeast's center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. CDI's mission is to build a vibrant co-operative economy through the creation and development of successful co-operative enterprises in diverse communities in New England and New York. http://www.cdi.coop/
  • Co-op Power is a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future, with regional councils in Southern VT, Boston, Franklin County, Hampshire County, and Hampden County. http://www.cooppower.coop/
  • Equity Trust is a small, national organization that provides education, technical assistance, and financing to farmers, land trusts, and community groups working to save farms and to create affordable housing. Equity Trust’s programs support ownership structures that balance the needs of individuals with the needs of the community, the earth, and future generations. http://www.equitytrust.org/
  • 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. In 25 years Mount Grace has protected nearly 25,000 acres of farmland, forestland, water resources, and wildlife habitat. 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. Land held in trust by VCLT is made available to the community for affordable housing and sustainable agriculture. http://www.vclt.org
Contacts from tour sites and co-sponsoring organizations are available for pre-event interviews. Free tickets available for Media Representatives who would like to cover the tour. Please contact Megan for details! 413-218-0683 or info@vclt.org.