Re: Aug 21: Tour of San Francisco's East Bay Cohousing Communities - Please share this announcement with others!
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 08:18:51 -0700 (PDT)
On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM, Neil - (Coho/US) <neil [at]> 
> Come join us for an all-day educational tour and visit to six (6) of
> San Francisco's East Bay cohousing communities.

Thanks for the reminder, Neil! I'd like to follow in your footsteps
and highly recommend the tours as a great way to meet other cohousing
seekers, see different models of community, and have a basis for
conversation. It makes your conversations so much more real to be able
to say at a forming-group's meeting, to your future neighbors, "Let's
have a lot layout like Berkeley Cohousing, but a common house more
like Temescal Creek, with a kitchen more like Swan's Market
Cohousing," and know what you're talking about - it saves lots of time
in your planning phase, and makes it much more real. In our East Bay
Cohousing (EBCOHO) regional umbrella group, we've seen many core
groups emerge or make significant progress as a result of going on

If you're planning a trip for the tour to the greater
Berkeley-Oakland-Emeryville area (where, by the way, in case you're
stuck somewhere hot and humid, the weather has remained comfy with
highs in the 70s and 80s for the past month, thanks to that lovely San
Francisco Bay summer fog), home to the country's greatest
concentration of cohousing neighborhoods within five miles of each
other, I'd like to extend the invitation to come to some other
community-building events happening around that time - see below for a
quick list, read on for details, or jump to the EBCOHO MeetUp with the
link at the bottom of this message.

"Creating a Life Together" author Diana Leafe Christian of Earthaven
Ecovillage (North Carolina) will be in town the week of the tour to
present a 3-day workshop at our Berkeley offices on how to create an
EcoVillage or intentional community, including cohousing
neighborhoods. The course, August 20th through 22d, overlaps the tour
date, but we offer a discount rate if you'd like to come just the
first and last days -- and if a friend or lover or future or current
cohousing neighbor is coming for the tour, and you've already seen
area communities, you could come along for the trip, take the full
course and compare notes. Past participants in Diana's training rave
about how it saved them thousands of dollars and months of planning,
by helping them, in participatory exercises, learn from the experience
of not just cohousing groups but a wide range of communities around
the world. It includes:

* Antidotes for common kinds of "structural conflict" and
interpersonal conflict
* The "Board Game" — demonstrating the relationship between mission,
membership process, and decision-making method
* Methods for building trust and connection, increasing social
capital, and dealing with "the challenging group member"
* Case histories of how real ecovillages purchased, financed &
developed their sites
* Permaculture-based site plan design principles and examples from
real ecovillages
* Community economics and internal community finances.

Rates are discounted through this Monday (and drop even more if you
bring a friend or neighbor or two), so visit the EBCOHO MeetUp group
(link below) to learn more and register today. I'll do a separate list
post with event details and an invitation you can share, but you can
see the full day-by-day agenda on the Cohousing California website:

Diana is also presenting a free EcoVillages slideshow in Emeryville on
the prior Thursday evening, August 19th; I'll be providing an
introduction based on the new solutions-oriented Climate-Change
slideshow Al Gore just released through The Climate Project, part of
the Alliance for Climate Protection (I was back in Nashville
retraining with him a week after the national cohousing conference),
setting a context for how community living can make the most
difference in reducing our collective climate impacts and carbon
footprints. Reserve your seat today via the EBCOHO site.

We just last week hosted Frog Song's Eris Weaver (from Cotati, CA) for
a very popular and well-received workshop on how to talk about money
in community -- which turns out to have less than you might think to
do with economics and lots connected to process and values. We had to
move the event to a larger community center we rented across the
street from our offices, to accommodate cohousers (and cohousing
seekers and co-creators) coming from as far as Ukiah and Folsom, CA.

This Saturday morning we're doing a basic orientation, introduction to
community and sharing circle; next Saturday morning (August 14th) my
lovely wife and fellow community organizer Betsy Morris will premiere
a half-day workshop on the ABC's of Cooperative Group Process:
techniques (and a philosophy) that can produce positive group dynamics
and help any group reach its goals, whether it's cohousing or a
business workgroup:

* A is for Agreements, Agendas, and Action
* B is for Bodies, Breaks, Boundaries and Balance
* C is for Connections, Corrections, Circles, Closure and more...

That afternoon, join some East Bay Cohousers in a carpool up to
Sebastopol for a tour of a Tumbleweed Tiny House from the creator of
that model... some of our members are exploring the feasibility of a
community of such modular small homes, adapted to serve
environmentally sensitive people, with mobility options that would let
them migrate to escape airborne toxics or other conditions that could
affect their health. Details of this vision are posted on our MeetUp's
message board.

Oh yeah, I'd be remiss not to mention that our supporting members get
a cohousing book, discounts on events that very quickly add up, and
personalized Cohousing Coaching to help them find their way in or to

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach & Community Organizer
East Bay Cohousing / Cohousing California
at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

Our calendar and community living options in the area are always
evolving, but here's today's summary of what's up:

* Orientation/Introduction and Sharing Circle 8/7 Saturday AM (Berkeley)
* ABC's of Group Process with Betsy Morris 8/14 Saturday AM
* NVC & Permaculture Leader Kit Miller on Transition Movement Heart &
Soul call 8/18 midday
* Free Ecovillages Slide Show with Diana Leafe Christian in Emeryville
8/19 Thursday evening
* Growing a Successful Ecovillage or Intentional Community, a 3-day
workshop with Diana 8/20-22
* Cohousing Bus Tour 8/21 (discounted for EBCOHO Members & Supporting Members)
* "Aging in Community" Senior Cohousing study group workshop series
kicking off in Alameda 8/25
* Two-year Facilitation Intensive Series with Laird Schaub starting in September

Current opportunities to become part of sustainable communities in the
area include:
* Affordable "Instant Cohousing" homes in a 7-unit Victorian mansion
in North Oakland's Golden Gate district, near Emeryville
* The San Francisco "Backyard Neighborhood" group seeking a 4th member
household so they can proceed to purchase
* A one-year rental of a 3-bedroom home at Pleasant Hill Cohousing
* A rooftop garden apartment in 611 Ecovillage, an Oakland shared
house with rent-to-own options
* A room for rent at the Church of Soul community near West Oakland BART
* An end-of-the-year 1.5-month sublet and a near-term roommate
opportunity at Temescal Creek cohousing

Get details about all of the above and more the East Bay Cohousing
website -- membership is free!

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