Eco Living Village

Imagine living in a Thousand Island Eco Village just minutes from downtown Kingston - enjoying all the pleasures of country life, yet knowing that all the resources of one of Ontario's most exciting and picturesque cities is just minutes from home.

Truly it would be the best of both worlds!

Kingston was the original capital of Canada, and it still retains all the historic charm and cultural richness of a city that once was the center of a Country.

Today, it has is a thriving community with an energetic city center. The ferry drops you off in the midst of the restaurants and entertainment of downtown Kingston and when it’s time to leave the vibrant nightlife, the waterfront twinkles as you head home on the ferry. When you reach the island you know you have arrived at an oasis of natural beauty and tranquility.

Then and eco village may be the perfect place to plan your life around.

Here is an example of one of our Eco Village Designs:

We were recently invited to develop the conceptual design for this potential eco village. If it all comes together the Goodlife Eco Village would feature a beautiful location with water-views of the mighty St. Lawrence River in four directions. When we walked the proposed site it felt like you are away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, yet the city lights of Kingston's skyline are just a 15-minute ferry ride across the water.

The elements were a magic combination that features a country lifestyle that is only minutes from downtown Kingston.

ITS ALL ABOUT LIFESTYLE

We do enjoy designing projects on land that forms a great canvas for eco living. This project would provide a unique opportunity to benefit from the security of living in a community designed for today and tomorrow where you can revel in the freedom of a healthy country lifestyle while enjoying views of the city skyline over the water. An oasis from city life that offers unique qualities that are becoming very rare to find.

The land on the proposed site was fortunately completely organic having never seen agricultural pesticides and has been owned and loved by one family for over 200 years.

The design for this village features a private edible forest, a landscaped community parkland featuring organic garden plots for each family which would help ensure a family’s food quality and security.

BUILDING A FUTURE

The vision of the potential Eco Village on Wolfe Island would be just a 15-minute ferry ride from downtown Kingston Ontario, or a short 5-minute ferry ride from Cape Vincent in New York State. There would be a number of sustainable resources incorporated into the village that would enhance the residents ability to live a healthy lifestyle. The lifestyle support resources for healthy living, creating energy, organic food security, recreation, education and eco enterprise, all in this unique waterfront eco-village.


If your are interested in this kind of lifestyle then perhaps you should consider living at one of the ecovillage project being designed by Earthworks.


FOOD SECURITY

Part of this approach to community building is to optimize both the quality and security of the community’s food supply. Our plan accommodates development of “Organic Garden Plots” for every household in the community, along with an “Edible Forest Parkland” that incorporates fruit trees, berry crops and perennial food plants into an attractive recreational parkland which also provides an additional food supply to the community.

With acres to work with, the community-shared agricultural resources would be able to provide an abundant supply of fresh organic produce for community members.

We saw the possibility to create a Community Greenhouse and Composting Center that would support our organic food production capacity. We believe that the organic food production would far exceed the community needs, so we could also see the potential to market organic produce as part of our community-owned eco-enterprise.

In addition, we always develop a permaculture plan for all the common lands that balances food production needs with the recreational, cultural, educational, and economics needs of the community.

Of course plans on projects like this are always evolving with the input from community members, and other stake holders. So we start with a framework that accommodates the core needs of the community then the plan is fine tuned to meet the unique needs of the community itself.

For Example:

You can see one of the land use proposals below, which illustrates the potential and the extent to which they could contribute to the quality of life for all Goodlife Eco Village residents.

ENERGY SECURITY

In this example plan each lot is easily accessible by a private road with Ontario Hydro already available to each site.

However, the island is well known for its wind energy production and this site is ideal for developing off-grid energy self-sufficiency for individual homes and for community facilities. This site would have unique characteristics that support highly efficient solar and wind energy production that can easily provide backup or alternative renewable energy security for the families that live here.

Note: The roads and common lands would be maintained from within the community.

RECREATION

In this design the families in this Eco-Village would also have private access to the water, including a boat launch, with plans to also develop a community dock and swimming area. Wolfe Island itself is famous for its great fishing spots, and it’s a paradise for cyclists with a well-maintained network of roads and trails with very little traffic. Lots to do!

The Island is a water lovers paradise with great Swimming, Sailing, Boating and Fishing opportunities all around the island. The sun is shining, the water is blue and warm and a gentle breeze is blowing. For sailors and boaters there is nothing more relaxing than to spend those warm summer days out on the water, sailing from island to island and marveling at the stunning beauty of nature. Nights, find them gazing at the star-filled sky. For many Ontario boaters, the Thousand Islands may well be the best place in the world to live.

For anglers the waters surrounding the island are filled with fish of all types and sizes including Walleye, Small Mouth Bass, Pike and Muskellunge. The waters surrounding Wolfe Island abound with game fish of all types and sizes. Lying at the mouth of the St Lawrence Seaway the Island provides anglers with access to both Lake Ontario species and the ones that frequent the seaway itself. See "About Wolfe Island" below.

LOCATION

The location of an eco village is always an important factor in considering the lifestyle you want for your future. This concept for this design would be located on the largest of the Thousand Islands, this location is truly exceptional.

Nestled in the waters of the St. Lawrence River, this land features great views with water in all four directions, and waterfront access for swimming, fishing, and boating.

The GOODLIFE ECO VILLAGE site would be only 10 minutes from the town of Marysville right on the Island, which is only 15 minutes by the FREE FERRY to DOWNTOWN KINGSTON Ontario. Wolfe Island is also only a short 5-minute ferry ride to Cape Vincent in New York State.

Water views seem to surround the entire site of the proposed community, where a number of upscale homes have already been built. The fortunate families that take advantage of of this kind of project would never regret settling into such a beautiful landscape.

ECO HOMES

Perhaps dreams are possible! In this design you could live a healthy and sustainable life and enjoy the additional community resources that enhance your lifestyle.

We have eco-home designers and builders that take a keen interest in projects like this, and enthusiastically help members in such communities create their own high-performance and healthy home in a safe and green community.

As a resident in one of our eco-villages you would have lots of options. The talented house builders at Natural Buildings for example has offered to build passive solar homes that are built with natural materials free from toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds found in homes commonly built today.

These high-performance eco-homes are also designed to be highly energy-efficient with a very low environmental footprint. By working with a team of green minded designers and builders you are able to match your lifestyle to the home you build. Feel free to call us and we can talk about your dream home project and how it may fit into the design of one of our community projects!

The green home construction methods that we recommend range from traditional and robust timber frame and log structures to ground-breaking solutions like straw bale construction, cob, bio-fiber, earthships and geodesic domes.

To provide energy security for our clients, we also have been evaluating custom solar-heating and cooling systems and a wide variety of renewable energy systems. The location of most of our village projects are selected based partly on the sites ability to take advantage of both solar and wind exposure.

Our testing and research has produced a set of recommendations that are available to Earthworks clients. Each application has a different set of requirements, so we help our clients match the technology to their specific needs and lifestyle.

ECO ENTERPRISE

Successful intentional communities tend to develop a business plan which helps to support the resource base of the community.

In Earthworks Eco Villages, we generally build in an Eco Enterprise Center that supports not only community enterprises, but also the home business initiatives of its community members.

In most of our Village projects, we have suggested having a Community Center for social, educational and entertainment events, and an Enterprise Center which forms a hub for the economic activity in the Village.

Here is one example of a proposal for the land use that shows not only the Recreational Resources with the Boat House, Dock and Swimming area, but also a large area for an Edible Forest Parkland.

A GREAT DEAL

We dont know yet if this proposal will be manifest in a actual community, but it is the kind of site that could be very successful as an Eco Village. Its not often we find 200-year-old organic land, that forms the canvas on which a community can be created that is also close to an urban centre.

Like in most intentional communities there are often advantages to those that get involved in projects early in the process to feel free to get in touch with us about upcoming projects that might meet your needs.

CALL US Toll-Free at (888) 844-3444 (ext. 7) for more information. Of course inquiries from Home Builders and Developers are also invited.

ABOUT WOLFE ISLAND

We spend a lot of our time looking for great canvas to work with and are always looking for land that has a matrix of resources that enhance the potential success of an eco village. When we were designing this project we were impressed with the island lifestyle afforded by Wolfe Island which provides a unique context for eco oriented development.

Wolfe Island has been described as a magical place where time goes by a little bit more slowly, a place where an old fashioned, friendly country lifestyle still exists. Somehow, this magic is just a short ferry ride away from "the big city of Kingston" and has so much to offer to tourists, and Islanders alike.

The Ferry Ride from the city of Kingston Ontario is a pleasant 15-minute voyage, featuring scenic views of the island as you approach the landing at the island town of Marysville. The ferry runs every day from 5:45am to 2:00am.

Marysville itself has everything a family might need, from its artsy and entertaining shopping and restaurant scene, to the practical things like schools, post office, community center, fire hall, emergency services and medical center.

The Attraction - Islanders may try to keep this treasure a secret, but the word gets out. First time visitors to the Island are surprised to find lots to see and do, with many great places to eat and lovely places to stay.

Events like the Wolfe Island Music Festival (one of the region’s biggest summer events) draws thousands of visitors to the island, but most of the time it’s a lovely, peaceful oasis from the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

Beaches - Big Sandy Bay (right off the ferry, left on 95 to Reeds Bay Road and right onto 3rd Line Road), is described as one of the best hidden gems in the area. Big Sandy Bay is a well-loved beach located on the western shore of Wolfe Island.

The area is known for rare birds, trees and other unique plant species.

Bird Watching (everywhere!) - Over two-hundred species of birds live on or migrate through the island every year, making Wolfe Island a perfect place for birders. In fact, the island has been recognized by Important Bird Areas of Canada - an initiative that monitors and conserves significant bird habitats. All you need is a good bird book and a pair of binoculars!

Cycling (various routes) - The first thing I was ever told about Wolfe Island was that the cycling is excellent, and it's true. Four main routes have been established through colored signage. Most of these routes take cyclists away from heavily trafficked areas, making for a peaceful, pleasant tour of the countryside.

Family Fun - The Wolfe Island Corn Maze (right turn off the ferry and up Hwy 95 about 3.2km): This corn maze is a popular destination for kids of all ages, run from the beginning of August to the beginning of November. This fun and sometimes spooky maze offers affordable good times.

Surrounded By Shorelines - The island is a water-lovers paradise with great Swimming, Sailing, Boating and Fishing opportunities all around the island. For anglers, the waters surrounding the island are filled with fish of all types and sizes including Walleye, Small Mouth Bass, Pike and Muskellunge.

Water Sport Haven - The legendary winds on the island keep smiles on the faces of the many windsurfers and kite surfing enthusiasts.

Golfing (802 9th Line Road) - Riverfront Golf Course is a nine-hole course designed to meet the needs of seasoned and beginner golfers alike.

History - Old House Museum (Leander Street, near the ferry dock): The Old House Museum is the oldest home in Marysville. The museum is run by volunteers and houses a variety of items from Wolfe Island's history such as stories of the ferry from a captain's perspective.

Wind Turbine Tours (everywhere!) - Print off the Self-Guided Wolfe Island Walking Tour Map & Narrative and take yourself plus your family on a tour of the wind turbines that populate the west-end of the island. Learn about hydro developers, the history of the wind farm, how wind turbines work, are constructed and much more.

ANNUAL EVENTS

Chili Festival (Wolfe Island Community Centre) - Each year, Wolfe Island celebrates winter with its popular Chili Festival. The day features the annual chili competition, ice skating, hockey and other games, as well as hay rides around the village. The festival takes place near the end of January or beginning of February.

The Race - Wolfe Island Classic (Marysville Village): These 5km and 10km races have been running annually at the beginning of July for 34 years now, and proceeds go to support the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. The course is described as "scenic but hilly and challenging".

Music - Wolfe Island Music Festival (Marysville): This ever growing festival has been taking place at the beginning of August for over 10 years now. The party runs over two days, and showcases the talents of 20 Canadian bands. Tickets typically go on sale in May and can include camping.

Take a look at some of the Intentional Communities we have designed.

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