Our Site & Vision
What is Cohousing
Cohousing is a cooperative, intentional neighborhood characterized by private dwellings, common facilities, and people consciously committed to living as community. The physical design encourages living lightly on the land and facilitates social contact. Participation in group decision, projects, chores, some meals, and celebrations is the glue that strengthens the relationships. Cohousing offers promising solutions to many of today’s challenging social and environmental concerns.
See the Cohousing Association of the United States web site for lots more information, including a directory of cohousing communitites across the country.
For additional photos and the latest news, please visit the Woodard Lane Cohousing Facebook page. No sign-in required!
Our site is on Olympia’s West Side, just 1.6 miles from downtown, and 6 blocks from the beloved Westside Olympia food coop. Part of our land is a green belt provided by a deep ravine sculpted by a year-round stream that enters Puget Sound several blocks away. We currently have a large vegetable garden and play areas for the kids. All of our homes surround a center Green where we gather to talk, walk our dogs, ride bikes and scooters, and enjoy the sunshine.
Our loving and vibrant community has been living together since 2010. We share meals, conversations, helping hands, babysitting, song circles and the joy of connection. We are tucked into the edge of a ravine, within walking distance of downtown Olympia, but in a lovely older neighborhood. In 2016, we completed our Phase II construction project, which expanded the community from 11 to 18 units. The approximately 50 members range in age from 1 to 81.
More important than building houses, we have been building community since we started this process in late 2004. Now that we live together we continue to have community meals, celebrations, work parties and of course community meetings.
We are an intentional community that honors and celebrates the diversity, oneness, and inter-relatedness of all creation. We support each other as evolving compassionate, spiritual beings who recognize our connection to the world community. We benefit from the sharing of ideas, time, skills, tools and responsibilities. We enjoy communal time while respecting individual and family needs.
We value nature, beauty and ecologically sustainable living.
To create a positive, healthy, and fun community we agree to:
Speak our truth and listen to others
Commit to active participation
Demonstrate ability to pay for home and shared property / resources (including creative financing options)
Use the consensus process
Build and maintain our homes with sustainable practices
Live in community while respecting privacy of others
Participate actively in community activities (meetings, some meals, celebrations, etc.)
Take responsibility for own actions, assumptions and expenses
Act and speak with integrity
Practice Nonviolent Communication
Respect self, each other and honor our differences
Live lightly on the land