Who we are
We are 30 member households – singles and couples, working and retired, volunteers and activists. Our lives are full and rich! Some of us have lived and traveled around the world; some of us enjoy the quiet of home. We all value community, share our diverse skills and interests, and offer mutual support to each other. Environmental sustainability is important to us, and together we are creating simple and beautiful housing that honors the earth and preserves open space.
The people of Shepherd Village represent a wide range of faiths and beliefs. Among us are those who follow traditions of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, combinations of many or none at all. We value diversity and look forward to expanding and enriching our world as we learn from one another.
Members currently live in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Kentucky, Florida, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. Collaborating to bring to life this new cohousing community in Shepherdstown, we are taking risks, working hard to learn what is needed, and having fun in the process.
How we are organized
Our Member households (called “Pioneers”) meet monthly to move the project forward. Most of us serve on one or more Teams, where most of the work is done. Each Team reports on its work and recommends actions to be taken. Decisions are made by consensus in the business meetings. Our Teams include:
- Information Management
- Site Stewardship
- Care Facility
- HOA (Home Owners Association)
Our project has benefited from the skills of consultants we have hired in the areas of development, architecture, engineering, “green” building design and permaculture. With these consultants, we have created a design for the whole community, including building designs and strategies for financing its development. We have also worked to clean up the land and learn how to become wise stewards of this precious resource.
How we got started
There are many ways to tell our evolving story! Here’s one:
Some of us have known each other for a long time; many are newly made friends. Some of our early members were part of other intentional communities – first, “Sojourners” (starting as early as the 1970’s) and then, “Circle” (starting around 1990). Around 2010, they began to have conversations about how to continue to enjoy the precious gifts of community through the years ahead. At that point, some were living in the DC metro area, and others closer to Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown. In 2011, five of them visited an intentional residential community in Abington, VA, and came back excited about the possibility of creating something similar in this area.
Shepherdstown seemed to be a perfect place to nestle such a community. Surprisingly, they discovered an available 19-acre tract of undeveloped land within the town. Project conversations then broadened to include more people in the Shepherdstown area. What would become “Shepherd Village” was launched when original members were joined by local folks at an exploratory meeting in January 2013. The 15 participants shared their hopes for the future, and one of the local leaders introduced the concept of “cohousing”.
The project took off! By March 2013, an emerging group of 11 households had become an LLC (limited liability corporation), and in November of 2013, one of the households purchased the 19-acre tract on behalf of the group. And so the journey began…