Greetings from the Guppy. It has been a very busy weekend with six interviews and driving in between. So, forgive the delay in the updates, we are in the process of catching up from an indie coffee shop in Colorado Springs.
Wild Sage http://www.wildsagecohousing.org/is an urban infill community situated on a 2-acre lot that once belonged to the Holiday Drive-in theater. The City of Boulder donated the land with the stipulation that some of the development be dedicated to affordable housing. Thus, 14 out of the 34 homes were built by Habitat by Humanity making it somewhat affordable for young families. We did learn that the term “affordable” in Boulder is a bit of a misnomer. Housing is very expensive in this area.
The community is wedged in a dense “new urbanist” neighborhood of condos and apartments against the backdrop of the Flatiron mountain about 15 minutes from downtown Boulder.
Upon arrival, we briefly waited for Bryan Bowen, a resident and the local community architect to finish his meeting. It was around 5 pm and he offered us some “community brewed” beer. He took us into the Common House he helped design and poured us a glass.
We talked a while about the cohousing movement and then on to what made Wild Sage the unique place it is. Nearly the whole time Bryan was sharing, kids of various ages came out to play on the common green in their martial arts and Ninja outfits across from where we were sitting. Toys, bikes of all kinds were scattered about. Even the cats and dogs came to check out the visitors.
The children were highly interactive with the adults and Bryan waved over Annie, a sweet eight years old, who recently moved into the community. She was very confident and shared what she liked about living there. She really enjoyed the freedom and commented how quickly she knew everyone, “like the back of her hand.”
After spending about an hour with us, Bryan said, the only reason he could sit with us this long was because he knew his wife and young children were fine because they had community support in child-rearing. He also shared about a time when the community came in to help him out when his wife had an injury and he just couldn’t keep up with everything. He recounted how different people came in and cleaned his house and brought meals so he could manage things.
During our stay at the Common House over three days, there were several community events. The first evening was an art show for people of all ages. The artwork was represented both from within Wild Sage and around the area. The next day while we were blogging, three teenager girls came in to work on a school project playing their music. It was totally comfortable for all of us to share the space. Later that day just before we left the common house was being set up for a coffee cafe with live musicians.
Coffeehouse set up
While the Chicks were having lunch outside the Common House we were surprised to run into Christian, a friend from Phoenix. He just moved into the community with his wife and 8 month old infant. We shared some of our salad and asked about his decision to take the leap to move there. For years he tried to create intentional community in Phoenix. But after visiting Wild Sage he fell in love with the place. After lunch he gave us a tour of his new home that he was renting. You could feel his excitement and we were sure as we said good-bye to him that his young family would thrive in this vibrant, creative and active community.