Nyland Cohousing: It takes a Village

Durango Joes

Greetings from super cool indie coffee shop called Durango Joes. We have officially finished interviewing all twelve cohousing communities in Colorado but still in catch up mode writing about all of them. We head to Sante Fe next to visit the last three on our itinerary. Hard to believe we are in the final stretch.

Nyland

Nyland Cohousing has 42 “farm-style” homes with about 150 residents on 42 acres making it one of the largest and most rural communities we visited thus far. The community with its natural meadows, rolling hills and sweeping mountain views gives you country living despite it’s relative proximity to Boulder only 6 miles away.

We were greeted by Tere Mann, a 2-year resident, who also works for Wonderland, the developer of the project over 19 years ago making it the first cohousing communities in Colorado.

The community has gone through many changes over time given its size and shifting demographics. One change that Tere mentioned is more single women between the ages of 30 and 74 are subleasing spaces from each other in order to afford living there.

To govern such a big community Nyland has three community action groups or CAGS for short that focus on the land and their community supported garden, common house and well-being.

As Terry walked us around that cool misty morning she pointed out how many of the residents had just completed a major painting project. Unlike other communities more densely situated every home here got to select their own color combinations. We were struck by the individual expression and how vibrant it looked like a colorful necklace loosely strung together.

Community Garden

Nyland’s community supported agriculture garden was also somewhat unique. They had a little store where people from the community could go to purchase eggs, flowers and vegetables on an honor system.  The community also had a nice woodworking shed and active recycling system.

Woodworking Shed

The overall feeling of the community was more like a small European village in the country. It had a relaxed, casual and spacious sense about it.

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4 Responses to Nyland Cohousing: It takes a Village

  1. sarara says:

    This one really appeals to me! Thank you for all of your efforts and writings too!
    Happy trails to New Mexico!

  2. Cliff DeVlieg says:

    Note that Nyland has plenty of opportunity for everyone to participate in the governance/operation of the village. The best organizations of this type probably have the most people involved putting their little bit of effort.

  3. Liah Holtzman says:

    Happy to hear about the single women in this community. That was going to be one of my questions. Are most of the communities couples and families? Where are all the single women going?

    • Donna and I are thinking about starting an “estrogen ecovillage.” 🙂 Seriously, as we suspected there seems to be a trend towards more single women to be living in community. this seems especially true in some of the more established communities such as Nyland, Wasatch, Harmony. But how many varies from community to community. Most of the ones we visited have a mix of couples/families/young children as noted in our brief write ups.

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