Crescit eundo, translated from Latin, it means “it grows as it goes” and is the New Mexico State slogan and could also be the perfect mantra for Tres Placitas del Rio, the last community we visited on our itinerary. This eleven home community is just down the street from The Commons and yet a world entirely of its own.
We parked the Guppy by the handpainted guest sign hung on the chain link fence and walked along the “backside” of the community that showed the eclectic mix of architecture. Each house was owner designed and often built, another distinction from other cohousing communities we visited.
We sat down with Lynn Gerry in her backyard, who at 68 was one of the older residents there and among the first to buy and build in 1997.
Tres Placitas is situated along a tree lined dry river bed on 2.5 acres and the residents share a large open space that face the mountains. There is a community garden, barn with goats and chickens, kids playground and multi-level terrace/ramada area that serves as the primary gathering area during the summer months. This was the only cohousing community we visited that did not have a Common House. So instead the community members adapted and gather in each other’s homes for meeting and shared meals. The residents also make a point to go on a vacation retreat in Colorado once a year just to have fun and generate community spirit: something they’ve been doing for seven years now.
Lynn stressed that it takes real effort to live so closely together especially given the eclectic mix of the members. “We are not an affluent community, ” says Lynn. “We are comprised of hard working socially conscious, creative types with a shared commitment for living together harmoniously on the land and each other.”
So much like the blanket thrown on an outside bench with it’s faded colors and patterns, this community has found a way to weave itself together with it’s uniqueness and individual expression in a way that works. And like the saying, “it grows as it goes…”