Forest Moon Ecovillage is a concept created by the Black Mountain Druid Order. The idea of the village was to provide a permanent home for residents, built from natural green materials. Such tiny homes would be sustainable and renewable.
Back in 2001 our Order attempted to create Forest Moon Ecovillage. At the time, Black Mountain Druid Order was located near Black Mountain, North Carolina. What we found back then that the people who were interested in Forest Moon Ecovillage didn’t have the money, and the people who had the money to invest weren’t interested in Forest Moon Ecovillage.
Since we had a lot of people who were interested but didn’t have the money, we next proposed a series of fundraising events like art festivals and concerts to help raise the money. All we asked of the people who had expressed an interest but didn’t have the money was that they agree to volunteer to help the festivals happen. The result was that there weren’t enough people willing to volunteer their time to make the festivals a reality. So the dream of Forest Moon Ecovillage died somewhere around 2012 after a decade of planning.
Nonetheless, a lot of time and energy went into planning the original vision of the ecovillage, so we’re posting that information here in this section of the website in case there might be others who could benefit from the work we already did.
In 2020 the Black Mountain Druid Order relocated to the Seattle-Tacoma area. While western North Carolina was a conservative Christian area, Washington is a blue state with much more liberal ideas about sustainable communities. Washington and Oregon are currently hotbeds of the green building movement. With this in mind we’re putting this information out here to see if there may be any interest in our vision on the West Coast in the Cascadia region. Black Mountain Druid Order is no longer actively pursuing the ecovillage, but that could always change in the future if there are enough interested parties.
This section of our website describes the concept of Forest Moon Ecovillage in detail. Whether or not Forest Moon becomes a reality and where the final location would be would depend upon the number of people who expressed an interest. The concept was to offer 1/4 acre lots for $5000 each on a 99-year lease, renewable. As more infrastructure was added, this price would go up for future members. These terms were subject to revision based on what the majority of residents wanted and needed.
While 1/4 acre might seem small, it’s more than adequate for a tiny home. A 1/4 acre site is approximately 100 feet x 100 feet. Tiny homes are usually 1000 square feet or less, so such a home would take up one-tenth of a 1/4 acre lot.
If Forest Moon became a reality, we would have been building infrastructure first. Such infrastructure would include a bathhouse, a community laundry, a community kitchen, and a council house/town hall. All residents would have had access to all the amenities and would have been able to use them while building their own homes. We would have had several natural builders on staff who would have been able to help with building homes out of natural materials.
The initial land purchase would have depended upon the number of people who could have committed resources. The smallest plot of land under consideration would have been a little over ten acres. This would have been located somewhere in Washington or Oregon. We needed people interested in over half of the lots before going through with the purchase. This means that we needed 20+ people/families to express an interest in leasing 1/4 acre in Forest Moon for 99 years at a rate of $5000 per 1/4 acre lot.
What we got, after a pool of nearly 50 people who expressed an interest, was 2 families who could actually commit to the community. Obviously this wasn’t enough to go through with the ecovillage, so in 2012 we abandoned the project.
A Note on Contacting Us
We would always be interested in reviving the project; however, we’d need enough people will to commit funds, resources, or volunteer time to Forest Moon Ecovillage.
We abandoned it because very few of the people interested actually had the funds, and the ones who didn’t have the funds were unwilling to volunteer for fundraising events to raise the funds.
If you’re interested in a concept like Forest Moon Ecovillage, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to create some sort of network for interested people to communicate with each other, but for now Black Mountain Druid Order is no longer pursuing the project.
Forest Moon would have been an off-the-grid community. We follow the tiny homes concept, with homes being 1000 square feet or less. Such homes can be powered using a combination of wind, solar, and other alternative energies. When searching for properties for Forest Moon we were not concerned with access to a public power grid, as the intention was to provide our own stand-alone alternative sources of energy.
The community property would have had several buildings held in common for the benefit and use of the entire community. The list below isn’t all-inclusive, and as things progressed and more members joined in the development process, it would have probably evolved. The Design Committee came up with the following buildings/facilities in the initial phase of development:
- A Community Building which could be used for community meetings and councils, and a resource library
- A campground for festival visitors
- A bathhouse for the campground
- A laundromat for use by all members
- A co-operative grocery/farmer’s market
- A community school manned by volunteers
- A coffee house/restaurant that would be open to the general public as well as to the community
- A playground area
- An outdoor stage and festival arena including an amphitheater
- An outdoor chapel/sacred space/grove for handfastings, weddings, and other rites of passage
- An art studio/gallery and an artist’s market
- A ‘yoga yurt’
- On outdoor gym with biking and hiking trails
- A botanical/sculpture garden incorporated into the hiking trails
- Two or three tiny homes used for homeless families or people in transition
- Cottages available for rental for retreats, vacationers, and visitors
All of these facilities would not have been built at once. They would have been ranked in order of priority and built accordingly. The Community Center would have to be built first, since it would have been the central hub of the community. Since the community center and the ecovillage would have been educational facilities for sustainable living techniques, at least two seminars per year on sustainable building would be held in and around the community center.
As a project for each of the seminars, one of the above facilities would have been built using natural building techniques like cob building, straw bale, earth bags, etc. This process would continue until all the needed facilities had been built. Funds for materials to build each facility would have been raised through a combination of seminar fees and other fundraising projects and/or grants. As a nonprofit whose two primary focuses would have been art and education, the Forest Moon Ecovillage would have also been eligible for many grants for both the arts and education.
We tried to make Forest Moon Ecovillage a reality for over ten years. The original vision was conceived of by the Black Mountain Druid Order back in 2001. After over a decade of planning, we finally abandoned the project in 2012 because we could not raise the funds or get enough volunteers willing to help us raise the funds.
Because of this we are no longer actively pursuing Forest Moon Ecovillage, but we are including all the information we created during the process in this section of the website just in case some other group with more resources might like to consider pursuing it.
In recent years there has been some talk of establishing a Retreat Center instead of Forest Moon Ecovillage. Such a Retreat Center would be a scaled-down version of Forest Moon and would include some of the infrastructure that Forest Moon would have had, but would not have homes for permanent residents and would instead offer a campground and cabins for rent during retreats.
If such a Retreat Center is actually ever established it would be no earlier than 2027 when my wife and I are both retired and can devote our full time to it. If you’re interested in learning more about the Retreat Center, please complete the contact form below.
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The pictures below demonstrate some natural-built homes from around the world so that people interested in Forest Moon Ecovillage will have an idea of the types of structures we’re aiming for.