Establishing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village

A discussion about MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village, the community is being designed to create minimum adverse effects on the planet while it's inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living.

| January/February 1978

  • Learn about the future plans for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village.
    Learn about the future plans for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village.
    Photo By Fotolia/atm2003

  • Learn about the future plans for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village.

A discussion of our ideas for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-village "community of the future".


With the November/December 1977 Issue, we completed eight full years of putting this periodical together. And for at least six and a half of those eight years, we've been talking and dreaming about someday establishing a MOTHER EARTH NEWS "Eco-Village."

Now, as we've envisioned it, MOTHER's Eco-Village will be a real "community of the future." A community designed to fit into its environment so well that [1] It and all the people and animals which live there will have an absolutely minimum adverse effect on the planet and [2] everyone who lives there will enjoy a far higher standard of living than Is possible in a typical pollution-ridden, crime-infested, crowded, dehumanized, modern" city, town, or village.

Well, we still aren't quite ready to rush out and buy 500 or 1,000 acres and start construction of such a community (unless, of course, someone wants to lay about ten million dollars on us). But we are getting ready-right now to purchase, maybe, 20 or 50 or 80 acres and begin a very small-scale mini-version of that community.

What we currently envision is a piece of property large enough for our most ambitious solar, wind, water, and other "alternative" energy experiments . . . plus plenty of space for a wide variety of wholistic gardening and farming projects . . . plus the room we need for controlled tests of low-cost, do-it-yourself, energy-efficient housing designs . . . plus enough acreage for tests and trials and experiments with 18 or 20 other MOTHER EARTH NEWS type fields of interest.

And eventually, of course, we hope we'll learn enough (that is, make every mistake possible!) on this first mini-version of our Eco-Village . . . so that we'll be able to build our real community of the future without making many mistakes at all. (That'll be the day!)

1/17/2016 3:42:04 AM

Just wondering what happened to the property in Etowah that has/had all those really cool buildings and such, that we built way back, in the original "green" days. What's up there?

Daniel Greenberg
11/12/2010 10:26:39 AM

Thanks for sharing this inspiring vision. It is one I and others have also been trying to manifest for years. In your research, I encourage you to check out two organizations: (1) Living Routes (, which partners with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to offer study abroad programs based in ecovillages around the world. I founded this organization in 1999 and we have had over 1,000 alumni on semester, summer, and January programs so far. (2) Gaia Education (, which is a UN recognized NGO developing curricula and programs for "Ecovillage Design Education". I have also had the privilege of helping start this organization and over 60 month-long programs have been offered in ecovillages around the world. I should add that, more than any actual coursework, what we find transformative on these programs are the immersion experiences within human-scale communities trying to develop new "stories" around who we are in relationship to each other and the planet. So, I would also encourage you to build your community first as students will learn more from who you are than what you teach. Best of luck with this endeavor and I hope to stay in touch around its progress. In community, - Daniel

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