EcoVillage at Ithaca
EcoVillage at Ithaca (EVI) is an intentional community of three co-housing neighborhoods and educational nonprofit, endeavoring to develop an alternative model for suburban living which provides a satisfying, healthy, socially-rich lifestyle, while minimizing ecological impacts. On 175 acres that were originally slated by developers to be divided into 150 one-acre suburban lots, Ecovillage has built each neighborhood of 30-40 homes on only 5 acres, thus modelling how compact development can increase quality of life while preserving the landscape. In addition to the neighborhoods, the land supports a 55-acre conservation easement with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, as well as West Haven Farm's organic vegetable CSA, and Kestrel's Perch U-Pick Organic Berry Farm.
In 2002, the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College and EcoVillage received a grant from the National Science Foundation to enter into a long-term partnership for fostering education and research using EcoVillage as a "living laboratory." Termed the "Partnerships for Sustainability Education" (PSE), this collaboration was recently merged with the Commit to Change program into the newly formed Committed to Change initiative.PSE helped to catalyze substantial interest in sustainability education at Ithaca College and EVI, and has had a profound ripple effect in the surrounding community.