About Earthaven Membership

We’re seeking emotionally mature, cooperative people of all kinds to join us in creating our sustainable ecovillage dream — including (but not limited to) entrepreneurs, organic growers and raisers of livestock, people with mechanical and engineering skills, healers, artists, and families with children.

”  . . .    This may be the most propitious moment in history to join an intentional community.”—Richard Heinberg, Peak Oil activist and author of The Party’s Over and PowerDown, in his Foreword to Diana Leafe Christian’s book, Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community.

NOTE: Earthaven is in the process of updating our foundation documents with the goal that each neighborhood will be a housing cooperative or similar entity and these residential areas will jointly share the rest of the land and common facilities through the Earthaven Home Owners Association. As part of this structural update, there will be changes to terminology, procedures, and fees. The information below may, therefore, need adjusting when the restructuring process is completed.

1. What are Earthaven’s membership categories?

Supporting Membership, the first step on the membership track, was created so people can support and feel connected to Earthaven, and get to know the community better.

Supporting Members sign the ReMembership Covenant and Liability Waiver, and contribute dues on a sliding scale of $120—$200 for a year (or $60—$100 for six months). They can camp at Earthaven for free for a week for each six months of supporting membership, and at discounted rates thereafter. They receive the Earthaven Newsletter, are emailed the calendar of community events and Council and committee minutes, and can attend Council and committee meetings as an observer. (Under certain circumstances, a Supporting Member can also serve on committees.) They can live at Earthaven temporarily as a non-member resident.

Exploring Membership usually comes between Supporting and Provisional Membership. An Exploring Member lives at Earthaven in order to get to know community members and practices, while exploring whether to make a long-term commitment. All non-member resident fees and community service obligations apply to Exploring Members, plus a non-refundable $100 monthly fee credited to the Joining Fee if Full Membership is pursued. Exploring Members give four hours per week of community service to approved projects. The Exploring Membership period can last from several months to a year. After a year, the Exploring Member would (1) apply for provisional membership, (2) seek a different status, (3) request an extension (for extenuating circumstances), or (4) leave.

Provisional Membership is the last step on the way to full or associate membership. It’s a six-month or longer period during which a Supporting Member can better understand what Full Membership in Earthaven means, and community members can get to know and assess the Provisional Member better.

Full Membership. Full Members (“members”) can live here and enjoy our beautiful mountain forest and our village social life. They take physical, cultural, and financial responsibility for developing our aspiring ecovillage — a decades-long, maybe lifelong, ecological and cultural project. As a Full Member you can live at Earthaven (or can live elsewhere); you can hold a homesite; and you can build a home on your homesite or a small hut in the Hut Hamlet. If you’re an active member, you have full decision-making
rights in Council and committees.

Associate Membership. Associate Members are the same as Full Members except that (1) they cannot hold a homesite or own any buildings at Earthaven; (2) they can choose to pay their joining fee in installments of $100 a month; (3) they cannot block or stand aside from community decisions; and (4) they do not have rights to distribution of assets in case of dissolution.

2. What are a Full Earthaven Member’s rights and privileges?

  • Enjoy our beautiful mountain forest setting and the social life of our village.
  • Help build Earthaven ecovillage over time with other like-minded people.
  • Co-own all Earthaven property and common facilities.
  • Attend Council Meetings, participate in discussion, and if an active member, be counted for quorum, and approve, stand aside from, or stand in the way of Council decisions;
  • Draft proposals for Council (usually through a committee); receive all Council and committee minutes, by email or posted, and all inter-community discussion on email; receive the Earthaven Newsletter; participate in community Threshings, Heartshares, and other group processes.
  • Live on-site. Options include living on one’s own or another member’s homesite; renting, buying, or building in the Hut Hamlet or in a trailer in the Caravan Park (for up to five years); or camping temporarily in the family campground. You can also live off-site.
  • Obtain a full, common-wall, or compact homesite, individually or with other Earthaven members. You can also lease a business or agricultural site.
  • Build a home on a homesite (individually owned or shared with others); build on a business site.
  • If you wish, own and operate a business here, and/or an agricultural project.
  • Have an indoor cat or dog, or one confined to your homesite (but not in the Hut Hamlet). You cannot have a free-ranging cat or dog unless you get explicit Council permission.

3. What are a Full Earthaven Member’s responsibilities?

  • Abide by all Earthaven agreements and policies, as outlined in documents, Council Decisions, and committee decisions.
  • Contribute 1,500 hours (or their monetary equivalent) in the first ten years of membership, with fifty hours a year minimum.
  • Pay a one-time Joining Fee, paid when first becoming a Provisional Member. The fee is subject to annual cost-of-living adjustments. See What it Costs.
  • Be affiliated with a homesite at Earthaven, either by obtaining one yourself, or by joining with another full member who already holds a homesite. Up to four people can go in together on a full site (roughly a quarter-acre); two people can go in on a compact site (about half the size of a full site) or on a commonwall site.
  • If you want to obtain a homesite, pay a one-time Site Fee. The compact Site Fee is 60% of the current full Site Fee. The fees are subject to annual cost-of-living adjustments. See What it Costs.
  • Choose among several options for paying your site fee.
  • Pay annual fees and assessments. These include (1) Dues and fees that currently range from about $800 to $1,100 a year, depending on the facilities you use and whether you have a car on the land and (2) a property tax assessments for your personal buildings. Additional food and upkeep fees apply if you eat at the Hut Hamlet Kitchen.

4. What about my partner?
Membership at Earthaven is individual. Your partner can also apply for Provisional Membership or seek a non-member resident status (and apply for Provisional Membership later). If your partner didn’t also want to become a Full Earthaven Member, they might consider becoming an associate member or a long-term resident.

5. What about my children?
If you have children who will live with you at Earthaven, their behavior and any special needs will be taken into account when we consider your membership. In other words, we would want to feel good about your children too.

6. What about my dog or cat?
It’s possible to have a dog or cat at Earthaven; however, we do have restrictions on pets. While Full Members may have dogs or cats on their homesites under certain conditions, a Provisional Member who wants to bring a pet to Earthaven during the Provisional Membership period would have to get special permission first, and such a request may or may not be granted. After becoming a Full Member, the person’s pet would be considered for acceptance at Earthaven separately from the person, and the pet’s behaviors and impact on the community would be taken into consideration. If there are no concerns about the pet, there might be a provisional term for the pet as well.

Become a Supporting Member of Earthaven

  • Support our work to create a demonstration and model ecovillage.
  • Receive emailed Earthaven newsletters, committee and Council minutes, and a twice-monthly Calendar.
  • Enjoy two weeks free camping per year (one week for the six-month membership).
  • Attend community events and Council Meetings as an observer.

Supporting Members sign the ReMembership Covenant and contribute dues on a sliding scale of $120—$200 for a year (or $60—$100 for six months).

To become a supporting member, please follow these steps:

  1. Print the Supporting Membership Form (pdf format) and fill it out.
  2. Print two copies of the ReMembership Covenant (pfd format).
  3. Mail one signed ReMembership Covenant, the completed Supporting Membership Form, and a check to us at Earthaven Supporting Membership, 5 Consensus Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Additional documents relating to membership (pdf format):