Wilder Waters Community FAQ
Do I have to contribute to the cost of land to build a small house?
If you would like to help us purchase more land, we will all benefit. However, this is not a requirement—we only ask you contribute to the increase in property taxes from your structure. Currently, our yearly total property taxes are around $4,500. With each additional structure we estimate an increase of $500. We are also working to establish a 501 (c) (3) to receive donations for purchasing adjacent land to protect the forest from logging companies. It would be wonderful if community members help us operate the non-profit, although this help is certainly not necessary to live here.
How many people will live in this community?
This is a difficult question to answer. The number of people on the land depends on the needs of each household. There are a limited number of locations that will be suitable for solar-powered homes. So if every family needs electricity, the community will likely be limited to 5 or 6 structures. If a family arrives who does not need electricity, the community could increase in size. With that said, we do not want to stress the earth that we live in. There is only so much water and so much food within our valley. Additionally, we want to create some sense of privacy between the structures so we do not feel crowded as we transition into communal living. We also would like to account for future generations and leave room for the families here to expand. Keep in mind, as we purchase more land, the community could increase in size. And, all of this will be discussed amongst the community members as the community grows and develops new ideas.
What kind of people are you looking for to join the community?
Anyone who is committed to creating and sustaining a rewilding community. We recognize adjusting to community life will not be without challenges. Because of this, we hope to find people excited to communicate from a heart-centered place so we can resolve problems we may face in the future. We will all bring unique gifts to the community and we look forward to hearing from those of you who are excited to share your own gifts. We would love future community members to have a passion for primitive living skills. Wishfully thinking, we would also love some people who are more musically inclined than we are.
What will be the source of water and power for my structure?
We utilize the sun’s energy for our power. Both structures are equipped with solar panels. Not every structure needs to have solar electricity because the big house has electricity. However, this electricity costs money to upkeep and it would be great for the community to contribute to the big house' electrical system (batteries, solar panels, etc.) so we have enough refrigeration for all without requiring each family to spend money establishing solar homes. As for water, our main house is equipped with running water from a well and is available for all community members to use to shower and do laundry. Sara’s cabin does not have running water; she harvests drinkable water from Child's Brook, which runs through the land here.
Will I have legal rights to the land?
As much as anyone else living on the land. We are creating a 501(c)(3) and placing the land in a land trust so we hold the land in common. Projects that create substantive change (e.g., harvesting of canopy trees) will require community consensus prior to activity.
Can I bring pets?
Sure. Currently, there are two friendly male American pitbull terriers living here so your pets ideally would get along with the dogs already here. When these dogs pass on we will not be adding any new pets to the big house because of the disturbance the dogs create on the land surrounding the house (there is a radius around the house where we only find dog tracks and rarely anyone else other than occasional squirrels). We also hope to no longer role model to our children a hierarchy amongst animals with humans being at the top. With this said, you are welcome to bring pets although as this is a rewilding community, we hope in the future to move away from having so many pets in our households. This is a topic largely open to discussion for future community members. Lastly, for the sake of our local birds, we ask you do not bring outdoor cats.
How will children be educated?
We hope to home-school the children living within the community. Ideally, this responsibility would be shared amongst the adults. What our "schooling" will look like in the future will be shaped by the children and their caretakers who live on this land. We also envision care of young children to be shared amongst the community members with adults alternating the days they are available to the children.
What hunting and foraging gifts/resources/food are available on the land?
This land is the home to white-tailed deer, red squirrel, wild turkey, Canada goose, ruffed grouse, northern red oak acorns, various edible and medicinal mushrooms, blackberries, Indian cucumber roots, bracken ferns, fox grapes, and many other edible plants. These lives, which sustain our community, are there to be conscientiously harvested and shared.
Is there Wi-Fi at the community?
There is no Wi-Fi here. The main house has Internet access through a dish and you may connect to the internet through an ethernet cable.
Can I practice agriculture on the land?
We would love our community to participate in as much hunting and gathering as possible. However, we also recognize it could be a few generations until enough of us become proficient in these activities. In the meantime, we would love to do some perennial horticulture, gardening or other small-scale agricultural activities to increase our community resilience.
Will we share food?
The community members here now enjoy the idea of sharing lots of meals each week. This will cut down on our resource use and our workload. It would be great to have a pool that each family contributes to each week for a daily shared meal (or however often feels good to the community). As more members join, we will further discuss and adjust this. We also imagine sharing any food that we have communally harvested and any food we grow here on the land. Some local harvesting locations are only large enough to support one family while others will be able to support an entire community. For example, our sugarbush on the land here cannot support an entire community (depending on their maple syrup consumption) but rather a few families. Therefore, our community will have to discuss how we will harvest and distribute the maple sap amongst members.
What resources are available in the big house for the community members?
The following utilities in the big house will be shared amongst the community:
- Laundry room
- One or two shared bathrooms with showers
- Root cellar
- Tools used for food processing, hide-tanning, etc.
- Kitchen space