Sharingwood Cohousing

Snohomish County, Washington

We live on 40 forested acres in south Snohomish County, about 25 miles northeast from Seattle. Sharingwood is a lot-development cohousing model, where members buy lots and build their own homes to meet individual budgets and tastes. There is a mixture of owners and rental spaces and while most homes are pretty middle-class standard we have a small number of alternative dwellings including a cob/straw bale home. We share meals on a regular and ongoing basis and have a bulk food purchasing program that is available to residents.
We use a variety of decision-making approaches, although consensus is the goal on most issues. We empower small groups to make specific decisions that do not really require the input of the entire membership.
In addition to a monthly meeting, we have found that sharing circles can play an important role in nurturing a deeper sense of trust within the community. Here members find an opportunity to come together and share honestly and openly in a safe space.
Initiated by individuals, people do things together like homeschooling, yoga, meditation, sharing resources, organic gardening, work parties, campfires, playfield, concerts, and children’s activities. There are a large number of children in the community so they initiate many of their own games and play events.
The enchanting nature of the native forests and the many trails that surround the community define a village-like setting. Wilderness to some, sanctuary to others, for most it offers a comforting contrast to our workaday world.
Community owned assets : a 23-acre forested greenbelt which wraps around the community on three sides with trails, a campground, a stream, and an active beaver dam; playgrounds and a playfield; productive community gardens and fruit trees.

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