The Boise EcoVillage Project LLC was founded by Sunny Freeman Genz with the intention of purchasing land collectively and establishing an ecovillage in the Treasure Valley. Through the collaborative process that occurred throughout 2014 and 2015, with hundreds of people involving themselves in community meetings and gatherings, retreats and tours, and online discussions, the focus shifted and a new direction presented itself, yet the original vision remains. In 2016 the BEVP became a member managed organization, utilizing dynamic self-governance principles.
Instead of purchasing land, we will be partnering with local farmers and landowners. We see the Boise EcoVillage Project LLC manifesting as a network of sustainable communities and sustainable projects. We also see the eventual creation of a Community Land Trust, a 501(c)3, to act as the community land steward into perpetuity. The Boise EcoVillage Project will remain the economic engine, weaving the relationships together, and keeping the project financially sustainable.
Partnerships with Farmers
We have come to realize there is great potential in partnering with local farmers. Through our collaborative approach, we can transform portions of their farms into models of sustainable agriculture and local community hubs, while assisting farmers with the development of agri-tourism. Our primary partnership is with Vicky and Vernon Smith of Riverside Farms where the Boise EcoVillage Project is leasing 3+ acres to begin the project in 2015.
Riverside Farms is located just west of Garden City, Idaho, in the heart of the Treasure Valley. It is just south of the Boise River and along Chinden Blvd. With nearly 150 acres of agricultural land, the farm is outside city limits, in the jurisdiction of Ada County, with 26,000 vehicle trips per day. The current farm manager is about to retire. We would love to facilitate the transition of the entire acreage into a sustainable, organic, community-based farm.
Collaboration is Key
To bring the people with the interests, skills and abilities to the land to assist in the manifestation of the greater vision, we must work in collaboration with start-up businesses, creating win-win relationships. Most people don’t have a lot of time to devote to their passions, they are too busy making money to pay their bills, so that’s why we will facilitate this process, creating opportunities where people’s passions and vocations are one and the same. We will support individuals with great ideas by being a host site for their business, helping them to write business plans and get funding, along with a collective marketing strategy. Interns and volunteers can work with start-up businesses to gain knowledge and skills for sustainable living and organic food production, another win-win!