The High Cove Community
Since the first meetings to discuss the possibility of creating a model of sustainable community, interest in the project has grown to include a widening circle of friends and fellow travelers. This community of friends represents a wide range of interests and professional training: artists, crafts people, college teachers, writers, lawyers, health professionals, land planners, builders, and environmentalists.
Most new places are built with merely the hope that relations of trust, shared purpose, and a sense of community might emerge out of what is really only a market category. Where conventional developers identify “pre-sales,” High Cove has a formed a “pre-community,” even before the land was acquired or any construction began. As the first new homes are occupied in the village, there is already be a thriving core for the community, composed of people who have been involved in the shaping of its vision.
Becoming Stewards of the Land
From the moment we purchased the land, we have been aware of both the tremendous opportunity and the responsibility associated with it. As we learned more about the land, we came to understand that its current condition– even where it looks like pristine woodland at first glance– is the result of a complicated history of human habitation and use. We have found that this is part of the beauty of the land– its history and the way nature has adjusted in response to human interventions over the past century. We understand that our interventions will have an inevitable impact, but we intend to keep that impact as light as possible, while implementing a Forest Stewardship Program that will be part of the life of the community (rather than simply a behind-the-scenes management effort). A community like this is not just about an imaginary pristine Nature (which is not to be found), but about the relationship of human community to the natural landscape.
The governance of High Cove will be handled through the High Cove Village Association, a non-profit corporate entity that has a legal standing similar to any homeowners’ association. It is different from conventional homeowners’ associations, however. Where the typical HOA documents are written primarily to protect the developers’ interests, we have enlisted the help of an expert who specializes in documents that function more like a community constitution. We hope that the documents are readable and understandable to residents without legal expertise. Their primary function is to set up the framework that we need in order to enter into the kind of collaboration required in building a community that is sustainable in every respect.
For more information about the approach taken in developing our community documents, we recommend reading the writings of Doris Goldstein, who has written a number of informative articles.