“Humans are social! It is normal and natural to want to be connected to others. In our modern society with nuclear families, connection to a broader group is not ensured. Living in an intentional community is a way to ensure a connection to a larger social group. It is rich and goes deep.” ~Evan (Member Since 2009)
Wise Acres began in 1990 with nine families interested in building an intentional community together. Those original families worked together to buy the land, negotiate with the County, and begin the extensive project of building infrastructure both physically with the land and interpersonally with vision and values for living cooperatively.
During the first 10 years of Wise Acres existence, seven of those nine families built their homes, young children began to grow up, new children were born, and the community culture of regular Mondays and Wednesday dinners, along with regular visioning and business meetings, became the heart of the community. During this time, dinners and meetings took place in individual homes.
A one-acre community-garden was nurtured, an orchard was planted, and the roads and pathways throughout the community took shape. In the early days of Wise Acres, the community adopted a vision of consensus decision-making to guide how we spend money, where we prioritize our time, and how we resolve conflict.
In 2000, three families chose to sell their homes, one lot that had not been built also sold to a new family, and the final, original community member that had not developed their land began to build their home. This was the first time there had been any turnover in the community. The four new families came in as an existing group of friends with a gaggle of young kids and a lot of energy.
With this new influx of families, the community embarked on building the community “common house” which had been part of the original vision. The community used its resources of building professionals, scrappy acquisition of used building materials, strong backs, and endless persistence in creating the building where we now gather for our community meals, monthly meetings, and many varied social gatherings – birthday celebrations, memorials, movie nights, book club, yoga, etc..
Around 2009, two additional members sold their homes and two new families, with their children, moved in.
Throughout the 30 years that Wise Acres has existed, the turnover of families has been quite rare. For the most part, the children who were born or came here when they were young, have grown to adulthood living in community. Their self-possession, confidence and trust in themselves, comfort with adults and children of all ages, and connection to each other is the best reflection of what community can create.