Friday, March 8, 2013

A Month in the Life of Pacific Gardens

While Pacific Gardens still was under construction, we shareholder / developers used to discuss our vision of what it would be like to live in cohousing.

Kathryn recounted her experience of living in a housing cooperative* in London, Ontario. She said it had been a really cool place. It was a hub of interesting and fun activities, not just for the people who lived there, but for the larger community as well. She envisaged that Pacific Gardens would play a similar role in Nanaimo.

When I saw the March issue of The Bloomin’ News, the newsletter that Sharon publishes, it brought home to me the fact that Kathryn’s dream had come true. Just check out a month in the life of Pacific Gardens; in this case it was February 2013:

  • 3 birthday parties, the youngest 1, the oldest 83
  • 1 NVC [Non-Violent Communication] workshop
  • seeds have sprouted in cold frames
  • Family Sing
  • 2 residents got pneumonia
  • at least one "Ladies Night" get together
  • Nanaimo Green Party AGM
  • a flood [involving the central hot water heater]
  • someone learned a new magic trick
  • someone went nude bungee jumping [offsite, at the Nanaimo River!]
  • one Qi Gong lesson
  • 4 men's group sessions
  • work progressed in "front yard" by pond
  • a fun group game of Encore [described in Kathryn's blog post entitled With A Song in My Heart]
  • we successfully defended the community against Smart Meters for the 4th time [Proud Members of Team Tinfoil and Team Tinfoil Stands Firm]
  • 3 pairs of ducks nested
  • a small walking club began
  • we purchased 20 new chairs for the dining hall
  • 8 yoga classes
  • the floor seams were repaired
  • the snowdrops and crocus bloomed
  • 1500 plus people viewed one of our Facebook posts!
  • 5 community meetings
  • 4 meditation sessions
  • a community circle
  • a book club meeting
  • 4 community potlucks [you are welcome to join us for our potlucks at 6:00 pm on Thursdays]
  • 1 Council of Canadians meeting
  • the garden was visited by several deer
  • 2 residents were hospitalized
  • the frogs began singing
  • potholes [in the parking lot] were refilled
  • neighbours enjoyed each other
  • the community got stronger

  • What modest Sharon did not include in her list was that a useful newsletter was published to help residents keep on top of what was going on. Thank you, Sharon!

    * For the sake of clarity, there are some technical differences between a cohousing complex and a housing cooperative, but in practical terms there are many similarities.

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