At Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (DR), we understand how difficult it can be to live sustainably and responsibly within modern US culture. We believe that we can work to build a healthy alternative: a social structure that is both non-exploitative and vibrant. As our village grows, we see this ideal take shape more clearly every day: a diverse range of people living ecologically sound lives in a community that truly serves as an example of positive human action within the natural world.
In 1997 the DR Land Trust (DRLT) purchased 280 acres in the rolling hills of northeastern Missouri. We are now deep into pioneering—constructing buildings while continuing to plan and develop community structure. There is an ever-increasing emphasis on internal economy, which includes bartering and an internal currency. Eventually, we see 500 to 1,000 people living in our village, with businesses and homes surrounding the town center.
As you might expect, ecological sustainability is the primary focus of our long-term vision and our daily lives. Residents agree to follow ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines. We build our homes using alternative techniques such as straw bale and cob, powering them with renewable energy from the Sun and wind. Vehicles at DR are owned cooperatively and powered by electricity and biodiesel. Overall, we eat an ever-increasing amount of local, organic, and in-season foods including many home-grown vegetables.
We strive to be good stewards of our land, with much of our acreage reserved as wildlife habitat. In the grasslands we are reintroducing native prairie plants to help revitalize our region’s biodiversity. We’ve planted over 10,000 trees in an effort to restore our land to its precolonial ecology, to stabilize the riparian zone, and to provide a sustainable source of wood for our community in years to come.
Diversity is an important element within our human population as well. Our village is composed of individuals, families, and an income-sharing community. We look forward to having other sub-communities join us and we encourage the development of co-housing and cooperatives. To allow for economic diversity and simple living, we keep lease rates and membership dues low and there is no buy-in fee.
In addition to being a wonderful home for us, DR is a model for social change. Outreach and education are integral to our mission. Rather than isolating ourselves completely from the mainstream, we promote DR as a viable alternative. We enjoy sharing discoveries and ideas of sustainable living with people who have a wide variety of lifestyles.
If you are interested in Dancing Rabbit, you have lots of options: read our blog, arrange a visit, or come do a work exchange stint. We are actively seeking new members to share our lives and goals. Together we can build our dreams!