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Reaching for Resilience

10 ways that one rural ecovillage is building strong foundations for coming times.

Dancing Rabbit slideshow play button photo by Brian Liloia

When the rain finally comes to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Papa Bear worries that his half-built cistern will cave in.  It's a muddy pile of bricks at the moment that will eventually provide water for two family households.  Ali, sitting next to him on a sofa in the Common House, looks gratefully through the window at the half-mist of spring droplets, thinking of a thirsty patch of vegetables outside her miniature house. In the hall, another resident adjusts the color on the energy board from green to yellow–a code that limits electricity use in the solar-powered Common House during days of foggy rain.

There's little cushioning from the rhythms of nature in this Northeastern Missouri intentional community, where more than 50 residents share 280 acres of forest, meadows, and lakes.

Founded in 1997 on the principles of respect for the land and one another, what was once a fledgling group of eco-pioneers, encamped on land that hummed with wildlife but little else, has grown into an eclectic mash-up of architecture– and people–that takes advantage of what that land provides. 

Though the community has proven its resilience for 13 years, residents recognize the need to fortify already existing social, economic, and ecological systems so that they can continue to stand when times get stormy.

Take a tour through 10 ways that "Rabbits" reach for resilience: View the slideshow.

Photos by DéSha Metschke and Brian Liloia

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