Earthville’s Eco-Campus in Colorado

Earthville Institute

The Earthville Network has begun preliminary work to establish a new eco-campus in the US as a part of the Earthville Education initiative to provide holistic experiential learning and empowerment for responsible citizens of our planet.

The new campus will showcase solutions for sustainable and compassionate living, including nature-sensitive and life-affirming approaches to building, landscaping, food-growing, water, energy, waste management and more.

After more than 20 years incubating the vision for the new institute and cultivating a global network of partners while conducting programs at our Himalayan campus, groundwork for the US campus finally began in 2021, on beautiful land in rural Colorado.

This page presents an overview of the vision and an invitation to participate in creating this exciting and promising project.

Windhorse Village
The vision

An integrated model for learning, service & sustainable thriving

The new campus will support the lifelong study and practice of five interrelated disciplines integral to a flourishing society:

  • Sustainable living
  • Responsible local and global citizenship
  • Sustainable business and social entrepreneurship
  • Integrated personal development, including holistic health and well-being, communication, collaboration, and leadership
  • Creativity and the arts, especially as applied to altruistic service and responsible entrepreneurship

The institute will embody an integrated organizational model, a hybrid of three core elements:

  • A learning community for compassionately engaged citizens of all ages, with its campus being conceived in three concentric circles: the institute itself, the local community, and the world
  • A living laboratory and showcase for solutions for sustainable and compassionate living, including eco-friendly construction with natural materials, organic food-growing, permaculture master planning and landscaping, efficient use of natural resources, creative waste management solutions, and more.
  • A socially and ecologically responsible business with multiple program-related activities generating revenue to support the Institute and enable it to become financially self-sustaining (e.g. an organic model farm, a retreat center, and other program possibilities).

While each of these three core elements is valuable and necessary in itself, it is the synergistic connections between them that makes this integrated model especially promising. As a hybrid institution with an interdisciplinary approach, it will serve as a fertile ground for real-world learning in the living context of the exploration and application of effective, holistic, and sustainable solutions addressing the complex challenges of our local and global communities. Equally importantly, the many benefits of integration, cross-pollination, and economies of scale created through the collaborative colocation of the various components will make all of them both more effective and more efficient: greater results with fewer inputs.

Windhorse VillageSimilar to our eco-campus in the Himalayas, the new Colorado campus will serve as a showcase for regionally appropriate best practices for ecological sustainability, and the creation and evolution of these solutions will serve as a training ground for the pioneering social entrepreneurs, experiential educators, nonprofit leaders, ecological innovators, and altruistic creatives of today and tomorrow. As with everything else we do, we open up every stage of the development process as a living classroom so that others will have myriad opportunities to learn while helping us create the campus.

Stay tuned for further details about the vision and the programs.

Current status

Place: We have acquired a beautiful expanse of land in Colorado, in a place called Windhorse Village, with ample space and natural features to support a thriving learning community while treading lightly on the natural environment.

People: A core team has converged to take the first steps to translate the vision into reality. Starting in April 2021, Earthville founder Mark Moore  and Earthville board member and architect Daphne Charles undertook a traditional year of observation of the land through all four seasons, and in 2022 began the process of designing the campus’s first buildings, which will embody a blend of natural adobe, straw bale, and traditional timber framing techniques. In June 2022, Earthville was delighted to welcome James Simmons and Anya Chang-DePuy, both of whom come from Carpe Diem Education, to the core team for the new institute.

Infrastructure and facilities: Construction began in early 2022 and will continue for several years.

Programs: Our first experiential education and service-learning programs on the new campus will take place in August and September 2022. See our events page for details.

Windhorse Village

Development roadmap

The development of the Colorado campus is envisioned in three phases.

Phase 1 — SEED STAGE (2021-2023): Site observation, architectural planning, team building, initial infrastructure, program development, resource-raising, and inaugural service-learning programs.

Phase 2 – CORE FACILITIES & INITIAL PROGRAMS (2024-2030): This phase will also provide an array of service-learning opportunities for students, interns, volunteers, and community partners interested in sustainability, compassionate engagement, and organizational development. Long-term volunteers participants will have opportunities to be a part of bringing the campus to life and learn in the process. Details forthcoming.

Phase 3 – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, CAPACITY BUILDING, AND OUTREACH (2030 onward): Sometime around 2030 or so, we expect to have developed the basic infrastructure and facilities for the campus to the point where the learning community and programs will be well positioned to begin scaling up and reaching out. We’ll have more to share about the vision for this phase a few years down the road.

 

Help us make it happen

For those interested in supporting financially or materially, contributions are most appreciated and are tax-deductible in the USA. The total estimated financial support required for all three phases (from planning and construction through the fifth year of operation and projected self-sustainability) is approximately $9 million. Formal proposals available upon request. To donate online or for information on other donation options, go here.

For those interested in supporting by volunteering your time and heart and ideas, or to discuss other possibilities for how you might support the establishment of the Earthville Institute, please contact us.

Got ideas? We’re listening.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can participate in the Earthville Education initiative and make your unique contributions to this exciting project:

  • Join the Earthville Network to become an active member of the community  → sign up
  • Subscribe to the Earthville Education Blog and join the conversation by posting comments in the articles that interest you or submitting articles of your own  → go
  • Participate in Earthville’s educational programs and events  → see event calendar
  • Apply to volunteer for the Earthville Education initiative, and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to call you into action.  → apply now
  • Visit the Dharmalaya Institute in the Indian Himalayas to volunteer or participate in service-learning programs or retreats → jump to the Dharmalaya website
  • Help us establish the Earthville Institute in the US by making a tax-deductible gift or bequest  → more info