Know Your Neighbors
Best Combination of Privacy plus Community
Cohousing is the optimum combination of "privacy" plus "community."
Privacy: Each homeowner owns their own home, which is bought and sold just like any other home, plus 1/30th of the community property. See "What Do You Get" for details.
Community: We're all social beings to one extent or another. People move into cohousing to be part of a community, to share social activities, and to share in governing and operations of the community.
Teams: We have 17 or so teams (some form for short term special purposes) to govern and take care of Greyrock Commons. It is not required to be on any team. Many people are on multiple teams. The nature of the Team determines how little or how much time is required.
Chances to Know and Interact with Neighbors
The following examples provide you with a sense of community life at Greyrock:
Community meals– several times a week community meals are offered in the common house. These are prepared by teams of two or three volunteer cooks and clean-up is done by a second small team. Community meals seem to be an important way that neighbors stay in touch, have fun, and relax together. Even cooking for a crowd and cleaning up with your neighbors can be fun!
Children – we have LOTS of children, many quite young. This translates into lots of playmates. Because we have many caring and interested adults, children (and their parents) enjoy "surrogate" uncles, aunts, grandmas, and grandpas.
Friends – In our highly mobile society, it seems to be increasingly difficult to make new friends or keep up with old friends. In co-housing, friendships can happen easily and are a natural outcome of living in a cohesive neighborhood that has many opportunities to visit and interact.
Security – we can leave our houses for extended periods of time with little anxiety. It is easy to recruit community members (often children who are looking for "jobs") to pick up mail and water plants.
Sharing – a great benefit of living at Greyrock is the easy borrowing/ lending of material items such as a cup of sugar, a slide projector, or a ladder. We also share on a more personal level and we have a track record of supporting stressed individuals or families who may be in need of extra childcare, transportation, delivered meals, completed errands, or just a friendly visit.
Privacy - while sharing is easy, so is achieving your desired level of privacy or "space."
Raising Chickens – we have approximately 20 resident laying hens. Many Greyrock families share "chicken duty" by caring for the chickens and collecting eggs for a week at a time. Each family has 3-4 weeks of chicken duty spread over the year. A Greyrock-based 4H group of children has raised baby chicks each year to add to the flock.
Car/ bike pooling -- During the school year, many parents take turns driving or biking (with bike trailers in tow) children to and from school. The "bus" stop at Greyrock's entrance is a busy place in the morning.
Bulk buying – We've pooled our buying power and are able to buy wholesome, discounted bulk food from the same distributor that supplies our local Food CO-OP.
Bee keeping -- Several families have gotten together to learn about and raise bees for honey. Fall 1999 saw the first honey harvest - umm good!
Movies -- Many families have pooled their videos in the common house lending library so they can be checked out by anyone. Also, some families with large screen TVs have been hosting regular adult movie nights and community viewing of televised sporting events.
Child care – Many families share childcare in the neighborhood. This is often done on a bartered basis using Greyrock currency (pebbles, rocks, boulders) or informally.
Ski outings -- Over the years, we have had community ski outing to a lodge in the Winter Park area of Colorado. Sledding, cross country skiing, skating, and downhill skiing are all available.
Saturday Story time – Saturday morning has become story time in the neighborhood as some adults read to children – the reading list has included the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and Harry Potter's adventures by J.K. Rowling. Occasionally stories are read for a younger audience as well.
4H for the kids -- Community members lead a Greyrock-based 4H club that includes two age groups. 5-7 year olds are in "Cloverbuds" and the 8+ year olds are in a regular 4H group doing more advanced projects. In 1999 two of our 4H'ers showed chickens at the County fair and came home with ribbons.
LAN/Internet – All the houses are wired to the community Local Area Network. From there residents can opt to share the community's high speed Internet connection.
IT (Information Technology) Team - We have volunteers with technical knowledge to support our own internal online group sharing space. We have a variety of group email lists to which members can choose to subscribe. Through these lists we have a variety of communications for general and specific purposes.