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CONES & NEEDLES
Top 10 Reasons to Live in Cohousing
By Rob Sandelin Sharingwood Cohousing, Bainbridge, WA

Living in community offers security
You can rely on your neighbours to help you, even when you don’t ask. This is huge for me, that my family is in a safe and supportive place. My grandmother died recently, my neighbours knew all about it, sent cards and sympathy and support to my family. HER neighbours didn’t even know she was sick, most of them didn’t even know her name. How many of them could she ask to help?

Community offers social opportunities
I can have wonderful and meaningful interactions with people I like, who are my neighbours, just by sitting out on my porch. I really enjoy hanging out and talking with folks about everything, politics, the news, kids. Sharing our histories and ourselves grows a wonderful bond among us. I know more about my neighbours history and lives and why they do things like they do than I know about some of my family members.

Supportive place for kids to grow up
Safe, lots of friends-both other kids and adults. Kids can play and I know any adult in the neighbourhood will be there for them in case of need. Fun place to be an adult, lots of play opportunity with kids, and other adults.


 
Great place to collaborate with people who share similar interests
Small groups form revolving around shared common interests: sewing, gardening, music, etc. Personally, I don’t have to “go” anywhere to enjoy a beer making club: my neighbours and I can do that. The common house is great for that.

A sense of togetherness and belonging
I am part of something that is really wonderful, it is a model for a better way to live, and we all together are doing it. I can’t explain this in words very well but there is a strong feeling of happiness in me that comes from working towards a common good that I used to get as a teacher and environmentalist, and now get as I work with my neighbours on a variety of projects.
 
A great uber-local restaurant, in the middle of my neighbourhood
It's called the Common House and residents can go there to have dinner and great conversation with friends.
 
Great place to learn new things
I always wanted to try making beer. Having a couple of neighbors share that interest got me home brewing. We learn and try new stuff all the time.

A great place to share ownership
of things that I couldn’t really afford myself, such as a workshop, play structure, tools, library, etc.
 
Huge personal resources available
Want to know about bee keeping? I go ask Mel, and get all kinds of info. Having problems with my car? Mary knows lots about such things. Want to build a shed? Bob can give me advice, help me scrounge materials, hell, did half the work one Saturday. A neighbourhood like mine is a collection of 26 lifetimes worth of experience in all manner of things. What a treasure trove!

Privacy
I get ALL the great benefits of cooperative living, and also get huge amounts of privacy, whenever I want just by going home and closing the door or going into the 25 acres woods that surround my house that everybody shares ownership of.
TREE TOP NEWS
Little Nora helping us with the Grand Opening of our Information Centre
Information Centre Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the information centreFebruary 16 was a great success in terms of attendance and media coverage and well as being a fun event for the community. We decorated light standards near the information centre and Eva brought Canada flags which we stuck in the nearby snow banks. There was a bit of a wind so the flags on the building plus the flags in the snowbanks caught everyone's attention. Ruth brought a fire pot and firewood which proved to be a great focal point for folks gathered out of doors and contributed to creating the “crowd effect” we were looking for. The ribbon for the ribbon cutting ceremony was prominently draped across the sign with the rendering of our building. Following a brief celebratory speech the ribbon was cut by little Nora and the enthusiastic crowd roared its approval.

Ruth setting up the fire to keep our guest warm.

All of the Prairie Spruce community members, except for a few who were out of town on that day, attended the event alternating between the comfy interior of the information centre with its hot apple cider and yummy cookies and the warm glow of the fire outside in the fire pot. Ward Peters from Pattison MGM was there to mix and mingle and add to the fun. We were delighted to see Heather Polischuk from the Leader Post and Wayne Mantyka from CTV representing the media. 

Overall it was a cool day weather wise but the warmth of our community shone through. It was another great Prairie Spruce Commons event. 

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS
This section features a short project update from our Project Consultants at Connexus Cohousing Collaborative: Jasen Robillard and Chris ScottHanson. 

Our latest community group photo was taken at the end of a great workshop back in January. I (Jasen) personally really enjoy these workshops: they're always great catalysts for discussion and community building. Perhaps my favourite thing though is discovering a hidden talent or skill within the group. These surprises always happen and I rejoice in them every time.

Chris will be the lucky one among us for the next workshop scheduled for the morning of March 21. The workshop is a Design Review Meeting with the architects from Pattison MGM. The Prairie Spruce community is embarking on the next phase of the design process. As a lead-in to this construction document phase, the architects will be reviewing their work to date as well as facilitating discussion regarding the next steps of their design engagement with the group.

If you're thinking about joining the Prairie Spruce Commons community, this is a great workshop to get "plugged in". You'll get a professional overview of the design to date and an opportunity to engage with further design details and refinements. This is a rare opportunity to mold and create your future home. Plus, Chris can answer any cohousing question you might think of. Be sure to RSVP with the Prairie Spruce community if you want to be part of the action on March 21.
COMING EVENTS
March 4
GREEN DRINKS
Spring Permaculture Edition

Join us at Abstractions Cafe (2161 Rose St) where we'll be joining the conversation about Permaculture in Regina. We'd love to hear your suggestions & ideas for our courtyard and garden!
Event starts at 5:30pm
March 6
IF you are a Teacher
Visit our booth at the
Regina Teacher’s Convention
And Trade Show
+ Enter a FREE draw for Gift Basket
 
March 10

Information Session & Prairie Spruce Sales Event

 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the United Way Building, 1440 Scarth Street, Regina

 
Join us for a short formal presentation from 7:00 to about 7:30 p.m., followed by an opportunity to meet over coffee with some of the community members who will make Prairie Spruce their future home.

This is a great way to become more familiar with the project. Everyone is welcome.
March 21

Design Review Workshop

 
 Interested in being part of our design process? Join us as we kick-off the next phase of the design process. Our architects at Pattison MGM will walk us through the work to date and describe the upcoming design work over the next few months. Get in touch if you'd like to be part of the workshop!
SHOUT
OUT!
A special thank you to to Heather Polischuk, Leader Post, and Wayne Mantyka, CTV for media coverage of Prairie Spruce Commons Open House, Feb. 16th.  The media coverage highlighted:
  • the enhanced condo lifestyle that Prairie Spruce offers through abundant common spaces
  • the thoughtfully designed apartment style units
  • the opportunity to get to know your neighbours before purchasing a unit and move-in
  • the sustainable energy efficient building features.
 
THE COMMONS
Did You Know?
Experts are researching ways we can conserve clean drinking water. One of the ways we can easily do just that is by not flushing purified, perfectly potable water down the toilet! What a waste!
 
Prairie Spruce is planning to reuse greywater for toilet flushing. Greywater is the water that results from bathing and washing laundry. This is in contrast to "black water" which is waste water from toilets.

Once greywater is passed through a filtering system, it is ready and perfectly suited to use in toilets. This green initiative will save us money and will preserve the scarce precious resource of drinking water in Regina. We are planning to work with researchers at the University of Regina to pilot a greywater recycling project. 
TIDBITS
To get everyone inspired for spring, the next Green Drinks will feature a movie screening of "Adventures in Permaculture". The movie gives a nice introduction to permaculture and its benefits. After the movie (45min) people from Permaculture Regina will speak about what their group does and about their upcoming events. Then members from Prairie Spruce Commons will speak about the permaculture related features of their building (including grey water recycling, roof top gardens, and composting). There will also be time for a general discussion about permaculture and possible future projects in Regina.

The event is taking place on Wednesday, March 4 at the Abstractions Cafe (2161 Rose Street, Regina). Doors open at 5:30pm (movie at 6pm). Come by and have supper and stay for awhile or stop by for a few minutes and grab a coffee or a tea! Hope you can join us!
CONSIDER YOUR FUTURE IN PRAIRIE SPRUCE COMMONS
 
We look forward to growing this vibrant community with you!

You can connect with us anytime through e-mail, or any of the links below.

 
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