Paul Wehrwein, an cohousing enthusiast who has volunteered with Twin Cities Cohousing Network for a number of years on the Events Circle, is starting the process of creating a senior cohousing community (50+) in the west metro area. Paul and his partner have begun by inviting those people who might be interested in learning about each other to gather once a month with the goal of having fun socializing while getting to know each other and and sharing their ideals for what a senior cohousing community could be. Informal gatherings will be held rain or shine at the Como Park fire rings on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 P.M. Download the flyer for details and contact information for Paul.
Although Duluth is beyond the Twin Cities metropolitan borders, The Duluth area has a number of people interested in cohousing and Twin Cities Cohousing Network is happy to help inform our viewers about them.
Lee Pedersen, an active cohousing organizer has held MeetUp meetings in Duluth for a couple of years and has generated a number of regulars. According to Lee, a group seeking to create an intergenerational cohousing community has recently split off and is now hoping to purchase land.
Lee, who is specifically interested in senior cohousing, is now recruiting individuals who would prefer a senior-focused cohousing community that will help seniors thrive as they age in community with each other. Her new initiative is called Active Adult Cohousing for the Northland. Click the link to Lee’s information on Cohousing USA to see what she envisions and to find her contact information.
A TCCN board member and her partner visit a senior cohousing community in a midwestern college town. Take a look at their photos and observations.
Text and photos by Lynn Englund
My partner and I were fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Oakcreek Community in Stillwater, Oklahoma this spring. Oakcreek is a senior cohousing community not far from Oklahoma State University.
We arrived in the middle of the afternoon, and soon were talking with residents as they came and went through the common house.
After we had settled into one of the three lovely guest rooms, a resident offered us a tour of the grounds and explained that the community is made up of three “pods” of eight houses each. The pods are clustered around the common house.
Homes come in four sizes, ranging from 702 square feet to 1190 square feet. Their arrangement is specific to cohousing. One of each design is laid out in a 4-unit, townhome-style block which faces another similar unit of four homes across a gently curving sidewalk. Our guide stated that by doing this, they intentionally located the facing units much closer than typical construction of units across a roadway, making it easy for people to talk to each other from their front steps.
Bright colors set off each unit from its neighbor. The garages and parking areas were to the side, easily accessible by all. Oakcreek is situated on more than 7 acres of land in a residential area. The common yard has a park-like feel with shade trees, large areas of lawn, wildflowers and garden plots. Blooming shrubs and flowers landscape the small front yards.
After returning from a tour of the Oklahoma State campus given by a resident who is a retired faculty member (who discovered common interests and connections with my partner), we were invited to join “happy hour” at 5:00 in the common house. A handful of residents gathered with a beverage of choice around a table to catch up with each other and share news.
Since there was no common meal that night, we dined out, then returned to our comfortable room. In the morning, I put our sheets and towels in the washer in the common house and slipped a note of thanks with the small fee for lodging into the envelope that had been left for us.
There do happen to be units for sale, and if you’re curious, feel free to check out their community’s website for details.