*Post written by Josh Knecht, student assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.
Sign at entrance to Dancing Rabbit in Scotland County, Mo., 2009. Source: University Archives and Special Collection (Donald E. Janzen collection, CS 662, 192dc-0002).
This month, we will be looking at one of the communities featured in our Communal Studies collection, the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
Founded in 1993, the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an ecovillage that focuses on self-sustainability and ecological processes. Their mission statement is synonymous with their current goals:
To create a society, the size of a small town or village, made up of individuals and communities of various sizes and social structures, which allows and encourages its members to live sustainably. To encourage this sustainable society to grow to have the size and recognition necessary to have an influence on the global community by example, education, and research.
Each member must follow ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines as a method of allowing not only these goals to continue, but for the continuing growth of the community as well.
Community house and garden at Dancing Rabbit, 2009. Source: University Archives and Special Collections (Donald E. Janzen collection, CS 662, 192dc-0017).
Though from 1993-1995, they existed mainly as an email forum, with monthly meetings, they decided to try to settle in Berkeley, CA, in 1995. However, they soon moved to Rutledge, MO, where they have resided ever since. In 1997, Dancing Rabbit was officially able to set roots in their own land.
Land costs and construction laws in California made it difficult for the group to build on the west coast. They visited other locations like The Farm in Summertown, TN and Twin Oaks in Virginia. After seeing other communal groups they stayed at Sandhill Farm in Rutledge, MO and decided to buy land and create the Dancing Rabbit eco-village.
Issues such as feminism, empowerment, justice, and diversity are important to the Dancing Rabbit community. They pride themselves in existing as a group consisting of people from many different walks of life; whether this be culture, ethnicity, sexuality, race, or religion. As long as each member of the ecovillage commits himself or herself to the shared ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines, Dancing Rabbit will accept all-comers.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is just one of the many communal studies collections offered by the Rice Library Archives. For more information on this ecovillage, and others, check out the Communal Studies Gallery in the Rice Library Digital Collections.
“History.” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, 28 Mar. 2017, http://www.dancingrabbit.org/about-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/history/.
“Mission Statement.” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, 28 Mar. 2017, http://www.dancingrabbit.org/about-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/history/.