Ways to Join

Ways to Join

There are many ways to be at Heathcote. The right way is the one that’s most right for you. Participating in Heathcote can be as simple as coming to events or donating a few hours of your time or expertise. For those who want to spend time on the land or to participate in the inner workings of Heathcote, membership may be a good fit.

Some members live on the land. They experience the daily demands and benefits of our 44 forest and stream acres. They sometimes work more closely with others living here, where they are involved in decision-making and personal relationships. Others choose non-residential membership, preferring the benefits of another living situation and perhaps one more convenient to their work and existing relationships; Meanwhile, they are still participating in Heathcote and accessing the property.

Becoming a member of Heathcote means a more engaged way of joining the hundreds, if not thousands, who have passed through Heathcote as members, interns, committed visitors, and family members. It means making a commitment to more than your own future through environmental and agricultural education, land protection, site restoration and improvement, and responsible interaction with nature and others. However you decide to participate, you choose to play a role in achieving our vision to promote social and environmental justice, to promote food and personal security, while sharing the common ties with others people.


Benefits of Membership:

Whether residents or non-residents, members have access to the land, being able to be here without a host. Members can join committees and participate in common projects. Some non-resident members even bring partnerships with other projects they are members on.


Exploring Membership Options:

Let us know if you want to explore membership for yourself and/or your family.


Ways of Membership:

There are different levels and forms of membership, as well as residential and non-residential memberships.


Resident Membership:

Residential life at Heathcote is a choice that impacts members’ life, work, and family time.

Resident Work Life

Many residents have paying employment off-land, in addition to commitments made to the community. Resident members are encouraged to contribute 7.5-9 hours a week to upkeep of the Center, to personal needs fulfilled by mutual support, and projects of interest to themselves. At the center, you might be taking down a tree, harvesting crops, working at your computer, or maintaining the grounds. Many times, outside of meetings, the 9 hours are spent doing things you might do around your own house on your own time anyway.

Residential Family Life:

Many families with children have lived at Heathcote. Because housing space has been limited by relatively recent zoning restrictions, Heathcote can no longer support the number of families it once did. For those who do find space here, they have a safe area to raise young children and a village, well at least a hamlet, to raise them in, supporting some burdens common to working families.


Resident membership is divided into Full Membership and Associate Membership

FULL MEMBERSHIP. Full members are members of the Board of Directors of Heathcote Center, Inc. and share equally in the responsibilities of managing the community. They are responsible for paying a pledge, paying into the community development fund, and taking on the goal of an average of approximately 9.5 hours of labor per week contributed to the community labor system. Community labor includes attending weekly business meetings, managerships, committee work, chores, and work projects.

RESIDENT ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP:  Resident Associate Members also share responsibility for managing the community.  The difference between Associate and Full members is that Associates are not on the Board of Directors, they cannot block consensus, and their labor goal is a 5.5 – 9.5 hours/week. Resident Associates pay a monthly pledge towards community expenses, pay into the community development fund and participate in the community labor system in accordance with Heathcote policy.

All new resident members will start as Associate Members.  The first 9 months will be a provisional period. By the end of the provisional period, the full members will decide whether or not they may continue as resident members.  In addition, Resident Associates will have the option to petition to become full members.  Full member status is contingent on approval by the other full members.

Non-Resident Membership:

Non-resident members make a looser commitment to Heathcote but still participate alongside members. Non-resident members make a limited commitment of time and money, sometimes but not always investing time in a project or projects they are specifically interested in.

NON-RESIDENT ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP:  Non-Resident Associate members are members who want to participate in Heathcote’s work and community life on a regular basis but do not live on Heathcote land and do not have the responsibilities of a full member. Non-Resident Associate members pay annual dues of $50 or more and contribute labor to the community. Non-Resident Associate members will create a statement of intent saying how they will contribute to and be involved in the community. They are expected to abide by community policies. In addition, they can participate in community meetings but do not have the power to block consensus.

SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP: Supporting members donate funding to support Heathcote’s programs, and may also serve in advisory roles.


Other ways to participate

VOLUNTEERING AND INTERNSHIPS. Interns typically work 20 hours a week in exchange for temporary residency at the center. Volunteers make a more flexible work commitment and continue to live off-site. Sometimes they simply take on a task that needs doing. Other times they are looking for a specific thing to learn or help with.