Columbia Ecovillage is located in the Cully neighborhood of northeast Portland, a culturally diverse urban neighborhood with a mix of commercial and residential development. Home to a number of farms many years ago, there is now a resurgence of farming in the neighborhood, with farmers selling to restaurants and at the Cully Farmer’s Market on 42nd Avenue in summer months. More than a dozen farmers have formed a cooperative to help one another.
The Ecovillage’s Neighborhood Relations Pod keeps tabs on local events and participates in the Cully Association of Neighbors as well as Our 42nd Ave., an economic development partnership with the City of Portland, which is working with residents and businesses to improve the neighborhood.
Living Cully, a neighborhood initiative coordinated by active local community groups Verde, Hacienda CDC and NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) also invites citizen participation.
Our property is located within easy walking distance of Rigler Elementary school, Montessori of Alameda Pre-School/Kindergarten, and the public/charter Montessori Ivy School, all of which offer bilingual English/Spanish immersion programs. Beaumont Middle School, with a 7th/ 8th grade Spanish immersion program is also within walking distance.
The City of Portland opened a new park at NE 52nd and Alberta in May 2015 called Khunamokwst Park, and is in a multiyear process of working with a nonprofit coalition to develop Thomas Cully Park, a 25-acre site at NE 72nd Avenue north of Killingsworth. A community garden opened in 2012. There are a number of other Portland Parks and Recreation community gardens in Cully.
Another benefit of our location is the opportunity to connect with a wonderful group of neighbors just north of us known as the Ainsworth Street Collective (ASC), which has developed its own informal type of neighborhood association. We meet up with ASC neighbors at their monthly potlucks and meetings of a joint emergency preparedness group. The Ecovillage and ASC also have a food buying club that orders food staples monthly from an Oregon food distributor.
Transit-wise, our location is served by several Tri-Met bus routes running north and south, and east and west. Killingsworth Street is part of the city’s bike route system, and we have a locally owned bike shop on 42nd Avenue. We are 10 minutes by car from Portland International Airport, frequently ferrying neighbors to and from the airport or the nearby MAX light rail station in the Hollywood neighborhood.