I grew up in Iowa City, went to Antioch College in Ohio to study chemistry (pre-med), then to Columbia in New York for a doctoral program in psychology and anti-war demonstrating. In the early 1970s I helped create a 200-person intentional community in an abandoned candy factory in San Francisco and developed a love for helping create community. Then for 25 years I directed social service agencies, taught social work, did low-income housing development with Habitat and others, and helped raise a family in eastern Iowa. Two of my four children and five grandkids live in Iowa City so I will have lots of time with them!
I like to think of myself as a resilient sustainable community developer. I retired after eleven years teaching social work at Luther College where I taught social policy, community organizing, and systems theory and took students to Des Moines to lobby the legislature, and to Scandinavia to study sustainability and the future that lies ahead—as climate change and a changing economy transform our world.
I see Prairie Hill as a remarkable opportunity to learn how a cohousing project like this can become a resilient, sustainable community, which is ecological and efficient in design and, more importantly, provides opportunities for the growth of a close-knit community where people build relationships and trust so that we care for each other, draw upon each other’s strengths and skills, and support each other’s needs. I’m excited to imagine gardening together, charging our shared all-electric cars with solar electricity, and caring for each other over the years.