crystal waters eco village
by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
First established in 1987, Crystal Waters in the Australian state of Queensland has since received the UN World Habitat Award for its ‘pioneering work in demonstrating new ways of low impact, sustainable living’.
Crystal Waters Eco Village is set in 650 acres of bushland at the headwaters of the Mary River. The privately owned village includes residential and cooperatively owned commercial properties designed along Permaculture principles, and is home to a wide variety of local flora and fauna. The Crystal Waters Community Cooperative is the social and economic arm of the village management and provides facilities for visitors to participate in and experience the village life.
The 83 freehold residential and 2 commercial lots occupy 20% of the 650 acre property. The remaining 80% is the best land, which is owned in common and can be licensed for sustainable agriculture, forestry, recreation and habitat projects. The village centre is zoned for commerce, light industry, tourism and educational activities.
The community now involves some 200 people with a multitude of businesses and food producing gardens. The productivity of the land has increased dramatically, while community by-laws ensure that residents are responsible for the provision of their needs and the disposal of waste within ecological parameters. Important impacts include the revitalisation of the local bio-region due to the influx of new residents, increased diversity of flora and fauna, an improvement in land quality, the nurturing of new ‘green’ technologies and the education of the many course participants and guests that visit the community.
Although the community never aimed to become totally self-sufficient, believing that interaction with the surrounding bio-region is ultimately more sustainable, many people are very self-reliant, growing most of their food and meeting timber requirements for building, fencing and firewood. The community recognises that there will always be imports for example, fuel and metals which can be substituted in a limited way but not replaced completely and therefore feels a responsibility to offset these imports with some exports, ranging from fruit and vegetables to knowledge, skills and experiences.
Many of the principles and features of the community are consistent with recommendations in Agenda 21, the policies for implementing sustainable development which were first drawn up at the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio.
Crystal Waters Eco Village
65 Kilcoy Ln