We gather at Rocky Hill on ancestral lands of indigenous peoples, most recently the Pocumtuc and Nipmuc nations. We acknowledge the devastating legacy of settler colonialism and the continuing harm done to indigenous groups in our community, region and country. First Nations people, including the Nipmuc, still live on and steward these lands, and continue to honor and bring to light their ancient heritage. We give thanks to indigenous ancestors and we support their descendants as we seek ways to repair and restore right relations with our indigenous neighbors and dedicate ourselves to caring for this land with joy and gratitude.
Our Common House is owned by the community and used by members and invited guests. The Common House contains a large dining/events room; a fully-equipped kitchen; two bathrooms (one handicapped-accessible); a guest room; a small meeting room; a family room; a fireplace and fireplace room; the unfinished basement has laundry facilities, a sauna, a pool table, ping pong table and foosball.
Any RHC resident may reserve the Common House for an event or reserve the Guest Room for an overnight guest.
Rocky Hill buildings take up only 1/3 of the 27 acres of land, which includes several different wildlife habitats: a native oak forest, wetlands and open areas. The forest understory of mountain laurel and witch hazel shrubs show off their beautiful flowers in spring and fall. Rocky Hill and neighboring cohousing community Pathways protect a small greenway that can be explored through a number of foot trails. There is a bike path from Rocky Hill to neighboring Ice Pond Drive, with connection to bike paths leading to Northampton and Easthampton.
At Rocky Hill, we cherish the natural beauty that surrounds us: Our community garden, landscapes and gardens around our homes, wild flowers, walking paths, bike trails, birds and wildlife.
Nearby: Northampton, Florence, Easthampton
The community is centrally located between three vibrant downtown areas, each with its own unique character:
The City of Northampton is known as an academic and cultural hub, and has been called the #1 Small Arts Town in America. It boasts an enormous variety of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, bookstores and music venues. Founded in 1654, it is the historic home of Sojourner Truth (the Underground Railroad), president Calvin Coolidge and theologian Jonathan Edwards.
The City of Easthampton has spectacular natural areas: Nashawannuck Pond, Mount Tom and the Manhan Rail Trail. Eastworks is a large factory converted to artists' studios, offices, and restaurants.
The Village of Florence retains its historic charm with stores and restaurants like Miss Florence Diner. Former factories now host art studios and small stores. 150 acre Look Park has a zoo, steamer train, pedal boats, mini-golf.
Sustainability and Environment
Our community strives to honor and preserve the environment and keep a small footprint. These are some of our green initiatives:
Energy Efficient Construction: Our homes exceed Energy Star standards by 15% to 25%.
Solar Panels: Besides photo voltaic panels on the common house, many of the individual homes have solar arrays.
Recycling: We have recycling stations for anything that needs disposal. We commonly re-share our possessions with each other instead of tossing them out.
Green Space: Our homes are clustered on the site leaving most of the parcel of land as undeveloped green space.
Food Gardens: Many members grow vegetables in the community gardens or around their homes.
Composting: There is shared composting in close proximity to the community gardens.
Electric Vehicle Charging: In 2018 the community installed 2 electric vehicle charging stations.
The Rocky Hill property and surrounding areas are teeming with wildlife: Fox, coyote, deer, bear, squirrels, rabbits and a variety of native birds.