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What's an Intentional Community?

“An 'intentional community' is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.”
   - G. Kozeny

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Join our upcoming Community Gathering


Since 1993, the Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA) has been holding Spring and Fall Gathering events  which are hosted and organized by, and are about, intentional communities in the Pacific Northwest  of the US and BC, Canada. 

NICA's 2023 Spring Gathering, themed: "Bringing Together the Rural and Urban Communities", will be held in the beautiful rural landscape of Geoclectic Grove which is a developing community near Buckley WA. 

Our NICA gatherings always  bring together experienced community members with community seekers to learn about, engage with and practice the cooperative living skills that will enable everyone to survive and thrive during challenging times. 

For this gathering, we decided to draw upon the wisdom of the gathering and explore  the similarities and differences between rural and urban communities as a group and then we'll interact in small groups to consider the ideas we've gained.  There will also be time to have an afternoon session on how Communities can be strengthened and built by successfully working through conflict. This will be guided by NICA Board Member Thomas S. Griggs PhD who has lead leadership programs for over 20 years in North Carolina, and has now relocated to the Seattle area. You can learn more about his insight and approaches at Griggs Leadership Program.

May 13th

About NICA


We are a non-profit organization always in need of additional help from volunteers. No matter your talents and skills, we encourage you to join us and contribute to our cause - we would love to hear from you!

Our Mission

Our Mission is to grow and support Intentional Communities in the Northwest U.S. & British Columbia — a.k.a. Cascadia bioregion to make visible the many models of successful intentionally cooperative ways of living. We coordinate the exchange of knowledge and resources about Intentional Communities not only to showcase how they benefit members’ lives but to foster ecological, economic and social sustainability in the wider culture.

NICA’s Five Primary Purposes

  1. Ascertain and promote intentional community aims and values that contribute most to community sustainability;
  2. Facilitate communication and networking between local, regional, and national intentional community organizations;
  3. Foster and assist the study of and education on all major elements of intentional communities;
  4. Assist in organizing and financing efforts of and for sustainable communities;
  5. To coordinate the exchange of resources between communities and others.

What We Do

Our board of trustees currently meets monthly (the first Wednesday of each month usually, but dates can vary). We coordinate various projects that help the Intentional Community movement and organize our annual Community Gathering events.

These meetings are combined with potlucks and move around to different board members’ home communities. But for the time being, we are meeting up via Zoom calls. If you are interested in attending as a guest we are open to visitors. Please reach out to us to be scheduled on our upcoming meeting/call.

Our Community Gatherings take quite a lot of planning and organizing and we welcome volunteers that would like the help.  Each year we organize and host Community Gatherings in the spring and fall. These are 1-3 day-long events that provide opportunities for intentional communities in our region to meet each other, talk about similarities and differences, and share what has been learned. These events are not designed to be promotional, as in marketing any particular community. Typically, at least half of the attendees are current community members and seekers are welcome and usually attend too. If you are seeking members as a new or forming an Intentional Community (IC), these events are a great place to enhance your community’s visibility.

Brief History

The Northwest Intentional Communities Association was formed by a coalition of intentional communities’ representatives who gathered in the fall of 1992, spearheaded by John Affolter of the Teramanto community. The first meeting of NICA was held in the spring of 1993 at the Wesleyan Community on Vashon Island. This is when the bylaws and articles of incorporation were ratified. We incorporated in the Fall of 1993 as a Washington State nonprofit. We were involved in the 1993 Fellowship for Intentional Communities Celebration of Communities gatherings and have held gatherings ever since. We began publishing a newsletter in the Fall of 1992, and we successfully became a 501c3 tax-exempt organization in 1997.

A Big Thank You

We want to recognize and send a big thank you to everyone that has helped or volunteered for NICA.  If we missed you please send us a message and we'll add your name to the list.

  • Syd F.

    Thanks for all the work you've done


Volunteer Openings

NICA is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and we're looking to recruit individuals who would be interested in joining us. Take a look at the jobs available and if you feel that you can contribute, then please use the contact form to let us know which opening you are interested in.

  • Administrative Assistance

    Assist with running weekly and monthly administrative processes.  Helpful to have the following experience or be willing to learn:

    • Working with Google sheets and preparing basic reports
    • Preparing newsletter (content will be provided)
    • Monitoring our inbox
    • Plus various other related tasks

    The workload is light needing several hours of work each month and you'll work alongside a board member to set you up and help you along the way.

  • Board Member

    Assist with board member duties such as fundraising, developing programs and policies, and advocating for the organization’s mission.  Should provide guidance and help to strengthen organizational capacity. 

Contact Us

Let's Talk

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or feedback. We'll be more than happy to provide an answer or direct you to the right place. Please keep in mind though that our team is made up of volunteers; hence, kindly bear with us if there's a delay in response times.