Please join us...

In honor of our commitment to environmental sustainability, please join us in celebrating the completion of our new Eco-Lodge. Our "Celebration of Sustainability: Innovative Ideas in Action" is open to the public and free. Events will begin around 1:00 pm. We are proud to announce that Bill McKibben, American environmentalist and writer, will be joining us. Bill McKibben is the author of several books including, Eaarth, Deep Economy, and The End of Nature, and is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Harper's, Rolling Stone, and Outside Magazine, among others. 

This event is a celebration in how far we've come towards our 20+ year vision to create a sustainable center for families. Come with your friends, kids, and neighbors to experience fun, beauty, and to learn something new.

Schedule of Events:*

1:00 pm (and throughout the afternoon) - Facility Tours, Bubbles on The Hill, Delicious Food, Family Friendly Activities, & more!

2:00 pm - Speakers (including Bill McKibben) & Ribbon Cutting

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm - Tours of the Eco-Lodge; Educational booths from organizations and vendors involved in Common Ground Center and the building of the lodge; Kids Entertainment; Crafts & Activities; Environmentally Conscious Entertainment and Skits

5:00 pm - Dance party with Jeh Kulu!

*Schedule is subject to change.

For more about our Eco-Lodge & Facility please visit.....

Our Construction Progress Blog

The Common Ground Center Blog

Our Facility Page

Our Accommodations Page

Our "Good Green Fun" Page

And read more about the event below!

A press release written for the event:

Grand Opening of Eco-Lodge at Common Ground Center:
“A Celebration of Sustainability, Innovative Ideas in Action”

Starksboro, Vermont - Common Ground Center, a non profit retreat and family vacation center, will be celebrating the completion of their year-round Eco-Lodge at a Grand Opening event scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2011. Bill McKibben, American environmentalist and author, and David Blittersdorf, CEO and founder of AllEarth Renewables, will speak at the dedication ceremony. The press and the public are invited to attend.

The event will showcase the sustainable building practices, energy-saving design, and green materials used in the construction of both the Eco-Lodge and the Common Ground Center facility as a whole. Tours of the facility, music, and children’s activities will be a part of the festivities, along delicious food made on site. As more people are worrying about their carbon footprint, the facility at Common Ground allows campers to feel good about their vacation choices. We call it “Good Green Fun in Vermont!”

The new Eco-Lodge is just the latest development at Common Ground Center that reflects our commitment to environmentally conscious values. Existing barns were rehabbed and adapted for program needs. Eight solar trackers make the site 100% solar-powered. Recycled windows and doors were used extensively throughout the site, providing a measure of added charm. Open space and unique habitat features were preserved. And a conservation easement of 550 acres was donated to the Vermont Land Trust to protect most of the property in perpetuity.

The Lodge, with eight guestrooms and a large Common Room, enhances the accommodations and program offerings at Common Ground Center, which runs family camp programs and rents out space on its 700-acre facility. The Lodge can accommodate up to 30 people overnight, and stretches the CGC season to year-round use. It provides less rustic guestrooms for those who need them, including the elderly and those with mobility issues or physical conditions that require electricity.

Architect Carol Stenberg’s design for the Eco-Lodge stresses energy conservation, local materials, innovative techniques and natural finishes. Rigid and cellulose insulation and a living roof keep the building cool in summer and toasty in the winter. A polished concrete floor, radiant heat, and a woodstove provide efficient heating throughout the winter. Solar panels on the roof provide 100% of the building’s hot water during the summer months, and about half of the heat needed during the winter. A gas boiler supplements the solar heat; it has an astonishing 96% fuel efficiency rating.

Maple, oak, pine, and hemlock trees were harvested on site, milled locally, and used for structure, siding, flooring, and finish details. The Lodge’s orientation, solar tubes, and clerestory windows provide abundant natural light. Non-toxic paint, natural oils, and a clay plaster finish ensure a healthful environment inside the building. And splashes of color give each room a warm and inviting feeling. The building was constructed by Perkins Smith Design/Build. With the new Eco-Lodge, the Common Ground Center facility is largely complete.

Common Ground Center began in 1994 as a two-week family camp at rented facilities. In 2004, Common Ground moved to its own facility and has blossomed into a non-profit organization offering creative and engaging programs to families of all kinds. The “traditional” Camp Common Ground program, to be offered for six weeks this summer, includes classes in art, music, healing arts, and nature to adults and children.

Beginning in 2006, additional family camps were added to CGC’s roster. These include Camp Kaleidoscope, for families with children on the autism spectrum, Chinese Culture Weekend, for families with adopted children from China, The Lost Arts Week, a celebration of primitive skills and traditional arts and crafts for homeschooling families, and Overcoming Barriers, a camp for families experiencing high conflict divorce.
Common Ground’s core values are connection, community, acceptance, natural environment, beauty, and fun. The Eco-Lodge is imbued with all these values. Connection to the planet is achieved through green building practices and the use of what nature has to offer via solar power and local building materials. The Eco-Lodge has also enhanced the community by making the site more accessible to all ages as well as those with disabilities.  Beauty – come see this elegant building for yourself. And fun – Common Ground’s motto is Uncommon Fun for Grownups and Kids and the grand opening will be just that.