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An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Placitas Sage Cohousing group

Placitas Sage cohousing core group has a picnic meeting.

Placitas Sage Cohousing continues to raise interest

—Joyce Thompson, Placitas Sage Cohousing Group

Interest blooms as people in Placitas hear of the development progress of the Placitas Sage Senior Cohousing community. Although inquiries from as far away as Connecticut, Illinois, and Arizona come through the national cohousing website, most interest is expressed by those who already live here and love the many desirable attributes of Placitas.

Placitas Sage Senior Cohousing will offer active, independent seniors an alternative to moving away or staying in a home that is too difficult to manage. With smaller individual independent living homes, designed to facilitate interaction with other residents, cohousing offers the opportunity to maintain local relationships and an active life while enjoying the support of friends and neighbors.

We are planning in accordance with The Senior Cohousing Handbook by Charles Durrett. Placitas Sage is the sixth cohousing community in New Mexico, one of now over two hundred in the United States. We are working with two experts in the field of cohousing, Bryan Bowen, architect, and Jim Leach, development consultant.

Placitas Sage will incorporate the six defining characteristics of the cohousing movement:

  1. Participatory process: With a Core Group of ten founding members, decisions for the development of Placitas Sage are being made using a consensus model, with all members of the group sharing their particular gifts in the activities of the development process—e.g. looking for appropriate sites, explaining the cohousing idea to interested folks, and investigating water and septic issues.
  2. Neighborhood design: Placitas Sage is committed to creating a community of independent seniors with plenty of opportunity to interact with each other in common facilities and activities. Locating individual homes in groups of 3-5, with shared courtyards and a central plaza, provides the opportunity for casual as well as organized interactions.
  3. Common facilities: We are envisioning our common house with space for group meetings, shared meals, shared events (movies, music, exercise), as well as guest rooms and housing for a shared caregiver, when needed. A community garden and the sharing of maintenance activities are also planned.
  4. Resident management: Placitas Sage residents will all participate in the management of the community, making decisions about policies, as well as caring for the property.
  5. Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making: Because consensus is our model for decision-making, there is no one “in charge.” Participants in the core group, as well as the larger community, when formed, will share their skills and special talents and work together as a team to make the community function for all residents.
  6. No shared economy: Residents maintain their own income sources and will own their own home/unit and a share in the larger community. Each unit will pay a monthly maintenance fee that covers shared costs and creates a reserve for future capital improvements. .

Recent activities have focused on securing a location for building a community like this for about twenty residents, clustering homes in small groups to conserve open space. Preserving our wonderful natural environment, as well as being environmentally and socially responsible, are values of the Placitas Sage community.

On October 5, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., we are sponsoring a series of eight discussions groups entitled, “Aging Successfully, Aging in Place” at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church.

For more information, go to or call Joyce Thompson at 404-8553.

Master Gardener Training Program

—Steve Lucero

The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service of Sandoval County is offering a Volunteer Master Gardeners’ Training Program for 2014. The training is for residents who enjoy and have been gardening for a few years. The Master Gardener volunteer program is designed to educate and assist the residents of Sandoval County in all aspects of gardening.

Now is the time to apply for the 14-week course which will begin on January 7 and end on April 15, 2014. Classes will be held every Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., at the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension office, located in the old Sandoval Courthouse, 711 Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo.

To become certified as a Sandoval County Master Gardener, you are required to complete forty hours of classes, which include testing, thirty hours of volunteer work, and ten hours at the Master Gardner telephone hotline at the Extension Office in Bernalillo.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is limited to 35 students. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2013. The cost is $125 dollars. The class fills quickly, and there is usually a waiting list, so early applications are advised. Applicants will be interviewed between September and December.

For more information, contact the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service at 867-2582, or toll free 1 (800) 678-1802, or go to

Caring for elderly parents, a growing concern

—Anne Hays Egan

Did you know that the fastest growing demographic group in the United States is older adults? Did you know that by 2030 the state of New Mexico will have the fourth largest proportion of older adults to its overall population? Caregiving for older adults, or eldercare, is one of the biggest issues facing baby boomers and those in their middle years according to Pew Research.

Whether you are caring for an elderly parent, spouse, or friend, or are looking at your own older years, you will want to build a plan and put some strategies in place. There is a new book written by a Sandoval County author that can be a helpful resource. Moving Mamma: Taking Care of Mother During Her Final Years With Alzheimer’s will be available in late September. On October 19, the Placitas Community Library will host a reading and book signing by author Anne Hays Egan at 2:00 p.m. at the Library Collin Meeting Room.

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