Fitchburg plans for a sustainable village

Sunday, March 16, 2008

From an article by Gena Kittner in the Wisconsin State Journal:
A "sustainable village," complete with natural sewage treatment, a school of organic agriculture and businesses powered by the sun, wind and renewable organic fuel could find a home in Fitchburg.

But first local organizers need to raise about $25 million for the 250-acre project.

"It will be a place to learn about sustainability ... firsthand," said Phyllis Hasbrouck, chairwoman of Fitchburg Fields, which is spearheading the effort. "This kind of sustainable village is what every large community is going to need as a learning place and example."

Plans for the carbon neutral eco-village include 30 modest homes, a five-car community garage, four-seasons farmers' market and a "bike and breakfast" inn.

"All of these things have been done before (in) other places ... (but) as far as we know, this is the first place that would put them all together," Hasbrouck said.

The plan is not so far fetched for a city that calls itself "Wisconsin's Recycling Leader."

Organizers hope to capitalize on the growing trend in eco-tourism and the parcel's proximity to Madison, already a popular "green" destination, and plans to raise money via the Internet — much of it from outside of Dane County — and through a capital campaign, Hasbrouck said.