For Upcoming Tours: Go here for info

Updated 10/16/21
Our resident membership process is opening up.  It may take as long as six months to get through our process.  For more info, write to: Membership Committee
Updated 7/20/2021
Debut Karaoke Bike Ride
Bicycle guru Jimm Lizama finished the first phase of the BiciCrofono karaoke bike in time for  our July 18, 2021 planned debut ride from LA Eco-Village to MacArthur Park to meet up with members of the Los Angele Tenants Union and sign folks up for our July 24 workshop on “Saving Energy Saving Money”..  About a dozen bicyclists joined the debut ride with LA Ecovillage staff Angela Bai and Raquel Valencia getting the songs started at the Park.  Watch for notice of future Karaoke bike rides from L.A. Eco-Village to other central city locations.  Let us know if you’d like special notice of upcoming rides: or 213/738-1254

Updated 5/2/2021

CRSP dba Los Angeles Ecovillage Institute (LAEVI) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the LADWP to facilitate culture change with respect to energy use. We’ll be sponsoring a series of free monthly workshops on how you can save energy, get rebates, earn points toward prizes, including monthly cash prizes.  We’ll also be hosting some talent shows and Karaoke bicycle rides to spread the word.  Go here to register for the May 22, 2021 workshop and future workshops as well.

Updated 10/21/2019
L.A. Eco-Village co-founder Lois Arkin has been nominated as a KCET Local Hero.  See details here.
How many planets would  it take if everyone in the world lived the way you do?
Find out here by taking the Ecological Footprint Quiz


Updated 8/20/2018

Meet International Ecovillage Activist Cinthia Tina and hear what she has to say about her recent visit with the United Nations during its  High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. ‪#‎HLPF.

It was reaffirming to hear the world’s governments address our environmental and humanitarian crises. Everyone seems to be on the same page that the situation is dire. We applauded the pledges of millions of dollars to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meanwhile, I sat with questions. How much of this talk correlates to action? Is a top-down approach really what we should be applauding? Where are the voices of local communities? I questioned the standard format of sessions – a series of panelists, each proclaiming the efforts of their own nation, with little space for dialogue let alone audience questions. Is this the process by which we are meant to create something new?

I was proud to represent one of the few organizations that advocates for community-led action… and I’m aware of how small a voice we had in a room with hundreds of closely-pruned and tightly-clung agendas. Ours is a fundamentally different approach.   Read more


Updated 3/8/2018

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Eco-Village

Yes, hard to believe, but true.  Here is a partial list of some of the amazing people who were instrumental in getting us started in those very early years.  Some of you will remember them, and, happily, they are still all alive!

Esfandiar Abbassi
Eric Anderson
Dianne Herring
Ian McIlvaine
Ryan Lehman
Mary Maverick
Brad Mowers
Julia Russell
David Spellman
Bob Walters

None of the above folks actually lived in the then newly-named Los Angeles Eco-Village Neighborhood on Bimini and White House Place, but they were among the wonderful volunteers who regularly walked the neighborhood, meeting neighbors, facilitating neighborhood activities, and a sense of safety in the neighborhood by working with the kids, planting trees, and bringing life to the streets.  In addition, they were the co-visionaries and co-planners that hung in there those first few years to ensure the fledgling project actually came to life.

Years later, several did move to the neighborhood making critical contributions to the maturing LAEV, including Ian, Mary, Esfandiar, and Brad.  Both Ian and Julia remain closely connected with the community today.  Others have moved on, taking their LAEV experiences with them on their life journeys.  We hope to hear from them this year to learn more about their journeys and memories of the early LAEV
Updated 3/8/2018

Eco-Villager and visionary filmmaker Samantha Bode premiered her film The Longest Straw at the New Urbanism Film Festival and took home the award for “Best Healthy Cities’ Film”.

Samantha Bode

Watch for future screenings this year at L.A. Eco-Village or visit the film’s website for the screening schedule.

Also read more about Samantha’s hike along the Los Angeles Aqueducts and Mono Extension and the making of the film here.


 updated 1/9/2018

Please vote by Wednesday, January 10th
L.A. Eco-Villager Lois Arkin nominated as L.A. “Streetsies” Advocate of the Year by StreetsblogLA. Opportunity to vote by Wednesday January 10. is one of the best ways to stay informed on what’ s happening in LA in livable streets, transit oriented development, urban planning, bicycle activism and other good things. I, Lois, was honored last week to discover that StreetsblogLA had nominated me as one of their LA Streetsies Advocate of the Year. Learn about all of the nominees and please vote by Wednesday, January 10th.

photo: Somerset Waters



updated January 2018

Los Angeles Eco-Village Celebrating its 25th Anniversary All Year in 2018: What’s in Store for the Celebratory  Year:

Hard to believe we’ve been around that long, but it’s true. Although we know that some of you go back that far with us, if you’re among them, or others that haven’t been in touch in awhile, let us know who you are, and we will be sure to include you in one of our many celebrations this year. Thank you all for hanging in there, for what you have all been doing to increase urban sustainable living patterns. Here are events we are planning for this year, so please let us know your interest and stay tuned for details:

  • Bio, phyto, and myco remediation workshops on the brownfield property, known as Songs, in the north end of the LAEV neighborhood which CRSP acquired in late 2016.
  • Explorations in Nature with Sylvette Frazier for kids and their parents.
  • An Introduction to Permaculture
  • Waste Not, Want Not: A New Awareness on the “Waste” Stream with Kreigh Hampel
  • Sacred Crossings: The Art of Death and Midwifery with Olivia Bareham
  • Sociocracy workshop with Diana Leafe Christian
  • Touring Ecovillages Around the World with Diana Leafe Christian
  • Green Engineering Visions and Practices with the BuroHappold Songs Team
  • Local Currencies: What are they, why we need them, how to start one in your neighborhood
  • The Universal Basic Income: Viable or Phantasy?
  • The Green Party: Hope and Promise with Mike Feinstein and Kevin Mejia
  • An Introduction to Limited Equity Housing Co-ops and Community Land Trusts
  • How to Start an Ecovillage in Your Urban Neighborhood
  • EcoCities Around the World with Richard Register
  • And a whopping special surprise fund raising event with 25 in it.
Updated December 2017

An Eco-Co-op Hostel now being Planned for L.A. Eco-Village

Our vision for the quarter acre property CRSP acquired at the north end of the L.A. Eco-Village neighborhood in late 2016 has evolved.  And we believe the whole world may benefit from the new direction. Imagine: groups of Neighborhood Council stakeholders, academicians, students, civic groups and others coming to visit for an immersion program in urban sustainable living practices. Maybe for a weekend or a week or several weeks. And during such programs, participants will have come together as a support community capable of manifesting deep and rapid changes in their respective urban neighborhoods, whether a multi-family building, a block or two, a dorm or larger unit of a city. CRSP will be creating a new Co-op for this hostel. We will be accepting both individual and group memberships. Watch for details by late Spring. Or please write us if you or your group will be interested in exploring membership:


Updated December 2017

“Dig and Haul” or Phyto and Myco and Bio Remediate?

Much of 2017 was taken up with various environmental testing, because the former auto shop in the north end of L.A. Eco-Village of more than 50 years, is a brownfield*. Lots of discussion followed among the CRSP Board, friends, neighbors, and consultants. Although our consultants advised us to remediate in a conventional way, that is, dig up the contaminated soil and haul it away, this went against our sense of commitment to the earth. We decided we would remediate with mushrooms, plants, micro-organisms, trees, air, water! It was, we decided, about healing the earth where we are, taking responsibility for the healing, even when we were not responsible for Her sickness.

After all the environmental reports were in, it became clear that if we were going to remediate the soil to permanent housing standards, it was going to be much more costly in time and money. But if we chose to remediate to commercial standards, we could move more quickly, and still continue to remediate in phases without endangering human health, using a variety of plants and trees (phyto), micro-organisms (Bio) and mushrooms or fungi (myco). These organic technologies were well established, but somehow environmental agencies across the U.S. were still hesitant to sign off on these organic technologies. Perhaps we could play a role in further validating these natural methods

But what about all the other neighborhoods with Brownfields?
There are numerous brownfields in the L.A. area—many right in peoples’ front and backyards–, especially in low income minority neighborhoods. If we can learn how to clean up the mess in our own neighborhood without relying on increasingly sparse public monies, then there is much hope and opportunity for other neighborhoods to do the same. Why not include other neighborhood groups in our learning curve, we thought? They can be part of the eventual eco co-op-hostel? We will be a learning neighborhood for these in situ remediation technologies, sharing what we learn along the way. And, of course, other neighborhoods that may already be further along in such methods than we are, so more collaborative learning opportunities are in store.


updated December 2017

Other Potential Uses Envisioned for the Songs Property

In addition to the Eco Co-op Hostel, here’s what some of our community and board members envisioned last year for some of the car-free mixed uses on the property, all to be developed without gentrifying our neighborhood:

  • Vertical hydroponic farm
  • Plant and seedling nursery
  • Events venue for programs in sustainable urban living
  • Music studio
  • Art gallery
  • Fair trade organic coffee
  • Vegan/veggie café

We invite you to share your thoughts with us:


Updated 11/1/17




On Contaminants and Proposed Remediation 

Concerning the property at
3554 and 3560 West First Street
Previously known as Song’s Auto Shop
and the Teriyaki House

This meeting is a component of a proposal being prepared for a US-EPA grant by the nonprofit property owner, CRSP.

A copy of the US-EPA’s “Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA)” and the plan for remediation of contaminants can be viewed on-line here   Or at:   117 Bimini Place, Lobby      Los Angeles 90004

A copy of the draft proposal will be available at the November 11th meeting or on-line at this website by November 10, 2017. Your comments will be incorporated into the final proposal and must be received by November 14, 2017

Public comments can be mailed to:
CRSP     117 Bimini Pl, #221     Los Angeles CA 90004
Or sent via email to:
Or given in person at the November 11th meeting

A Plan for redeveloping the property includes car-free co-op oriented mixed uses, including an environmentally sensitive hostel, small green businesses which are owned by neighbors and employ neighbors within the Los Angeles Eco-Village on Bimini and White House Place or within easy walking distance.

CRSP also intends to use this brownfield as an opportunity to educate and train other neighborhood groups on use of radically less costly remediation methods utilizing phytotechnologies.

See additional information or keep updated at
or contact
or call 213/738-1254


Updated 10/23/17:

Songs Corner (working name for our new property at the corner of Bimini Place and West First Street)

Hard to believe CRSP has owned this property for over one year now.  Here’s where we’re at and a little about our new direction, which has changed substantially over the past six months:

–  The US-EPA has completed both a Phase II Targeted Brownfield* Assessment and an Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives or ABCA.

–  The results of the above reports indicated that the remediation of contaminants in the buildings and the soil required to do permanent housing and/or any regular children’s activities–e.g., a childcare service or center–would require a much longer period of clean-up and be much more costly.

– In view of the above, the CRSP board has determined that the clean-up to commercial/industrial standards rather than to permanent housing standards, would permit us to do an eco-hostel-co-op for very low to moderate income people, with mixed commercial uses for small green co-op oriented businesses employing neighborhood residents.

– Questa Gleason is working with Lois and an exciting team of eight more people (stay tuned to learn who they are)  to prepare a grant proposal to the US-EPA for approximately $175,000 for the remediation process which will include the removal of lead, asbestos, and PCBs inside the buildings, and the rendering harmless of soil contaminants harmful to human health by capping, removal and/or phytoremediation.

– Meantime, a four person team at the international sustainability oriented BuroHappold Engineering firm received an internal Foundation grant to provide engineering services to the project.  The team, led by Gideon Susman includes structural engineer Patti Harburg-Petrich, along with Kathleen Hetrick and Lucas Leiberman.  They are working with CRSP Board President, LAEV co-founder and Tierra Sol y Mar principal architect Ian McIlvaine to move forward on the mixed use eco-hostel car-free co-op incorporating a variety of eco technologies.  Stay tuned on this exciting part.

Updated 10/19/17:

LAEV Founder Lois Arkin was honored to be invited to be among 9 jurors for the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2017 Sustainable Innovations Awards.  These awards will be presented at the USGBC’s annual Gala on November 30, 2017:

Updated 4/22/2017

–  Two wonderful new friends, Jason and Taylor Williams, have brought their phenomenal knowledge and energy to help clear out the auto repair shop.  They have made it possible to recycle approximately three tons of scrap metal, a ton of plastic, and the potential sale of valuable items such as tire changer, air compressor, and auto lifts.   updated 4/22/17

Jason and Taylor

– Jason is a disabled vet and will be relocating the RV which was left on the property. He, Taylor and their service dog, Lady, plan to live in the RV. They want to demonstrate “living tiny!” if they can find property to

Jason & Taylor’s RV

relocate the RV to. Note that Jason is a fabulous handy person, speaks 3 different languages, was a truck mechanic in the service, and is knowledgeable on a broad range of topics. IF YOU HAVE A PLACE FOR THIS SERVICE ORIENTED COUPLE AND THEIR RV ON YOUR PROPERTY, please contact me ASAP: Lois or 213-738-1254

– The US-EPA contractor has completed on-site core drilling and air tests on the old auto repair shop.  We expect the completed report sometime in June 2017.

updated 4/22/17
Lois and Mayor Garcetti

LOIS MEETS WITH MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI to talk about some issues near and dear to her heart. Go here to see what they discussed.

Check it out here:

updated 4/22/17



Updated 10/16/16
Our community has recently been targeted by a slew of bicycle thefts. The thieves snuck onto our property over the past two weeks and stole three bikes out of our main building. Those bikes belonged to Jessica, Randy and Sandy. We strive to live less impactful lifestyles at the Eco-Village and many of us rely far more heavily on bicycle and public transport to get around LA. The loss of these bicycles has greatly impacted these community members for various reasons: Randy does not have access to a car and the extra money he now needs to spend on public transport is putting a strain on his monthly budget. Jess planned on doing a big tour with her surly, had her engagement photos done with this bike and planned on sharing her joy of riding with her son Eli in the next two months. Sandy’s electric allowed her to rely on her car far less.

As friends, family and community members we are asking for your support in helping raise the funds that will allow Jess, Sandy and Randy to get back on the road. The money we raise is going towards a Surly Long Haul trucker for Jess, a Cycle cross bike for Randy and replacement commuter for Sandy. Our goal is to raise the money no later than November 5, to get them back on the road.

Thanks in advance for helping our community out, we’re grateful for your involvement as will Jess, Randy and Sandy be.

Yours truly L.A. Eco-Village Intentional Community Members: Devon, Becca and Aurisha

Help spread the word!
Updated 10/16/16:
LAEV Childcare

The LAEV FCC Service is now open for business, especially for nearby children that don’t have to be driven over.  See more info here.

Updated 10/7/16:


Conceptual rendering by Joe Linton
Conceptual rendering by Joe Linton

Yipee!  CRSP closed escrow today (10/7/16) on the north corner of the L.A. Eco-Village neighborhood.  We are now the proud owner of Mr. Song’s Auto Repair shop and the adjacent historic Teriyaki House café.  This quarter acre property was acquired with the help of 20 friends of the L.A. Eco-Village who made loans to our CRSP Ecological Revolving Loan Fund (ELF) .  We are still accepting loans for those who want to be in the Founders Lending Circle which will receive some special  privileges over the next few years.  Go here for more info.  To get an idea of what we are planning for the property, take a look here.

Mr. Song's auto repair shop on the southwest corner of Bimini Place and West First Street
Mr. Song’s auto repair shop on the southwest corner of Bimini Place and West First Street
Updated 9/26/16:

Yay!  We’re almost there to begin our vision of car-free permanently affordable cohousing in L.A. Eco-Village.  Escrow closing is scheduled for October 7, 2016 on the quarter acre corner auto shop adjacent to our big building.  There is still time to become one of our founding lenders.  We’re offering 1.5% on loans of $5,000 or more.  We have over $1 million committed.  Just a little more will do it.  See Prospectus here.

Updated August 2016

Learn more about how you can be part of L.A. History by getting involved with our new acquisition.  More info here

Updated July 2016

Thousands of you who have been on LAEV tours over the past few decades know that our vision has never stopped at creating permanently affordable housing, an ecological revolving loan fund to acquire it, a limited equity housing co-op, a community land trust, small green businesses, or helping others get started like the Bike Kitchen, Relampago Wheelery, Cafecito Organico, the Arroyo Seco Network of TimeBanks, the LAEV Childcare Service and more.

And now, YES!, CRSP is in escrow on the auto repair shop and small café on the north end of the LAEV neighborhood at Bimini Place and 1st Street. We have an exciting vision rapidly turning into a plan. Contact Lois if you would like to learn more and how you can be involved: or 213/738-1254.

Updated July 2016
It was a fun day of story telling in the special outdoor reserved section of Pan Pacific Park for 30 members and visitors of our Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana Limited Equity Housing Co-op.   Sharing our 20 year anniversary since acquiring our first of three buildings–the big one on Bimini Place–brought out a full range of emotions for the many of us who have been here for most or all of those 20 years.  And a bit of awe for some folks currently in our membership process who  were feeling somewhat intimidated and honored to be among those who had struggled for so many years and were here to tell their stories.    Our real estate broker, Meredith McKenzie, started us off with the complex process it was to acquire that first building, and it was a lesson for all of us in the complexities of real estate transactions and perseverance.
Sandi Romero of Mama’s Hot Tamales provided her great veggie tamales for lunch complemented by salads, drinks, cakes and fruit by contributing community members.

Special thanks to Bruce Dobb for discovering the “Out-of-Place” park site and making sure we kept getting together to plan the retreat, and to all the Villagers who chipped in to coordinate, create our agenda,  schlep stuff by bike, car and bus, and ensure that we were well fed and had a good time: Lara Morrison, Michelle Wong, Sandy & John Maliga, Yuki Kidokoro, Claire Bergen, Dani Knoll, Randy Metz,  Leslie Ezeh,  AnaPaula Noguez Mercado.

In addition to our stories, we also reviewed the Co-op Principles and how they apply to our co-ops in L.A. Eco-Village.  These are guidelines for co-ops worldwide.  You can see them here.
Here is Lara’s introduction to our day of sharing:

After more than 20 years, the LA Eco-Village is still a work in progress.  When you become a member you are volunteering to continue the creation of our on-going story.  We hope hearing multiple voices tell stories from the last twenty years will help us understand what has happened better and see how to move things forward without needing to reinvent the wheel.

Because of events in 1992, a group of people set the intention of retrofitting Bimini Place and White House Place to be ecologically, socially and economically sustainable.  There was a recognition that for this effort to be long lasting, the community would need to acquire properties, learn from other intentional communities, create legal structures and become proficient in self-governance.  It has taken longer to get these pieces in place than any of us imagined it would.  The exciting part is now we can see that what has been accomplished sets the stage for many new initiatives and more rapid change.

Thank you to the narrators listed below, who told heartfelt stories, and may we have time in the future to hear stories from more of us.

Meredith (who helped CRSP acquire all of the LAEV buildings), Lois, Lara, Randy, Jimmy, Yuki, Julio,
Michelle, Somerset, Adonia, Becca, Leslie

Updated June 2016


Comings and Goings

A fond farewell to four year resident LAEV resident family  Laura Allen, Peter Ralph and Arlo

who have relocated to Eugene OR where Laura will continue her Greywater Action work and Peter his teaching work as an evolutionary biologist at Uof O, and Arlo entering elementary school.

And a special send-off to Dale Kreutzer who has kept us laughing and crying for nearly 20 years as he went about working miracles to retrofit our near slum-like buildings into habitable and, often artistic, living spaces.  Many will miss him.  We wish him much good luck and happiness in his more rural endeavors.

Many, also, will miss the laughter and art and crafts work of Melba Thorn who has been looking after family matters when she, herself became ill.  Speedy recovery wishes to her.

And a warm welcome to new Villager families:  Jessica Ruvalcaba, and husband Devon Fitzgerald and new son Eli; Autumn Rooney, founder of the Arroyo Seco Network of TimeBanks and her new son Nelson, and returning member Adonia Lugo with husband Ben O’Donnell.

June 2016

New Neighborhood Childcare Service at LA ECO-VILLAGE
We have a new nonprofit child care program launching in August 2016.  If you live nearby with children from ages 6 months to 12 years old, you’re welcome to join the waiting list of LAEV Family Child Care (LAEV-FCC).  It’s a new project of CRSP, located in the Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana housing co-op building at 117 Bimini Place. Democratically managed and being organized as a worker-cooperative by local care givers, a few of whom are members of the  LAEV Intentional Community and live in the USTU housing co-op.  Make a date to come check it out.  More info here

June 2016


Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance Cool Blocks Pilot Program
Ten LA Eco-Village neighbors on White House and Bimini Place are participating in this 4-1/2 month pilot program in conjunction with the Cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Palo Alto and under the mentorship of the Empowerment Institute to determine how much we can reduce our carbon emissions, build and deepen neighborhood connections for greater resiliency, more  inter-dependence in case of emergency, and a higher quality of life.
June 2016


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