StP HQ / Punk Rock RV Park (1 Viewer) Seeking Help Needs Research 

Matt Derrick

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So this thread is for discussing an idea I've had for many years now, that I would like to share with the community and get some input on.

This thread is for discussing an extension of the Squat the Planet website into real life by starting a homebase/headquarters for the StP community in the form of a physical location with full time live-in residents, as well as accommodating a rotating cast of visiting travelers.

The core idea

The location would take the form of a plot of land that would be turned into a residence while also giving a space for other projects. The residence portion would take the form of what could be best described as an RV park, where residents long term and short term alike could come and go as they please between travels. There would also be more permanent structures in place, such as teepees, tents, yurts, and possibly more advanced alternative building structures like shipping container houses, etc.

Amenities would include shore/house power, potable water, public showers, a travel-specific library, mail boxes, and others.

The space would also be designed to have an open performance area/stage, campfire hangout spots, a bar for special events, and other areas such as gardens and a blacksmith shop. Other ideas are possible based on what the residents want to pursue.

Apologies for the vagueness at this point, but location, monetary and social logistics are all things that will need to be discussed in this thread, and as we work things out, i will update this first post with the latest information that is decided upon; eventually, the goal here is to have an exact outline of the project and what we hope to achieve and why.

At this point though, I just want to get the discussion started so feel free to post your input, concerns, and ideas for how we can make this a reality.

Who would own/run the space?

The idea would be that the land would be owned under a land trust with a board of directors essentially, so no one person owns the land. it would definitely be owned and run collectively.

How are you going to pay for this?

In terms of getting it paid for, I am open to ideas, but my main focus might theoretically be a kickstarter of some kind, where we could sell weekend visits/parties at the land to raise money for it. we did this when I created an indigogo campaign for east jesus and it did pretty well.

For the most part though, financing is still under debate/research.

Similar projects

Just to give you an idea of what I'm going for here, I'm going to list a few places that I feel are at least somewhat similar:

Where would something like this be located?

Locations are still up in the air since I just haven't found that one perfect place that would make me want to settle down long enough to make something like this happen. That said, some considerations would be:
  • Kansas City, MO (KCMO): I keep hearing there's a lot of punk houses here and a good community. Not sure about land prices though.
  • Tucson, AZ: I hear rumors of a burdgeoning anarchist/punk/activist community here and there's lots of BLM land in the area. Suggested by @dumpsternavel in this post.
  • @TheUndeadPhoenix has suggested some of the more remote areas of Pennsylvania.
  • @NewMexicoJim has suggested some cheap land for sale between Albuquerque and Belem, NM; more info and a photo in this post.
  • Morgantown, WV - " Morgantown area still has cheap land in the hills and it's relatively close to Pittsburgh"
  • "there is cheap land around Taos/Tres Piedras NM as well. Taos mesa is somewhat of a all diy houses built in the desert, mostly punks and hippies before them, being there since the 80s. sounds like your project would fit right in. just buy a few acres and all good to go"
While not totally impossible, it seems like both the east and west coasts are probably going to be out of the question due to land costs and other factors, but if someone wants to prove me wrong, please do so. For now, I'm mostly concentrating our search on somewhere in the mid west / four corners areas, preferably along a major train route (again, to make it easier for folks to visit).

I'm avoiding areas that are overly remote (no matter how cheap/free they may be) due to logistical hurdles and the fact that we'd like to have a space where folks could optionally have jobs to save up for their next leg of travel or finance projects in the space itself.

For now, I'm asking any travelers that are interested in this project to keep a look out for good locations that might meet these requirements. If you come across something let us know!
 
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A zed

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Before I started traveling I spent some time in Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC) communities and even though there are some differences maybe looking at them a bit can be helpful. I'll be honest in stating I'm pretty critical of the FEC and I guess "skeptical" of ANY land project, but I'll leave it at that and just offer what I do know/what could be helpful.

Unfortunately I cannot recall from memory the specifics, and it appears their website is down, but I know these communities have used a tax classification similar to what you describe through a land trust (I don't believe they have trustees though but instead community members make up the trust).

As well the FEC, (specifically Twin Oaks I believe) holds yearly gatherings and conferences I don't recall if these were monetized at all, but it seems they very easily could be, especially with "pay what you can" scales. Again not to be too critical, but one complaint of this method I'll simply repeat is that for those who live at twin oaks this influx of "outsiders" can be an annoyance, perhaps this won't be a problem at all in a community of travelers but still it might be worth keeping in mind any splits between this event crowd, and those who are regularly in the space. Within this idea you could also include workshops, whether that be hands on skills or things like political workshops.

As for locations, the FEC is mostly in Virginia, with a local in Missouri and in New York. I'm pretty sure these locations got their land pretty cheap, but iirc I think the land in Virginia has become more expensive. The Missouri Ozark land might still be cheap though, I can't remember any info one way or another, but I do believe it is the Missouri community that is the largest land wise (which I assume translates to it being cheaper).

The communities I went to in Virginia were an hour, maybe two away from the nearest city, and had people who could come pick you up if you caught a bus in or whatever. I think keeping a system like this in mind might be a good idea. A "community taxi" to go with the land, as I think the disconnect from the urban scene was something I definitely appreciate, and assume others would as well but for those without wheels, knowing you can at least get to town to hitch or whatever from there I think is a helpful piece of mind. It's also in my mind helpful socially, since people who might be causing trouble, or even those who feel the space is trouble, have peace of mind knowing they aren't stuck.

I'll add as well, only tangentially related to the FEC and echoing what someone else said, is that I think a decomodified food project is something super valuable to be part of any land project, and while the FEC is not decomodified (most if not all communities make most if not all of their money commodifying food) they are connected to a large organic farming movement. (And again while I have my own critiques of agriculture yada yada) If you were interested in this land project trying to be it's own sort of sustainable place (own food and water) I definitely think there are thing to learn from them as farmers, and the organic farming movement they are tied to.

Moving away from the FEC. I think, whenever you buy land, if you can get it set up in a fashion where people can stay and help work on the space before it's "complete", that'd make it a lot more doable for some people to help. Someplace to sleep, food to eat, and a water source. Again this kind of relates to how self sustaining you want the place to be, but having a well or other water source making it so people who come help (not to mention residence in the future) don't have to worry about water would be very helpful. Shelter can be as easy as bring your own tent, but sturdier structures might be necessary depending on the climate. Food I think is the biggest question, at least when I think about my own situation, for if "I" could realistically come help. I know where I'm currently at I don't think I could travel all the way out there, work for however long, and be paying out of pocket for food. Even just having a dedicated person dumpstering or providing food in some way for people who come volunteer I think would make it much more available for people.

As for my own interest, like I said, I'm not super interested in anything sedentary, but I like the idea of what this could be. I'd say I'm super into it as place to meet up for large gatherings and small meetups alike, and a place to pass through on trips across the country. I'm also super into that space being self sufficient in terms of water and food. I definitely don't feel compelled to drop everything and dedicated years, or even a year towards this but if you told me you had land, and it's not costing anything to come help, I'd stop by and give you a month at the least.
 

SenRex

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This sounds like a really cool idea, up until this year I was always interested in this sort of situation mostly as a way to give my trans buddies who are having a hard time a place to go. I feel like you could find 5 acres for cheap pretty easy in Wisconsin or Michigan but with low land prices come low income wages. Also, it depends on if folks are willing to deal with the snow.

Winters in Michigan are a bit milder depending on what side you're on though I'll also vote for Pennsylvania as I'm definitely looking to head out that way anyways. I'm not interested in settling down anywhere but it sounds like it could make an awesome waystop once you get it off the ground.

Fun fact, you can make your own town gov't if you have enough people or land in some states too. Just sayin :D
 

SleeplessWaif

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So this thread is for discussing an idea I've had for many years now, that I would like to share with the community and get some input on.

This thread is for discussing an extension of the Squat the Planet website into real life by starting a homebase/headquarters for the StP community in the form of a physical location with full time live-in residents, as well as accommodating a rotating cast of visiting travelers.

The core idea

The location would take the form of a plot of land that would be turned into a residence while also giving a space for other projects. The residence portion would take the form of what could be best described as an RV park, where residents long term and short term alike could come and go as they please between travels. There would also be more permanent structures in place, such as teepees, tents, yurts, and possibly more advanced alternative building structures like shipping container houses, etc.

Amenities would include shore/house power, potable water, public showers, a travel-specific library, mail boxes, and others.

The space would also be designed to have an open performance area/stage, campfire hangout spots, a bar for special events, and other areas such as gardens and a blacksmith shop. Other ideas are possible based on what the residents want to pursue.

Apologies for the vagueness at this point, but location, monetary and social logistics are all things that will need to be discussed in this thread, and as we work things out, i will update this first post with the latest information that is decided upon; eventually, the goal here is to have an exact outline of the project and what we hope to achieve and why.

At this point though, I just want to get the discussion started so feel free to post your input, concerns, and ideas for how we can make this a reality.

Who would own/run the space?

The idea would be that the land would be owned under a land trust with a board of directors essentially, so no one person owns the land. it would definitely be owned and run collectively.

How are you going to pay for this?

In terms of getting it paid for, I am open to ideas, but my main focus might theoretically be a kickstarter of some kind, where we could sell weekend visits/parties at the land to raise money for it. we did this when I created an indigogo campaign for east jesus and it did pretty well.

For the most part though, financing is still under debate/research.

Similar projects

Just to give you an idea of what I'm going for here, I'm going to list a few places that I feel are at least somewhat similar:

Where would something like this be located?

Locations are still up in the air since I just haven't found that one perfect place that would make me want to settle down long enough to make something like this happen. That said, some considerations would be:
  • Kansas City, MO (KCMO): I keep hearing there's a lot of punk houses here and a good community. Not sure about land prices though.
  • Tucson, AZ: I hear rumors of a burdgeoning anarchist/punk/activist community here and there's lots of BLM land in the area. Suggested by @dumpsternavel in this post.
  • @TheUndeadPhoenix has suggested some of the more remote areas of Pennsylvania.
  • @NewMexicoJim has suggested some cheap land for sale between Albuquerque and Belem, NM; more info and a photo in this post.
  • Morgantown, WV - " Morgantown area still has cheap land in the hills and it's relatively close to Pittsburgh"
  • "there is cheap land around Taos/Tres Piedras NM as well. Taos mesa is somewhat of a all diy houses built in the desert, mostly punks and hippies before them, being there since the 80s. sounds like your project would fit right in. just buy a few acres and all good to go"
While not totally impossible, it seems like both the east and west coasts are probably going to be out of the question due to land costs and other factors, but if someone wants to prove me wrong, please do so. For now, I'm mostly concentrating our search on somewhere in the mid west / four corners areas, preferably along a major train route (again, to make it easier for folks to visit).

I'm avoiding areas that are overly remote (no matter how cheap/free they may be) due to logistical hurdles and the fact that we'd like to have a space where folks could optionally have jobs to save up for their next leg of travel or finance projects in the space itself.

For now, I'm asking any travelers that are interested in this project to keep a look out for good locations that might meet these requirements. If you come across something let us know!
New Mexico is a great idea. The weather further south is pretty tame year around, good for all sorts of travel. The land is cheap, and it seems no matter wear you go, you're always just a handful of hours away from a town. Plus, lots of contract work in ABQ and Las Cruces because of the film/tv industry. They always need extras, and whatnot.
 

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