The People

Here are some samples of some of the people who live at Groundswell,  so you get a flavour of the community.   Come and visit us to meet all the rest!

Beth Falch-Nielsen

beth-smallI was drawn to the eco-village because I wanted community, rural life,  and city life a short commute away.  Yarrow fit all of that for me   I am a psychotherapist in private practice, have raised 2 children, living on Vancouver Island for most of my adult life,  and have many interests, from gardening, painting bold colours on walls, tiling, hiking and camping by the ocean,  to drinking many cups of tea and talking with friends.  Living a sane day to day life, with time for taking care of myself ( body, mind and spirit)  and having time for my family, my friends, and my community has always and continues to be what is most important to me.


CorieBorn in the Netherlands and raised in Quebec, Corie has been in BC since 1969 and in Yarrow for more than a decade.

Corie established her Wilson Road Pottery studio in Yarrow after taking lessons at Rainforest Pottery, also in Yarrow. She soon developed a unique nature-inspired style, and struck out on her own.

She was married for 42 years before being recently widowed, and has two adult daughters. After her husband passed, despite strong community connections, she found herself more alone than she liked.

She began exploring the Ecovillage, initially interested in the co-housing for not-quite-seniors (Elderberry). For now she has purchased a home in multi-generational Groundswell.

Corie can be seen pursuing her interests in knitting and sewing and gardening in her new home.  She also loves to travel, having adventures around the world,  and was recently in the Galapogos and Peru.

David and Devorah

devorah in Groundswell cohousing in BC CanadaDavid at groundswell cohousing in BC CanadaDavid and Devorah met a decade or so ago, post-retirement, following parallel paths through life which eventually converged. Both were born in the US midwest, landed on the west coast of California, and then moved on to BC, where both raised families (6 adult kids between them). They met quite by chance and discovered their shared passion for the outdoors, especially hiking, and a shared quest for a vibrant community life while ageing. In an exploratory trip to Yarrow Ecovillage to see what it was all about, they were immediately hooked by the land, the spirit of community, the natural beauty, the potential. They have never seen happier kids! Now living in Groundswell,  they have started their next adventure (they call it “anti-retirement”) learning and creating all kinds of new things, solving problems, having stimulating discussions, and spontaneous music jams. When not working on a project, David might be seen with a harmonica in hand, a guitar, or his ever-present sketch book. If not drinking coffee, he might be napping. Devorah might be seen with her nose deep into the garden with a camera looking at insects, biking along the dikes, or reading a book.

Dena, Steve, Bodhi, Luna, Zen and Alma

Steve and Dena met in a graduate program in Counselling at Northern Illinois University, where they discovered mutual interests in simplicity of living, the value of family and healthy lifestyle. They traveled West and lived in both California and Oregon before moving to Yarrow Ecovillage in 2014. They see parenting as possibly being their most significant contribution making a transition from an industrial growth society to a life sustaining civilization. To this end they offer their gifts to their children. Steve offers authority that is balanced with love and Dena offers autonomy within a field of mutuality. Together they are working to harmonize the masculine and feminine, the integration of theory and practice and honing the practice of focusing on the essential rhythms of life.

Steve is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in private practice. Steve’s practice focuses on clients coping with anxiety, relationship issues and emphasizes mindfulness, spiritual guidance and depth psychology. He also teaches yoga, coaches football, and can be found motorcycling, skiing, swimming, reading Rumi, taking long walks on the dike, finding metaphors and building sustainability from the inside out.

Dena is a School Psychologist at SD 33. She enjoys long walks on the dyke with her husband, gardening, yoga, reading Pema Chodron, cooking and tending to her flock of 4 children. She is passionate about listening, building a sustainable future for her children and mindfulness. She can be be found reminding someone to take their plate into the kitchen, reflecting, organizing community dinner, stealing moments in time to be with her husband, and dreaming about taking the family snorkeling in some far flung place.

In spite of busy lives, the power of play is active within the Woolfpack. Be it a trip to their favorite swimming hole in the summer, a family game of monkey in the middle in the living room, followed by reading aloud the Gift of the Magi during winter break, Lego, a card game, an after dinner dance party in the kitchen, ….or even a conga line from the dining room table to the kitchen with plates in hand. Eureka!


cher-and-shayneCher is a multi-interest woman raising chicks (kids, ducks and chickens).  She is a researcher/questioner at heart and is usually researching two or three new ideas simultaneously (currently wild fermentation of country wines, funding for ecosystem services research and experiential learning practices in the classroom).  She is actively experimenting with the Taoist philosophy of remaining low and revels in the ying and yang of situations: being a pollen allergy-prone hobby farmer, being a grumpy yet loving mom, and feeling abundant with little.

Shayne is a pancake, duck-house, and living willow fence maker who is community minded and always wants to talk about new ideas. Currently in love with saunas, natural swimming pools and electric bikes, Shayne loves the process of idea generation and loves working with task-oriented people to see the ideas come alive.  You are as equally likely to find him lying in the grass looking at the clouds as being fully engaged in the spontaneous intensities of life.  He lives his life slow in the back eddies and fast in the rapids.

Caius likes to play in the dirt, dig giant holes, build forts and explore video games.  He is in/out, here and there, building this and playing that and is often the first welcomer to new folks on site.  He loves babies (humans, ducks, chickens, snakes, owls etc.) and is a defender of the young.  He wants to be a chef and a massage therapist. He especially likes to swim in the creek or the river.

Eli loves celebrations: his birthday, Yarrow days, Christmas… and people.  His profession is friendship.  He likes to keep his feet firmly on the ground and his hands clean.  He smiles a full-body smile and cries just as fully and completely.  He has been known to give away his presents to a friend who asks or to run backwards in a race to keep up a conversation.  Eli lives almost fully in the present and pays no attention to the past; however, he does like to create countdowns to celebrations.

Dahlia likes to play house, jewelry, and the trampoline with her friends.  She is a gumboot princess who is likely to be wearing a pink princess dress with torn crinolines edged in mud and carrying a chicken under her arm while digging in the sandpile.  Revelling in all things beautiful, she smiles easily and loves to hug friends and neighbours.

Jeanne, Jonathan, Nathan, and Abram Hughes

Jonathan and I moved to the Fraser Valley in 2006, when Nathan, our oldest son, was 3, and Jonathan was offered a job teaching in the Geography Department at the University of the Fraser Valley. Our second son, Abram, arrived in 2007. We “discovered” the Yarrow Ecovillage when a co-worker of Jonathan’s (and Yarrow Ecovillage resident) asked Jonathan if we had ever considered living in an intentional community. Our first thought was, “what’s that?”, but after we took a tour and met some of the villagers we figured it out. We fell in love with the land, the people, and the whole concept.
Jonathan and I play bluegrass mandolin and fiddle, respectively, and our family enjoys being outside hiking, swimming, biking, and canoeing. Our boys roam the property in freedom with the other kids spending hours a day outside. It’s a great lifestyle and we all feel so fortunate to be participating in this incredible community in this beautiful place.

Robyn, Atef, Fairsa and Nassim

Robyn– I am Euro-Canadian of mainly Irish and French ancestry, spent my childhood in Edmonton, early adult years in Victoria and Vancouver, and have lived on and off in the Fraser Valley since 2008. My connection to this area began when I moved to work with the Sto:lo, after finishing my Master’s in Resource & Environmental Management at SFU. Having worked for a number of years I returned to study towards a PhD in Indigenous Governance. I currently share my time between being a new mom to Fairsa, writing my dissertation, studying Arabic & Halq’emeylem, hiking, cooking and eating delicious local food, and visiting with friends, family and neighbours.

Atef is from Tunisia in North Africa, spent his young adult years in Montreal, and moved to the west coast to escape the cold and experience the coastal culture and environment. While his work mainly focuses on web development, he has many different talents — from sound technician, to film editor, to carpenter, to landscaper, to dj, to star soccer player, to awesome new dad. You can often find him dancing to dubstep, helping a neighbour install or move something, fixing the internet, attending a community meeting or taking compost to the chickens with Fairsa in the baby carrier.

Atef and I moved to the ecovillage to learn and grow as a new family and share with Fairsa and Nassim a way of life that respects the land, cherishes and builds community, and strives to contribute to broader social justice.

Yonas and Julia

Yonas: Homeschooled, Bachelor of Technology, Masters of Business Administration, entreprenuer….. Turned Dad and IT worker at local ecovillage.

Julia: Small town girl who gave up her prestigious primary school teaching position to try out being one of our many super-moms at the ecovillage. Raising 4 of our planned 4 kids from 8-7 every day — with the occasional bit of overtime.

The Jongkind’s are experienced co-housers having previously lived at WindSong in Langley prior to moving to Groundswell in 2009. They were drawn from Windsong Cohousing to Yarrow by the outdoor spaces – there are a lot of places to play here and nearby.

Yonas and Julia have been raising their kids and chickens. Both work from home, Yonas with Project Management and Cohousing starts, Julia in education, with SelfDesign, a Distance Learning school. Yonas has been known to lend a handy hand and brew beers with his neighbours. Julia enjoys being on a first name basis with our wonderful local librarian and pulling weeds in the garden.

Julian is a big fan of Minecraft where he creates world and researches his minecrafting experiences to recreate real life. He enjoys swimming in the creek, and creating art. Marcus like to scooter about and try new tricks at the local bike park. He also enjoys reading a variety of comics. Marieke loves to bike around with her friends and regularly host princess tea parties. Roman generally tags along and has recently stopped eating sand.