We are looking for the Best Natural Family Living City and we need your help! Starting with this discussion we set out to determine the best natural family living city qualities. We've narrowed that down to twenty qualities regarded to be most important.
Judging from that list of qualities we'd like you to nominate your city, or a city you know well, as a great natural family living city. To do that, post the city name and the qualities list from above. Then remove any of the qualities it does not have. Here is a sample post:
I nominate Parentsville. It has 17 NFL qualities:
If someone has already posted to nominate your city of choice you should then vote by way of the thumbs up at the bottom of the post. If your city is really outstanding in any of the 20 qualities please post that as well. Such comments will be used to determine the winning cities in cases of equivalent scores.
Keep in mind this is not limited to the US. Any city in the world can be nominated.
May the Best Natural Family Living City win!
Cities nominated so far: (please click the thumbs up in the nomination post if you vote for this city too)
1. Portland, OR 18/20
2. Berkeley, CA 19/20
3. Madison, WI 17/20
4. Bend, Oregon 19/20
5. Santa Cruz, Ca.
6. Bellingham, WA 19/20
7. Oakland, CA 19/20
8. Neenah Wisconsin 19/20
9. Eugene, OR 19/20
10. Ferndale, MI 18/20
11. Traverse City, MI
12. Austin, TX 19/20
13. Santa Fe, NM 18/20
14. Chapel Hill NC 20/20
15. Carrboro NC 20/20
16. San Francisco, CA 19/20
17. Toronto, Ontario Canada 18/20
18. Corvallis, Oregon 20/20
19. Nevada City, CA 20/20
20. Brattleboro, VT 20/20
21. Seattle, WA 19/20
22. Belfast, MA 19/20
23. Farmington, UT 18/20
24. Owen Sound, Ontario - unsure of some qualities
25. Vancouver, BC 20/20
26. Milwaukee, WI 19/20
27. Denver, CO 19/20
28. 28. Victoria, BC 19/20
29. Chicago, IL 15/20
30. Hanover, NH 17/20
31. Des Moines. IA 16/20
Everything except for affordable housing!
I nominate Madison, Wisconsin! Here are the qualities that I am 100% sure about:
I second Madison Wisconsin! It's the most child friendly, breastfeeding friendly city I've ever known! The premade hospital "birth plan" even asked if I wanted to keep my placenta! I thought that was cool.
I nominate Bend, Oregon. We moved here for these very reasons:
I removed affordable housing, although some can be found either by being creative about how you live (e.g., co-ops, etc.) or by being open to some of the more affordable neighborhoods.
I wholeheartedly nominate Eugene, Oregon!
Ferndale, MI !!!!
I "third" Portland, OR!
I vote San Francisco, CA
I nominate Austin, TX:
I'm nominating my home, Santa Fe, NM. While it's expensive to live here, there are some active affordable housing programs. Also, a few co-housing communities.
Diverse population in that we are 50% hispanic, bilingual, and strong American Indian population. Small African-American population though. Sign coming into town says, "Santa Fe is an Inclusive Community."
Public Transit is limited.
I don't know about pesticides banned, but would expect so. Our city council is voting to stop water fluoridation this week.
Very birth, breastfeeding, alternative education friendly and family friendly. One of the best Farmer's Market in the US. Lots of great food. Nature very close and it's so quiet.
Rich with art and culture.
Still love it after 27 years.
I also vote Austin, TX:
Can I nominate 2 cities/towns close to each other?
Chapel Hill & Carrboro NC (Durham is also nearby and gets plusses on many of these)
Definitely agree with Portland, OR!!!!
I would love to nominate my home town of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
I also have to add to the list that we have free healthcare!!!!
And a diverse (and expanding) public school system. Such as public catholic schools, french speaking schools, french immersion schools, an Aboriginal School and Aboriginal studies incorporated into "regular" public schools, and an Afro-centric elementary school.
I absolutely LOVE this!!! We are planning to relocate and I need to share this information with hubby to help us finalize a location!
Thanks so much for this thread!!!
I nominate Corvallis, Oregon. I have to say, having been born here I am disheartened to see SO many people moving here. I know we have to have growth, but it's just hard to see when I remember the fields and hills that now hold homes...
That said, I'm nominating Corvallis in hopes that more crunchy people will move here and we can keep our vibe even as we grow :)
Corvallis is a town of about 55,000 people, so our public transportation consists of buses. That said, it's a good bus system, and if I remember right, it's free now. There are also buses to outlying areas, and even the coast that are really cheap.
1. Easy access to nature through large public parks, bike trails, state and national parks, and nearby bodies of water (Beach is less than an hour, so are the mountains. There are lots of parks in town, and natural areas too. MacDonald forest is right outside of town, and there are lots of state and county parks in close driving range).
2. Composting and recycling programs.
3. Affordable housing (kind of... you can rent a decent 3 bedroom for around $1400, but if you live even a little bit out of town that can get cut by at least 25%. We pay $700 for a two bedroom 23 miles from town on 26 acres).
4. Diverse population (not so much... but the students are very diverse).
5. Good elder services (as far as I know we seem to have good services, my grandmas and great grandmas all got really good, caring care).
6. Good public transit
7. Child friendly (I've never, ever had anyone make a negitive remark about my kids and they are both a little 'loud'. Also very breastfeeding friendly! Never even one negitive comment. Lots of kid's activities, local companies focused on kids, play areas in restaurants, etc).
8. Pesticides banned (not really, but there are many farms that don't use them. We're grass seed country).
9. Farmer markets, CSAs, community gardens (TONS of these, almost too many!)
10. Backyard chickens legal (and goats, too!)
11. Homeschool friendly (very, although sometimes it can be hard to find people you jive with at first. Large unschooling population too. Our local toy store owners (organic and holistic toys almost exclusively) are homeschoolers).
12. Midwives and homebirth legal (yes. One midwife in two has been to over 1,000 births! I think there are 3-5 midwives in town now)
13. Healthy birth culture (yes... although our hospital is sometimes not. It's owned by an old rich white dude. There is a group in town trying to start a birth centre. And the hospital does have a couple of midwives, but you never know who will be on call when you go in to give birth. And one of the midwives there should just call herself a doctor and get it over with).
14. Philosophical exemptions for vaccines (yup! and no one bats an eye).
15. Alternative and integrative health practitioners (tons!! and they are all awesome from what I hear and experience).
16. Breastfeeding friendly (very much so. boobies everywhere, and a young population).
17. Clean air (yes, although when grass seed is blooming it's a little bad. Luckily we're on the coast side of the valley, so we get the least air pollution of any in the valley, including Portland because of traffic, and Eugene because all the dust and pollen funnels down their way :( ).
18. Quiet (quietest city I've ever lived in... but I live in the country outside of town now, so compared to here Corvallis doesn't seem very peacful, even though it really is).
19. Great public library and affordable family activities (I think our library is award winning... and yes on the activities, there's always a ton of fun stuff going on).
20. Support groups such as LLL, API, Holistic Moms, and Meetup (yup, lots!).
Feel free to PM me with questions :)
I'm in the same situation!
I've been reading this list of cities aloud to my husband; what great inspiration for us!
Nevada City, CA!!!! The best alternative small town. I see a lot of larger cities on this list, but if you want small town living surrounded by nature, Rivers, Lakes, Parks, and not too far from bigger cities, than Nevada City is a must! Settled in the Sierra Nevada, we are also close to Lake Tahoe, and can enjoy 4 seasonal changes, including our beautiful Indian Summer.
Besides that the Community is awesome, almost like a big Family, and there is so much to do. I love raising my kids here!!!
I would like to nominate Brattleboro, VT, home to Oak Meadow Curriculum & School
Surprised to not see Seattle, WA mentioned yet!
Here we go:
I would like to nominate Brattleboro, VT, home to Oak Meadow Curriculum & School
I vote for this town
I "fifth" portland or