Rhizome Collective

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The Rhizome Collective is a consensus-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based on Austin, Texas, USA. It operated an Educational Center for Urban Sustainability and a Center for Community Organizing until March of 2009 when the collective and its members were evicted from their location at 303 Allen St on Austin's east side. The collective and its members are currently reforming around the search for a new physical space.



The collective was founded in 2000.


In 2004, the Rhizome Collective received a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to convert an abandoned lot in Montopolis, Austin, into an educational park. The Rhizome Collective operates out of three warehouses on Allen Street in East Austin. These warehouses and the 13-acre (0.13 ha) on which they sit make up the "Rhizosphere". In addition to housing the collective, the Rhizosphere is used as a space for the development of urban sustainability practices. The Rhizosphere hosts space for organizations such as Austin Indymedia, the Austin Zine Library, the Inside Books Project, which ships reading material to prison inmates, Bikes Across Borders, and Food Not Bombs. In 2008, Rhizome released Toolbox For Sustainable Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide, which has been described by the authors as "a DIY guide for creating locally-based, ecologically sustainable communities in today's cities."


On March 5th, 2009, the Rhizome Collective received a letter from the Code Enforcement Division of the City of Austin requiring the warehouse from which they operated since 2000 to be vacated. The Collective contacted contractors to evaluate the cost of the modifications required by the city, but in an official communication stated that they "did not believe it will be possible to get an estimate, obtain permits and complete the work by the City’s deadline", and were appealing to the local, national and international communities for help[1].

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