Our Community

Creekside Commons started in 2010 with the simple act of neighbors introducing a gate into the fence that separated their properties. Soon the fence itself was removed and bushes previously planted for privacy were re-landscaped to enhance the natural beauty of the land. The removal of fence and privacy bushes revealed and encouraged an entirely new relationship to our surroundings, a relationship we are eager to share. Soon community garden spaces and outdoor eating areas emerged; meals and visions were shared. The desire to share the beauty and magic of this land has continued to grow.

Five years later the house across the road became available and Calder’s parents moved from Nevada City and became part of what is now the combination of properties that is Creekside Commons.

We share a belief in the magic of this land. We love where we live and what we are in the process of creating. We are grateful we have been able to invite people to share in our vision.


“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

-Harry S. Truman

John Heckel

John is a retired professor of theatre and film at Humboldt State University. John has directed both theatre and film, educationally and professionally. He has been fortunate enough to have lived, taught and directed in multiple foreign countries. After his retirement he went back to school and got a PhD in psychology. When not working on various Creekside Commons projects John is advocating for seniors and writing a monthly column on the difficulties of aging. Being the resident theatre director, john can often be found in the Commons studio helping and directing Calder with his one-man show.

Janet Patterson 

Janet is from the Bay Area, and before moving to Humboldt County 11 years ago, lived in New York City, southern Spain, Florida, Sacramento, and, most recently, Davis, California. Janet taught second grade at a Spanish Immersion school in Davis before she retired and moved up here. She holds a PhD in psychology with a specialization and expertise in dreams. Janet is a SoulCollage(R) Facilitator and teaches workshops in the studio on Creekside Commons. She likes cooking food from the community garden, decorating the Cabin, and taking Zoe on morning walks in the redwoods

Joey McCutchan

Joey spent some 17 years teaching Spanish to students in Grass Valley, California. During those years she also studied African and Afro-Cuban percussion, and performed with the Earth Rhythm Dancers. For five years she played with a Latin jazz group called Sobroso.

Currently she enjoys singing in local choirs. Tending her gardens, keeping Creekside Commons supplied with fresh eggs from her chickens, and honey from her bees take up some of her time. However playing with her grandchildren is her favorite activity.

Recently, birding and hiking are a couple of passions she has added to that list.

Richard McCutchan

Richard spent his career in the field of archetypal psychology. His specialties include group and couple’s counseling. His book, Awakening Osiris: The Transformative Power of Anger, provide the theme for many of the workshops and lectures he conducts.

His long-term interests in community, the arts, and creativity now play a major role in his life. He spends much of his time creating wood sculptures and creative spaces, many of which are on display throughout Creekside Commons. He also works with a group of artists exploring the creative imagination and its role in today’s world

Tanya Bullwinkle

Tanya has devoted most of her career to providing reproductive health services to the northern Humboldt community through Planned Parenthood. Tanya was also one of the founding members of Eureka’s Synapsis Collective, a non-profit performance art space. There, Tanya organized dance workshops and intensives, and performed experimental and improvisational dance. Her organizational skills also keep Creekside Commons meetings on track and productive.

She is a loving mom and wife and loves coming home at the end of the day to her amazing family and beautiful home. She loves being part of the ever-evolving Creekside Commons community.

Calder Bullwinkle

Calder is truly a jack-of-all-trades. If something needs fixing on Creekside Commons, call Calder. His beautiful wood creations can be found throughout the Commons. He loves to explore local ecology by foraging for local plants and mushrooms. Want to know if those Creekside mushrooms are edible? Call Calder! Want to know about fishing our wild rivers and hiking our redwoods? Call Calder! Like many here on the Commons, Calder also has a theatrical background, having performed with the Carpet Brigade, an acrobatic stilt performance troupe. He has also experimented with gymnastics, circus arts, dance, and improvisational performances.

Oliver Bullwinkle

Oliver is the youngest human member of Creekside Commons. He loves playing soccer, the drums, snowboarding, making origami and playing with his friends and cousins. He is silly, smart, fun, sweet, and a joy to be around. Some day he hopes to do a back flip on his snowboard.

Maizy and Zoe also enjoy company. They have greeted and visited with countless adventurous but well behaved canine friends. From those experiences they have set up some house rules for canine visits. They invite you to check them out.