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Permaculture Design as a Framework for Climate Resiliency


Join the Workshop

Friday, March 19, 8 a.m. to noon

Presented by: Roslynn McCann, Associate Professor at Utah State University, Sustainable Communities 

Permaculture is a design process that guides human communities in achieving the resilience and regenerative capacity of natural ecosystems. The principles and practices are drawn from ecological knowledge of traditional and Indigenous cultures integrated with modern scientific understanding and selected technology.
Permaculture design can be applied to build community and build resilience in light of climate change, all while attracting pollinators, conserving water, and growing primarily perennial edible food and forage systems.

During this workshop we will:

  • Calculate our rainwater harvesting potential based on average annual rainfall amounts in Salt Lake City; 
  • Explore alternative ways to use household and stormwater in an integrated design;   
  • Conduct a needs and assets assessment of a design element, using a cherry tree as an example; 
  • Discuss your own landscapes in a facilitated discussion; and 
  • Practice applying real-world examples of permaculture design principles.  



8 - 9 a.m. 

  • Origins and foundation of permaculture design:
    • Indigenous techniques and knowledge
    • Bill Mollison & David Holmgren: “A Permanent Agriculture for Human Settlements”
    • Ethics and principles (breakout)
    • Process
    • Designing from pattern to detail
    • Zones
    • Sectors
    • Solar Path
    • Soil
    • Lawn alternatives
  • Break

9 - 10 a.m.

  •  Water: 
    • Observe on-site water through an integrated lens 
    • Calculate Rainwater Harvesting Potential
    • Basic water harvesting potential equation
    • Calculation based on individual roof size and geographic location
  • Break 

10 - 11 a.m.

  • Needs & assets assessment of a design element
  • Design examples
  • Break

11 - noon

  • Impacts & Ripple effects
  • Discussion and Q/A 

Resources & Downloads