About the Permaculture Program

For over 20 years, the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Permaculture Design Program and onsite intentional community have been researching and demonstrating ecological design on our 80-acre site in western Sonoma County, California.

Permaculture Design Program staff playing in compost

In the face of global ecological and social crises, the OAEC Permaculture Design Program’s goal is to build resilience at the achievable regional scale by empowering communities to transition towards ecologically and socially regenerative systems. To achieve this, we model and teach ecological design, certifying thousands of students from communities across the world in permaculture design. The Permaculture Design Program staff work with place-based communities as well as individual farmers, ranchers, and landowners to integrate ecological design principles and practices into their systems design.

When invited to facilitate a cooperative community design process, we use permaculture methods and Resilient Community Design to assist communities in deepening their collaboration with their landscapes, identifying and assessing their assets and resources, defining their own decision-making processes, and designing their own futures. Our job is to support these processes by helping communities assess what they have, determine what they want, and solve how they can fit these together into an elegant design to meet their needs in the near and distant future.


Permaculture Projects & CollaborationsProjects & Collaborations

Permaculture Staff