UM Permaculture Design Team

Permaculture Design Team Leadership Board Members
Program Coordinator- Angey Wilson
Communications Officer- Abijah Simon
Event Specialist- Lindsey Scullen
Fundraising Co Chiars- Precious Smith and Will Schrier
Garden Steward- Ha Nguyen

Our organization was officially formed in December 2012, and we hit the ground running with multiple permaculture design projects.  As the UM Permaculture Design Team, our goal is to educate and inoculate students and community members with a system’s thinking lens and whole systems design knowledge.  In this way, we can create more beautiful, productive, and sustainable systems. We have done this primarily through biweekly meetings twice yearly weekend permaculture training events, and occasional guest lectures.  We are the first group at the U of M ever to focus on permaculture design, and we remain unique in our integration of education and practical demonstration values. We also seek to provide permaculture designs and consulting services to local clients within the campus and community.  We have already provided designs for the campus farm, their satellite gardens, and a 5000 sq foot garden at King School Elementary. We are also aiding in the implementation and maintenance of those designs, thereby enhancing urban beauty, food security and the self sufficiency and knowledge of our group members.

             “Our organization is immensely important for the benefits it yields for both the student members and the community at large.  We are equipping our members with a professional skill set that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. With the knowledge and experience they gain as Permaculture Design Team group members, they can go on to design practical solutions to many problems in our society, regardless of their chosen field of study.  Permaculture is fundamentally a connecting system, and every talk, lecture or workshop contains cross disciplinary college curriculum. In his way, our members gain basic skills in landscape architecture, practical botany, green building design, pollution management, ecology, as well as working withered diverse groups of people on complex collaborative projects.” –Evan Granito Founding member and co-president of the Permaculture Design Team until graduating in December 2012

Accomplishments
2012:
-PDT RECOGNIZED AS A VOLUNTARY STUDENT ORGANIZATION AT U OF M
The Permaculture Design Team is sponsored by the Graham Institute for Environmental Sustainability.

-SEED BALL EXCHANGE FUNDRAISER
The PDT filled old donated gum ball machines with seed-balls of culinary herbs and native wildflowers. This not only raised awareness about the club but also allowed residents and students to participate in the urban beautification of their community by tossing the seed bombs around Ann Arbor.

-CHIWARA PERMACULTURE PARTNERSHIP
Nathan Ayers, founder and director of the Chiwara Permaculture, helped to facilitate the development of the PDT and continues to organize events and host meetings at the Chiwara Research and Design Laboratory.

 

2013:
-KING ELEMENTARY LEARNING GARDEN
The PDT redesigned 500 square feet of the 5,000 square foot King Learning Garden with permaculture principles in mind and installed the space in Spring 2013. Since then, the PDT has taught permaculture science to Neha Shaw’s 5th grade class in the form of closed loop, regenerative system education and plans to do so on a regular basis 3-5 times a semester.

SEPP HOLZER WEEKEND EVENT
Sepp Holzer, the rebel Austrian Apls farmer, came to the United States go kick off his permaculture certification course in Spring 2013. Holzer gave a lecture on April 2, 2013 free and open to the public presentation at Rackham Graduate Building on U of M’s campus preceding his weekend workshops and installations in Ypsilanti and Detroit. For more information on the Project in Detroit e-mail Nathan Ayers at ayers.nathan@gmail.com

-PRESENTATION AT THE PERMACULTURE YOUR CAMPUS CONFERENCE AT UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT AMHERST

-PERMACULTURE LAUNCH WEEKEND FEATURING DAVID MILARCH

This weekend’s events kicked off with a free and open to the public lecture by Milarch preceding a nature awareness walk in Nichols Arboretum, a tour of the Chiwara Permaculture R&D lab and a tour of the UM Campus Farm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. This entire weekend was open to community members as well as U of M student and remained free of charge.

GRAHAM ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY INSTITUTE SPONSORSHIP

The University of Michigan Permaculture Design Team is now recognized as a Student Sponsored Organization (SSO) as opposed to a Voluntary Student Organization (VSO). This partnership gives the PDT the rights to use the University of Michigan trademarked block “M” and allows them to work more closely with the Graham Institute in the development of weekend workshops etc.

-SIX MEMBER LEADERSHIP BOARD ELECTED
The PDT elected six new leadership board members in fall 2013 to serve as the steering committee for the team throughout the next year.

-UM PERMACULTURE INITIATIVE WEBSITE CREATED
This website serves as a culmination of Madeline Dunn’s thesis, going live in Fall 2013, and stands as a living document for all things permaculture at the University of Michigan.