The Permaculture Action Network Builds Communities

A group dedicated to building self-sufficient, sustainable systems for food production and community involvement organizes events to teach others.

| April/May 2019

Permaculture principles help communities build food and friendship networks.
Photo by Getty Images/SolStock

The term “permaculture” was coined in 1978 by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren to describe an existing and evolving set of design principles geared toward building self-sufficient, sustainable systems that work with nature instead of against it. In the decades since, these principles have increased in popularity and served as the foundation for a wide variety of food-production and community-building practices worldwide. The Permaculture Action Network, founded in 2014, helps pair those permaculture principles with community action through its network of activists, artists, and educators, who organize events to “catalyze social change and ecological regeneration.”

To accomplish this goal, the Network coordinates Permaculture Action Days, which it has hosted in 62 cities across 25 states. The Network establishes a presence at concerts, festivals, and cultural events, where it mobilizes attendees to participate in classes and workshops, and to undertake hands-on projects that meet their community’s needs, such as building food forests, urban farms, and natural structures.

Beyond landscaping and food production, permaculture attitudes can also be incorporated into the way a society functions – encouraging increased sustainability and equity – so some of the Network’s efforts have included working with indigenous cultural centers and low-income housing residencies in addition to cooperatives, community centers, and art spaces.

Find out what events the Permaculture Action Network has planned near your community, and join in.

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