Permaculture Design Certification Course

2012.pdc.classroom2 2012.pdc.greenhouse



2015 Permaculture Design Certification Course

Cleveland, Ohio

7 Weekends: February 14 – April 19, 2015

With instructors Peter Bane, Mark Cohen, Jonathan Hull,

Marilyn McHugh, Chris Kennedy, Allison Hurley and local guests.



Permaculture is a design system and a set of practical design approaches for creating community ecosystems that have the means to support themselves indefinitely.

In Australia in the mid-1970’s, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren founded the central concepts of permaculture in response to soil damage, pollution of water and land and loss of crop diversity due to modern agricultural practices. Permaculture has since grown to be a global curriculum that covers principles and ethics, ecological science and hands-on tools for creating regenerative designs.

Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) courses deliver an intensive, introductory curriculum that certifies students in core permaculture principles and practical techniques for restoring damaged ecosystems and building social and economic stability within our communities. PDC’s are a unique opportunity for anyone working in sustainable agriculture, community-building, design and architecture to further build their design skills.


The PDC covers:

– Ecological Literacy and Natural Systems
– Permaculture Ethics and Principles
– Tools for Energy Descent
– Site Assessment and Design Methods
– Designing for Homes, Gardens and Communities
– Food Forestry and Broadscale Permaculture
– Natural Building
– Soil Biology and Hands On Tools for Soil Restoration
– Water Health and Hands On Tools for Water Restoration
– Resilient Social Systems and Local Economies

PDC students complete and present a full permaculture site design as part of their certification. They get first-hand experience in site evaluation and mapping, client interviews, design approaches and presentation formats. Students who complete all course hours and successfully complete their design project receive a Permaculture Design Consultant’s Certificate. The certificate is a pre-requisite for further advanced training in permaculture design and teacher training courses. Graduates join a growing community of over 15,000 design-course graduates in the U.S. who are collaboratively expanding this body of knowledge over time.


The course runs Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM on the following weekends:

            February 14 – 15, 2015

            February 28 – March 1

            March 14 – 15

            March 21 – 22

            March 28 – 29

            April 11 – 12 (Athens, OH)

            April 18 – 19

Classes will be held in Cleveland at the Family Ministry Center, 3389 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44109. Overnight lodging is available on-site for a limited number of out-of-town students.

The course will also include one weekend trip to Athens, Ohio (April 11 – 12, 2015) to explore its well-developed local food system and visit the farmsite and intentional community of instructor Mark Cohen. Carpooling will be arranged.

Additional supplemental events and learning opportunities will be available on off weekends and evenings.



If you register by December 15, 2014, you can enroll for an Early Bird course tuition of $950. Course tuition for those who enroll between December 15, 2014 and the enrollment deadline of February 2, 2015 is $1,050. Information about applying for financial aid is below.

Tuition covers over 90 hours of instruction; nourishing, homemade breakfasts and lunches each course day; all textbooks and educational materials; and access to all supplemental workshops offered in non-course-weekends during the months of the PDC. Students who successfully complete the course requirements will receive professional certification in Permaculture Design.

To register, please email the attached PDC Registration Form to, or mail a printed copy to:

The Green Triangle

c/o Audrey Melzer

44270 Oberlin-Elyria Road

Oberlin, OH 44074

A $200 deposit is due at the time of registration unless financial aid arrangements have been made. Checks should be written to “Green Triangle”. If you would like to make payments through online banking, please refer to the FAQ’s section at the bottom of this page for instructions.

The final deadline for registration is Monday, February 2, 2015.


To apply for financial aid for the PDC, please email or mail in your registration form and your financial aid request (please specify how much you could pay, if anything), by Monday, January 12, 2015. The amount of aid we can offer will depend on overall enrollment.  We will contact students interested in financial aid about what we can offer in mid-January, 2015.


Please contact Kate at or Diana by phone at (267) 423-0340 with any questions about the course, financial aid, or if you have specific needs during the course.  Also, please, review the FAQ’s section at the bottom of the page to see if your questions can be answered first there.  Thank you!



Donations to the PDC Scholarship Fund are a much-appreciated way to ensure a wide community of people can take part in this course. To make a donation, please, go to our Kickstarter campaign and contribute:

Otherwise, you can send a check payable to “The Green Triangle”, with “PDC Scholarship Fund” written in the Memo, to:

The Green Triangle

c/o Audrey Melzer

44270 Oberlin-Elyria Road

Oberlin, OH 44074



Flyer downloadable at: 2015 PDC Flyer

PDC Frequently Asked Questions….

 –Who is teaching the 2015 PDC?

Peter Bane (Bloomington, IN) has been a permaculture instructor for over 20 years, teaching more than 1,500 students in 80+ courses across the US and in Canada, Chile, Argentina and Trinidad-Tobago. He is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country, and has published Permaculture Activist magazine since 1990. Peter is among 6 senior permaculture instructors based in the U.S. leading the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA), a professional association of regional associations working to grant diplomas for advanced permaculture education. The 2015 course will be Peter’s third course in Cleveland.

Mark Cohen (Athens, OH) is a Permaculture Designer, Organic Farmer, apiculturalist, mycologist, philosopher, business consultant, co-founder of Far Valley Farm, a twenty year old intentional community, and Executive Director of the Belize Agroforestry Research Center.

Jonathan Hull (Salem, OH) is an environmental educator, designer and consultant.  After receiving his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) in 2006, he co-founded Green Triangle, a Cleveland area  network of permaculture educators and designers.   Jonathan has taught a diverse range of workshops on topics such as soil restoration, bio-char stove construction, site mapping and home weatherization.  He currently lives in Salem, OH where he has been implementing a permaculture design for a small lot.

Allison Hurley (Cleveland, OH), is a biologist with an affection for natural systems. Through her Cleveland-based landscape company, Simple Yard Care, LLC, Allison designs, installs, and maintains sustainable urban gardens using bike-power. Finding the balance between the desires of each client and the prevailing conditions of their property, she creates beautiful and productive gardens.

Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy (Cleveland, OH) are a Biologist and Teacher, husband and wife team who founded The Hummingbird Project a non-profit organization that works for social justice through ecological regeneration and community empowerment.

Together they have trained over 2500 Indian farmers on the ‘living soil’ and set up the soil microbiology lab at Dr. Vandana Shiva’s farm in India.  In East Africa they design and implement ‘sustainable schools’. At home, they founded the Cleveland Seed Bank to empower an alliance of local seed savers.

**We will also be working with additional local guest instructors and visiting Cleveland-area permaculture sites for hands-on learning throughout the course.

-What is the benefit of a PDC?

Check out the video on our Kickstarter campaign to hear more from former students and community members….

 –How do I register for the 2015 PDC in Cleveland?

Fill out the PDC Registration Form.  Mail the form with your tuition or $200 deposit to

The Green Triangle

c/o Audrey Melzer

44270 Oberlin-Elyria Road

Oberlin, OH 44074

 Checks should be written to “Green Triangle”.

If you would like to make payments through online banking, see next question.

-Can I make my registration payment online?

Yes, you can.  If you are interested in using your online banking account to send PDC payments to Green Triangle, please make sure you have activated the online bill pay function on your account. Once that is complete, please follow these steps:

     *Select ‘Manage My Billers’
*Select ‘Add Biller Manually’
*Biller Name: Green Triangle Project
*Account #: PDC 2015
*Address: 44270 Oberlin Elyria Road, Oberlin, Ohio 44074
*Phone number: 440-984-9045
*Select ‘Done’

You will now be able to have payments mailed to Green Triangle.”

If you have any questions or problems, you can contact Audrey D. John Melzer at (440)984-9045.

 -What is the deadline for registration for the 2015 PDC in Cleveland?

If you enroll by Monday, December 15, 2014 you are eligible for a discounted tuition of $950.  If you enroll between December 16 and the final enrollment deadline of Monday, February 2, 2015, tuition is $1,050.  A $200 deposit is due at the time of enrollment, and the remaining balance is due by February 2, 2015, unless other financial aid arrangements are made.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Fill out the PDC Registration Form and mail it in by Monday, January 12, 2015. In the section about financial aid, please say how much aid you would need in order to take the course.  We are working hard to raise scholarship money for students.  The amount available will depend on how much we raise and how much aid is applied for.  If you have made a request for financial aid, we’ll be in touch with you by mid-January, 2015 about how much is available for you.

 –What do I do if I have been already been awarded a scholarship for the 2015 PDC?

Please fill out the PDC Registration Form and mail it in by February 2.  Please mark down that you have received a scholarship and how much it is for.  This will let us know that you are indeed taking the course!

-How do meals work during the PDC?

We provide homemade light breakfasts and hearty lunches for every day of the PDC.  During the away weekend in Athens, all meals are provided.  If you have food allergies or specific dietary needs, please indicate that we should get a hold of you on your registration form.  We will accommodate you!  The meals for these courses tend to get rave reviews!

I am coming from out of town.  Is there housing available?

We will do all we can to help you with housing arrangements.  Please contact us at or (267) 423-0340 as soon as possible if you will need housing.

I am going to miss a day/a few days of the course.  Is this a problem?

Because the course material is dense, our strong preference is that students are present for the entire course.  If you have an unavoidable conflict, please let us know as soon as possible.  Make up work must be coordinated with course facilitators and approved by lead instructors in order for you to be certified after absences.  Students who miss more than a weekend may not be able to receive certification.  Please contact us or (267) 423-0340 as soon as possible if you know you will be missing days of the course.

I have taken a PDC before, or I would just like to sit in for some parts of the course.  Is it possible to audit the PDC?

Please contact us at or (267) 423-0340 if you would like to audit the course.  Let us know what days you would like to be there. If we have slots available after the final enrollment deadline of February 2, 2015 we will contact you about auditing the course.  There is a tuition fee associated with auditing the course.

-Where can I find photos of previous PDCs?

Check out our Photos page!

-How can I support the PDC and Green Triangle more?

Support others by contributing to our Kickstarter Campaign which we launched in order to raise scholarship funds for the 2015 Cleveland course!


**We would like to thank Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

for their support in making this course happen!**

One Response to Permaculture Design Certification Course

  1. Pingback: Register now for the 2015 PDC! | Green Triangle

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