Workparty: Floating Island Bio-Remediation and Farm Scale Water Systems

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Synopsis:  Learn through hands-on and detailed instructions how to assemble and launch a Floating Treatment Wetland complete with plants. We explain how to use simple, passive systems to improve water quality in a diversity of situations, while putting it into practice on a 1.5 acre pond in a broad acre setting. We will also tour the 440 acre site and discuss other opportunities to enhance water systems for farms and ranches such as spring development, wells, water moving and pumping, pond siting, and more. All of this while enjoying a long weekend in a pristine mountain setting complete with comfortable accommodations and a special Island Style BBQ Party, come join the workparty!


  • Friday Sep. 6th - Welcome gathering starts at 6pm, dinner and some orientation to the project
  • Saturday Sep. 7th - We launch the island and then celebrate a job well done with an Island Themed Party
  • Sunday Sep. 8th - Finish up any loose ends on the island. Walking tour of the 440 acre site where we will discuss farm scale water systems.


30 minutes outside Livermore, CA (map provided upon registration)

Costs, Accomodations and Island Workparty

$150 + $50 for meals from Friday evening through Sunday morning*

*All meals will include vegetarian and vegan options. We will be serving various meats as well.

Stay in a deluxe mountain cabin with plenty of space, full meals and an Island vibe rippling through it all.. Ride a zipline over the pond, dive off the floating trampoline, or just chill on the deck overlooking the pond in this pristine mountain setting. Beds are first come first serve unless other arrangments are made, otherwise there is plenty of space to throw a sleeping bag. Even camp out if thats your thing. After we launch the island, we will have an Island Style BBQ Party on the lake. BYOB.

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Detailed Subject Matter We Will Cover

  • Floating Treatment Wetland technology and principles
  • Assembly, planting and launching hands-on
  • Additional pond and lake enhancement technologies
  • Broadacre watershed development including springs, wells and pumps, keyline and swale systems, pond siting and more

Floating Treatment Wetlands are being used in many situations from pond eutrification remedation to wastewater treatment. They are a simple and passive way to de-nitrify bodies of water, keeping the water clean, clear and oxygenated.

Our island is manufactured by Floating Islands West and is made from recycled PET bottles, the island mats are bouyant and support plants above while allowing their roots to grow through the mat and access the water below. The surface area of the roots as well as the mat itself provide niches for bacterial colonies that do all thre work.

We will take our to the next level by including edible plants with habitat value, including mulberry trees! Imagine the harvest.



David Cody

David is a true Jack of All Trades, master of SOME -- working on the title of "Renaissance Man" at the School of Life. His background includes a stint in the culinary field where he was head chef at 3 restaurants in the western states, his love for high quality ingredients led him to plant gardens outside the backdoor of any kitchen he worked at. From there, a foray into laser machining and robotic control in the semi-conductor industry provided an introduction into mechanics and machine shop ingenuity. Eventually starting his own construction company, he has enjoyed building things ever since.

Permaculture provides David with a platform to explore endless curiosity and learning about the natural world and how humans interact with it. As a long time lover of the Earth, he is passionate about helping himself and others learn and implement real solutions that work with no one left behind. Sharing permaculture with as many people as possible has become his true passion.

He has helped form the San Francisco Permaculture Guild and currently serves on the Wisdom Council. In 2008 he and Kevin Bayuk founded the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco and have now trained over 300 people in San Francisco, many of whom are living in the city and working on amazing projects. Along with the formation of UPISF, He was a founding member, lead designer and long time steward of the 18th & Rhode Island Garden in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.

He also served on the founding team of Hayes Valley Farm, an interim use project that transformed two unused freeway ramps in the heart of San Francisco into a productive and educational garden. AT Hayes Valley Farm he served as the lead deisgner and site manager for the first year of its life, where he ehlp create a number of green jobs for local residents by forming partnerships with local shools to bring their classes to the farm for nature based education. Hayes Valley Farm is and was an insipration to thousands of people young and old.


Brett StephensBrett Stephens

Brett is an artist and nature lover from Texas. The experience of growing up near the industry of the Houston ship channel has inspired him to dedicate his work towards creating a greener environment. In 1995 Brett discovered the beauty of the bay area and decided to relocate. He has since been immersed in learning about this very unique Franciscan bioregion, and using his gifts to help preserve its diversity.

Brett’s early work is manifested in drawings, paintings, and sculptures of his protracted observations of plants and animals. His love of art and nature were combined when he began designing landscapes in college. His interest in gardening grew with more volunteer work in gardening groups, community gardens, City College of San Francisco Environmental Horticulture program, and Merritt College Landscape Horticulture program. Over the years he has worked in the nursery field, with licensed landscape contractors, as well as his own part time business The Garden Artist. Brett now has over a decade of experience as a professional landscaper, with specialties in native California and San Francisco plants, irrigation, graywater, rainwater catchment, pond and water features. Brett is also a certified permaculture designer, an ARCSA accredited professional, and co-owner and co-founder of San Francisco Landscapes.

Presently, Brett is also a member of Friends of Alemany Farm, a volunteer group that manages Alemany Farm, he also sits on the city’s Alemany Farm Community Advisory Committee. He is also involved with the The Bee-Farm, in Visitacion Valley, organized by SF Bee-Cause and the 18th and Rhode Island permaculture garden, organized by the SF Permaculture Guild.


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