Palo Alto Permaculture Design Course
Starts on March 16th

Common Ground in Palo Alto

We are partnering with Common Ground in Palo Alto, a long established and much loved instituion to bring you this special urban/suburban design course.

Many of our seesions will be held at the Common Ground garden site on Aratsradero in Palo alto and we have also partnered with some folks in East Palo Alto who own the largest set of greenhouses still remaining. We will be hosting some of our sessions there as well. This entire greenhouse property is open for design, what can we dream it into?

We have also partnered with the best sustainability and anti-gentrification organization in East Palo Alto, Collective Roots. We feel that East Palo Alto is at the nexus of change in the Bay Area and that our role there can be to help the people who live in that place thrive in spite of pressures they feel from every direction.

Add to all of that some amazing field trips to the very best examples of regenerative deign and we have what we think might be the best Urban Permaculture Design Course we have ever offered.

This course features a whole new way to engage with urban permaculture. We will be learning and working alongside a new project, preparing designs and developing the site as part of the learning experience. This project is a blank slate, together we will design and co-create this space.

Agricultural Urbanism, Low Impact Development, Stormwater Managment, Waterwise Design, Smart Growth, Net-Zero Buildings and so much more, all of them are on the table. Come design with us a new urban village that works for all life.

Active Design Course

To deepen the opportunity to build design skills, participants work in small teams producing a design. These design focus on real places and projects in your community.

Throughout the course, we will share with you the tools and strategies required to complete the design which culminates in the final presentation at the completion of the course.

Lake Merritt class design from Fall 2015 class

Teaching Team

The Urban Permaculture Institute has been offering Permaculture Design Training in the Bay Area since 2008. We have trained over 600 individuals across 28 unique trainings. We have an extensively developed curriculum that covers all the basics while keeping abreast of new developments in the permaculture world. Our instructors have a wealth of experience and come from diverse backgrounds.

Kevin Bayuk

Kevin Bayuk

Kevin works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets cooperative organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is a partner with LIFT where he provides strategy and guidance for social enterprises helping them grow. Kevin has helped design and start gardens and public learning experiences intent on reminding people that they too are nature. Writing, speaking, researching and mentoring are his strongest skills.

David Cody

David Cody

David is a co-founder of UPISF and has been teaching since 2008. He is also a co-founder and president of the San Francisco Permaculture Guild. He co-founded and managed the popular Hayes Valley Farm project in San Francisco as well as the 18th & Rhode Island Garden where we pioneered the California law to give tax incentives for urban agriculture.

David continues to deepen his understanding of ecology through teaching and his private consultancy,

Why Take a Permaculture Design Course?

Permaculture training may just change your life.  This training offers the opportunity to develop professional skills and provides valuable education to enhance your current vocation, prepare you for your next venture and give you inspiration about solutions that you can implement in your life at home. It is one of the few permaculture design trainings that match the schedule and tuition to the busy lives of urban professionals and full-time students.  It is also a great way to meet and connect deeply with like-minded individuals that share your values.

There are many other wonderful PDC trainings in the region, but if you don’t have time to take two weeks off and would prefer to learn permaculture skills in the city that you live in and work on designs that can be implemented in your place (and learn design principles and methods that can be applied anywhere), then this might be the permaculture certificate training for you.

Through a mix of classroom discussion time, small group work and hands-on activities, we will explore methods of designing and establishing regenerative communities and economies. We visit and participate at several permaculture projects here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, observing and interacting with Permaculture principles in practice.

Some people take the training just to share the experience with an enthusiastic group of like-minded community and meet new friends. Join us and help build a healthy and happy community based on a common vision of harmony with nature and each other.

We start with the standardized Permaculture curriculum and add onto it insights and strategies for applying Permaculture to the urban setting. This lengthens the course to a degree, we do not omit any of the standard materials.

Tuition Cost

The cost for the course is $1,050 and runs approximately 86 hours over 16 sessions. We have work trade and payment plans available.

Course Schedule

All Thursday Sessions are 6:30pm to 9:30pm
All Saturday Sessions are 10am to 6pm

March 16,18,25
April 6,8,13,15,22,27,29
May 4,6,11,13,18,20

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to miss some days?
You get a lifetime membership with us. We make it easy to make up classes by simply coming to the next session we hold. You can also use this as a refresher or just to come and hang out.

What if I need special payment arrangements?
We have created flexible monthly payment plans for as low as $50 per month. We also have work trade options.

Nobody is ever turned away due to lack of funds or ability to work.
Have a special circumstance? Just get in touch and we will be sure you to help you out.

How do I get in touch?
Contact Kevin or David directly

Kevin Bayuk
David Cody

Payment Options*

The following options and links take you to a checkout cart to begin the registration process. You will then return to our website to complete registration.
You do NOT need a PayPal or Stripe account to process payment.


* Other payment options available upon request

Work Trade

Work trade spots are limited and are generally reserved for folks who are unemployed. This opportunity is generally not a work-study type of arrangement and the task given may not directly relate to the training.

All work trade is done on an hour-for-hour exchange, one of your hours for one hour of class. We allow up to half of tuition to be done through work trade, thereby reducing your cost by half. We also offer payment plans for the work trade option.

If you would like to be considered for the work trade program, please click the button below and fill out the form.

Our Commitment to Quality

If at the end of the training, you feel that the training was not valuable for you we would request a conversation with you and are willing to refund your tuition payment.

February 9, 2017