2018 NatureWise Permaculture Design Contest is Completed!

Design Contest Winner!

Integrated Water-Harvesting Earthworks  – Designed by Tao Orion – Willamette Valley Hillside Educational Center and Working Forest (Aprovecho), 40 acre communal forest with 5 acres open land.  Read the final report on the project from the January 2020 PINA newsletter.

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About the 2018 Contest

The 2018 Naturewise Permaculture Design Contest called for a small-scale permaculture system with an installation budget in the vicinity of $5,000. Preference went to a DIY system, where the money is used for materials so the project gets the biggest “bang for the buck”. Upgrades to existing permaculture systems were acceptable.

Based on the voting of its enrolled members, PINA warded $5,000 to Tao Orion for implementation of the Integrated Water Harvesting Earthworks design shown above at Aprovecho Institute in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Her entry competed against 41 others from 19 US states, 3 Canadian provinces, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Baja California del Norte, a remarkable profusion of talent. The criteria for judgment included concept, graphics, design details – including budget and timeline, vision, and social and ecological benefits.

From April 15, 2019 through August 2019, this page featurd many of the projects of merit from this contest. See gallery below.

Many of the projects entered in this contest were worthy of support, and PINA would like to help more of them get built, planted, and occupied. You can help us do this by contributing to the Fund for Regeneration. Climate chaos, community dysfunction, and land degradation are real and urgent problems; Permaculture designers have solutions.

2018 Design Contest Winner: Integrated Water-Harvesting EarthworksTao Orion – Willamette Valley Hillside Educational Center and Working Forest (Aprovecho), 40 acre communal forest with 5 acres open land.
Biotecture Dome and Greenhouse – Christina Goodvin – Alberta Front Range, 3-5 acre ex-urban homestead.

CoWorking Structure  –  Sergio Medal – Baja California (near US border), 1-3 acre communal site.

Island Eco-Hamlet  –  John Lago Gonzalez– Puerto Rico upland new settlement –  21 acre communal holding.

Appropriate Technology Cultural Incubator – Jared & Lala Williams – Hudson Valley Urban Homestead,  0.8 acre riparian site.

Children’s Senory Garden – Elise Duffy & team – Suburban Chicago Church Garden & Learning Laboratory for low-income children, 1/6 acre urban plot.

Food Bank Food Forest – Jesse Watson – diversified agroforestry plantings in Maine supplying harvests to food-insecure populations.

Middle School Outdoor Classroom – Terry O’Day – assist in building design developed by PDC students at Pacific University.  

Puget Sound Public ParkAndrew Tuttle – stream bank restoration, wildlife habitat & farm incubator community hub  on 8 acres.

Traditional Knowledge Transmission – Jennifer Nobel, Martin Millen & Dave Lundburg –  culturally appropriate setting for storytelling on the transcontinental boreal forest. 

Benjamin Weiss – Urban Edge Farm – Pennsyvlania ripairan agroforest, apothecary yard and refuge on 2 acre site.

Stephen Levesque – 3 Pond System  – BC market garden & orchard grey & roof water with solar/wind oxygenation pumping.

Salina Duncan – Garden of Hope – Guatemalan urban teaching garden serving  600 children adding shelters, therapy garden, composting toilet and more.

Priscilla Brewer – Forest Stories Maritime Northwest Coastal homestead and teaching Garden infrastructure improvements.


Jennifer Sharrock – Windborn Farm Alaska Teaching Facility for food production, water collection, season extension & more on site for public use.


Aaron Morrison & Luke Towns – Biointegrated Medical Cannabis Greenhouse – low energy aquaponic system in  Washington.

Liz Braithewaite – Physical Therapy Garden at Pioneer Center enhances patient well-being.

John Isaac Gutierrez – Homestead Edible Backyard – Urban Foodscape perennial garden


Sarah Baxendell – Hilltop Urban Youth Farm – plant 75 fruit trees and shrubs as part of the 1-acre Youth Farm