Gloria Flora: Why did I join the Permaculture Institute of North America?

I’m fortunate to be part of PINA in two ways: first as a member, and more recently, as its new Development Officer. 

Since PINA coalesced in 2012, I view it as a leading organization for promoting permaculture as the framework for sustainable living. My own passion and profession followed the trajectory of my favorite Aldo Leopold quotation, “There are two things that interest me, the relationship of people to their land and the relationship of people to each other.” I’ve been, and continue to be, all-in on protecting and restoring landscapes, supporting ecosystem services and helping people remember our inextricable connection to, and dependence on, nature. 

After a degree in landscape architecture, I gravitated to the U.S. Forest Service. I wanted to work in big landscapes, and to be able to push for positive change in public land management. The human dimensions of ecosystems figures prominently throughout my career. When I first discovered permaculture, I loved that the ethics addressed caring for the planetwhile equally caring for people, and doing both ethically. 

Since leaving the Forest Service, I’ve started two non-profits. Sustainable Obtainable Solutions’ mission is to ensure the sustainability of public land and of the plant, animal and human communities that depend on them. Biochar intersects many aspects of my work. So I started the U.S. Biochar Initiative with a mission to educate and advocate for the sustainable production and use of biochar. USBI has since been passed on to other capable hands and is thriving. After 18 years, I understand the challenges and joys of the non-profit world! 


My husband and I created TerraFlora Permaculture Learning Center. As we transition from hobby to business, we look forward to the support and connections that PINA can provide. PINA also keeps us up to date on the latest permaculture advancements throughout North America. 

And finally, I’m endlessly curious about challenges other permaculture designers are solving across a wide range of ecosystems. Since I’ve been with PINA, I’ve found a cornucopia of projects, permaculture experts, and opportunities, of which I was previously unaware. 

When I learned that PINA was looking for help to magnify support for their projects and programs, it seemed like we would make a great match. Now I get to work with the permaculture luminaries on PINA’s Board, staff and membership. And to help spread permaculture awareness, while learning even more about it.  

As PINA enters its next decade, I am grateful to be with you in its company! 

You can reach out to Gloria in regards to funding ideas or donations to PINA by sending her an email at