PINA is gearing up for a very full year, and I encourage all members to support our growth. Together, we can increase permaculture’s impact. Read on and learn how.
Elsewhere in this newsletter, there is an announcement of the Finalists for the 2021-22 Design Contest, our third in four years, and how members can vote. Please help us pick the most worthy project for $5,000 funding.
We continue to work on the Fire Ecology Restoration Project (FERP) in SW Oregon. Four sites are being treated this winter by our 10 hired crew members, as we gather data on costs, labor needs, and methods. Documentary filming is underway, and we expect to have a completed educational film for release in the early summer. The program is training current team members to lead other crews in coming years, and we are actively seeking funding for Year Two. We have submitted one grant tender for $56,000, and are working on two other grants to support the program. We expect to learn soon whether we are in consideration for the first grant from Coalition of Collaboratives, a joint project of the USFS and the Natl. Assn. of State Foresters. These funds would allow us to increase our tool inventory in anticipation of more crews, and would support our management staff to organize, recruit, and train for Year Two operations. It would also hire an assistant to program manager Melanie Mindlin, allowing her to strengthen and increase partnerships.
At the same time as field operations are winding up in Oregon, we are planning and promoting a workshop in Colorado to share FERP insights and tools with a broader audience of landowners, extension agents, and other public officials. An announcement of the June 3-5 event also appears elsewhere in this newsletter with links to detailed information and registration. Join us if you can, and spread the word.
In October, PINA hired Gloria Flora of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions in Colville, WA to be its Development Officer. She brings a wealth of experience in forestry, fundraising, environmental advocacy, and more. As part of a process of scoping possible support for PINA programs, she turned up an opportunity to Advance Informal STEM Learning (AISL) with the Natl. Science Fdn. in December. That propelled us to write a large grant to fund PDC training for urban high school youth and their teachers and community leaders in eight US cities over three years. We asked for $950,000 to scale up two nascent programs in Houston and New York City in Year One to include six other metro regions in two subsequent years. This would train almost 500 people in permaculture design, chiefly black and brown youth and others facing significant barriers to completing the PDC, and also 168 new teachers would receive training in the use of a modified curriculum for mid-teen learners. Outreach would impact about 1,000 people initially. We are excited at the possibilities of this program, and believe that NSF funding would be a game-changer for PINA. Even if we are not awarded the grant, we believe the work we did will lead to funding for programs of this nature from other sources. It has already helped us forge new partnerships with other Pc organizations.
Our partnership with Earth Activist Training is leading to a large increase in enrollment in PINA’s Diploma Program, which was already growing, and potentially to the need for more Field Advisors. If you have completed your PINA diploma, or have been invited to take one, we encourage you to further this process by applying to become a PINA Field Advisor. There is no charge, and the application is simple. After placement, Field Advisors make individual exchange arrangements with their candidate advisees.
PINA is actively seeking new board members, especially from regions and communities not presently represented among our directors: California, the Southwest, western Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. We would welcome qualified BIPOC candidates, and individuals with skills in finance, community organizing, law, communications, and marketing. PINA is committed to an inclusive, gender balanced, and geographically representative board membership.
PINA is also seeking a part-time communications specialist to support outreach. Good understanding of permaculture is required, but current PINA membership is not a prerequisite. Please send a resume and letter of intent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or refer promising candidates you may know.
PINA is also actively building and seeking partnerships to extend our impact. We know there are at least 200 chartered non-profits in the US engaged in some form of permaculture work, but we only have meaningful knowledge of about 15-20% of those. If you are connected to a permaculture organization, I want to know about it. PINA already offers organizational memberships, but we are also creating opportunities for collaboration, will need staff and program support in many regions, and are seeking to empower many other groups within our continental community. PINA is working with its 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, Association for Regenerative Culture (ARCulture.org) to build capacities for lifting permaculture start-ups and small groups into higher levels of performance, whether through management advice, fiscal sponsorship, technology transfer, or small capacity grants. If you are part of a local meet-up that wants to do more, a young non-profit that could benefit from experienced counsel, or a group with a program that needs support, please reach out to us.
In the coming months, we hope to launch Brilliant Directories at a new PINA-owned domain to provide a platform to members for promoting their own business services and products. I urge you to share this news about PINA with permaculture friends and colleagues. We need more members, there is real strength in numbers, and thousands of permaculture graduates across North America are not yet part of the PINA community.
Lastly, PINA committees on hubs, integrated programs, and the diploma program are open to members with interest and qualifications. The role is volunteer, but you are invited to make significant contributions on policy and programs to help PINA reach more people, grow its members, and change our societies for the better. Contact Elizabeth Lynch, Administrator, at our Pennsylvania office, email@example.com.
Wishing you abundance in the seasons ahead, and peace, justice, and health for the world.