2018 NatureWise Permaculture Design Contest is Completed!

2019 Contest starts Sept. 10th

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.

Featured Entry:

Hilltop Urban Farm Youth Garden

This nonprofit, community-centered farm in Pittsburg has 23 acres dedicated to farming, producing locally-grown crops, agriculture-based education and  entrepreneurial opportunities. Students at the one-acre Youth Farm will expand their understanding of nutrition and food preparation, improve attitudes towards locally grown fruit and vegetables, develop a  knowledge of garden ecology, learn about local and global agriculture, and how these systems affect the environment, consumers and local/global economies.

Design by Sarah Baxendell

Sarah Baxendell is a nonprofit and business development consultant and ecological, permaculture, and urban designer/planner known for her involvement in groundbreaking local food supply projects and urban ecological intervention programs which help communities connect more deeply with their natural environment..

Supporting the work of PINA

You can support PINA’s efforts by becoming a member or making a one-time donation. Large or small, your donation supports the work of PINA and helps advance the quality of the permaculture movement.

About the Contest

Based on the voting of its enrolled members, PINA is pleased to award $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. Over the next five months, this page will feature more than 20 additional projects of merit from the 2018 contest, one each week starting April 15th. These will accrue in a gallery available for review throughout the remainder of 2019. At the conclusion of the series in September, we will announce the terms of the 2019 Design Contest, also carrying a cash prize. The 2019 contest will be open to PINA members. Designs offered this year may be resubmitted, though the contest parameters are likely to shift.

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.  

Pudget 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