Ann Arbor PDC 2017

Great Lakes Permaculture Design Collaborative Presents

2017 Ann Arbor Permaculture Design Certificate Course

GLPDC (32)

Course Dates - Six, weekend classes, 72+hour course

May 20 & 21, June 24 & 25, July 8 & 9, August 5 & 6, August 19 & 20, September 16 & 17


Dawn Farm  6633 Stony Creek Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Course Fee - 

  • 990 regular fee; ($430 deposit, remainder due in installments of $215 before each weekend session)

Course fee includes textbook and all course materials • Convenient payment plan available • Deposit pays for last two weekends 

Registration Closed
email for future course info


What is permaculture? Permaculture design is a holistic science and an ethical approach to organizing the world around us for the benefit of all. Permaculture is also a network of practitioners working to ensure mankind’s place on this planet in an energy descent future.


Why study permaculture?

  • Better understand your local environment and improve your ability to interact with the local ecosystem
  • Learn how to save money on food, water, fuel, energy, and materials
  • Increase the beauty and health of your home system
  • Learn practices that regenerate the environment and the community
  • Put systems thinking and design process to work for you
  • Become part of a network that spans the globe


The internationally-recognized, 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course yields the Permaculture Design Certificate. This course includes hands-on demonstrations and serves as an introduction to permaculture design as developed by concept co-creators Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, which opens the door to further practice, work and advanced education.


About this course

The Great Lakes Permaculture Design Collaborative (GLPDC) is a trio of permaculturists C. Milton Dixon from Ann Arbor, Michigan; Rhonda Baird from Bloomington, Indiana; and William Faith from Chicago, Illinois. Together they created a unique hands-on learning experience with online lectures frontloading the class time. This course uses the online lectures created by the GLPDC but is taught by C. Milton Dixon, Bridget O'Brian, and Jesse Tack.

Through the grounding of the lectures and the experience of the hands on work this course empowers you to take up permaculture design in your own life and to share a common context with the global network of permaculture practitioners.


Course Content

This PDC is designed for greater impact through active, peer-based learning using liberating structures and other learning approaches. To enable this students complete approximately 10 hours of reading and recorded lecture in between each class. Ultimately, students will be more able to apply and adapt their learning across the wide variety of situations they will encounter.

Examples of our online lectures:

This course dives deeper than traditional lecture-based courses into the design process through case studies, hands-on activities, games and stories to build a quality foundational experience. Also, the location based nature of the course builds community that will exist after the course, giving it more impact in the local area.

I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of Permaculture, learn from a dynamic team of instructors, and connect with likeminded people in and around your local area. - Nate 2016


Download 2017 A2 Permaculture Design Course Syllabus Draft and daily schedule

Curriculum includes:

The Local Ecosystem
Trees, Forests, Plants, and Cultivated Ecologies
Tropical, Arid, & Cool Climates
Broadscale Landscape Design
Urban Permaculture
Ecovillage and Neighborhood Design
Climates/ Biogeography
The Built Environment
Energy & Appropriate technology
Garden Design/Seed Saving/IPM
Waste & Bioremediation
Climate & Biogeography
Home System
Design for Catastrophe
Access to Land (Settlement Patterns)
Intro to permaculture
Design Methods, Mapping & Process
Systems Thinking & Pattern Language
Ethics & Principles
Patterns & Pattern Application
Reading the Landscape
Design Exercises
Dig a swale
Economic Systems
Social Systems
Pattern Language & Conceptual Design process
Design Interview Fishbowl


Course Instruction

The bulk of this course will be taught by C. Milton Dixon with additional instruction from Bridget O'Brian & Jesse Tack. 

Milton Dixon is an permaculturist, forager, educator, and and all around computer savvy guy. Having relocated to Ann Arbor from urban Chicago he is syncing with the rhythms of permaculture in his new location. You can read about his latest projects at Permaculture Productions. He has taken a PDC with Midwest Permaculture, a teacher training course with David Jacke, and besides working with the GLPDC, he has taught PDCs with Midwest Permaculture, The Permaculture Project , and a two year Educators PDC co-designed with Jesse Tack. He is a farm consultant for Polliwog Farm and co-manager at the emergent The Cooperative at Dawn Farm.

As a caring steward to life, Bridget O’Brien strives to explore resilience through different pathways. Her studies and work focus on self-care, social and land-use design. She shares her passion for playful impactful loving service as an educator and designer, utilizing her experience and trainings in horticulture, Permaculture, Yoga, fermentation, & marketing to provide a ‘wholistic’ approach to culture repair. Bridget works with with Resilient Spirals LLC & Sacred Places Design; is Program Director for New Rising Sun Farm (an educational retreat center and community in Ganges, Michigan), and is the creative inspiration of ‘Adapt’ – A Design Game, in collaboration with

Jesse Tack took his PDC in Detroit in 2011 with Larry Santoyo and Keith Johnson, his teacher training with Peter Bane and Sandy Cruz in 2014, and runs the local sustainable group - Abundant Michigan, Permaculture Ypsilanti (AMPY) -- actively moving towards local security for food and water systems. Partnering with Dawn Farm, AMPY has planted 1500 trees for fuel, food, and fiber resources for our local economy. Jesse has been an educator for 15 years, teaching guitar to individuals from 5-80 years old, small ensembles, rock bands, group and individual music therapy.

Additional Video Lecturers


William Faith is a long-standing activist in the fight for the rights of animals, care of the earth and social justice.

Upon encountering permaculture for the first time in 2005, the nature of his artistry and activism changed for the better, both finding a confluence in permaculture. Shortly after completing his certification in permaculture design at the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, TN in 2006, he co-founded Ars Terra, a sustainable homestead project in Palmdale, CA, where he taught several permaculture courses and workshops before moving to Chicago, where he co-founded the Chicagoland Permaculture Guild in 2012, and completed an advanced permaculture design course at Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture in Fountain City, WI in 2014.

William has given many presentations on permaculture at colleges, universities, eco/green fairs and festivals and private events, also giving several radio interviews on the subject.

2015 heralded the birth of Genius Loci Permaculture -- a full-service Design, Build and Education firm.


Rhonda Baird is a seventh generation Hoosier, with deep ties to the forested hills and rivers of southern Indiana. Though permaculture practice began formally in 2005, she grew up in a working-class family that gardened and foraged. Within this context, she began asking: “What is going on in the world? And, what can I do about it?”

In her 20s, she became an organizer and carried her interests to community design, social justice (working with ACORN, the AFL-CIO, and a domestic violence program) and forest issues.

In 2005, as she was finishing up her second stint in graduate school, she stumbled into a Permaculture Design Course with Peter Bane and Keith Johnson. She never looked back. From the end of that course, she began apprenticing as a teacher. In 2006 she co-originated the Bloomington Permaculture Guild. In 2008, she began working with Permaculture Design Magazine (formerly The Permaculture Activist). In 2010, she joined the board of the Association for Regenerative Culture. In 2014, she presented at the North American Permaculture Convergence on Permaculture and Children; co-originated the Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute, and became the board president of a local non-profit, The Center for Sustainable Living, in order to transform it into a bioregional permaculture institute.


Contact: will bring you to the host of our next course.

For questions contact Milton Dixon: ;

Registration Closed
email for future course info