Permaculture is alive and growing at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The university recently offered its first Permaculture Design Certification course in the Department of Horticulture. Organized by FLPCI instructor and cofounder Steve Gabriel, the course was full with 31 enthusiastic students from academic departments including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Plant Science, Natural Resources, Animal Science, and Agriculture.

Students learned about the principles and systems in Permaculture and completed several projects including a design for a multipurpose plant community (polyculture) and a final design for a site on campus. They designed greenways, farm field edges, forest spaces, and several unused lawns on campus.

Graduates of the course are continuing to develop projects at Dilmun Hill Student Organic Farm as well as a proposal for a Permaculture garden on campus in cooperation with Cornell Dining. More information on these projects, including the existing demonstration sites at MacDaniels Nut Grove and Dilmun Hill, can be found by visiting the Permaculture @ Cornell website.

Adults who are not enrolled at Cornell can also learn through the Department of Horticulture Distance Leaning program, where Permaculture I, II, and III are being taught by Steve Gabriel in 2013. Each online course is 6.5 weeks long and provides basics instruction, activities, and opportunities to interact with fellow students and facilitators. More information on the course and a link to registration can be found at: