IPEC facilitates learning opportunities for teachers and mentors focused on creating healthy physical & social learning environments for children and youth through educational permaculture design.
We encourage curiosity to
learn about how our relationship with
nature’s patterns weaves people and place
toward global healing.
Our Values (according to the established ethics of permaculture design):
- Care for the Earth - Honoring Nature as teacher, designing curriculum from the inspiration of nature’s pattern language, advocating for healthy ecosystems and place-based Earth stewardship
- Care for Each Other - Creating a learning culture that celebrates individual differences, aligning teaching methods with sensory & social development
- Fair Share - Recognizing patterns that perpetuate inequity, applying ‘systems thinking’ as a process toward understanding equity, taking action toward justice for the rights of all people and species
IPEC is an income tax-exempt organization under IRS Revenue Code Section 501c3. All of our governing documents & policies and financial statements are available upon request.
Patty Parks Wasserman, IPEC Founder & CVO
Patty Parks-Wasserman is the ecstatic mother of three gentle-hearted and critically thinking young adults. She is also a permaculture diplomat born and raised in New Mexico, and now lives in Oregon on an educational homesteading farm. She founded the Institute of Permaculture Education for Children and the Anytown Food Forest Project. She has designed and taught permaculture programs to toddlers through the university level in public, private, homeschooling and non formal educational environments since 1998. She has taught middle school science and is working with the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center to develop a 1.75 acre public food forest, with the participation of local schools.
Having seen the enthusiasm of the students and the change they inspire in their homes and communities, she believes that children and their educators have the potential to create effective widespread decentralized change for social, economic and ecological health. She is currently the Chief Visionary Officer at IPEC.
Kelly Hogan, IPEC and Mother Earth School Co-Founder
Kelly currently directs an environmental education and sustainability program (LivingLAB) at the Portland Waldorf School, and is a field trip program coordinator for IPEC. The breadth of her work is available as a resource through her consultation business, Nurture by Nature and seasonal, nature-based curriculum is updated monthly for patrons on her Patreon page.
After becoming a parent in 2000, Kelly shifted from a career caring for adults with severe mental and physical disabilities to a career working with children. She received her Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate from the Micha-el Institute in Portland and then moved her family to the intentional community at Tryon Life Community Farm where she began to work as the assistant kindergarten teacher for Mother Earth Kindergarten - the first "recognized" all-outdoor kindergarten in the United States. In 2009, she received her Permaculture Design Certificate and began the transformation of Mother Earth School into an educational integration of permaculture, homesteading and survival skills taught through Waldorf teaching methods. For the next 7 years, she directed Mother Earth School and was the preschool teacher there. Other trainings include Rite of Passage, Art of Mentoring, global indigenous history, anti-oppression theory and Theater of the Oppressed. She views her love of naturalist skills such as tracking and bird language as a means of 'reading the stories' of the forest.
Matt Bibeau, MSEd, IPEC CEO & Co-Founder
Matt serves as one of the core teachers at IPEC. He co-teaches the Foundations and Advanced Teacher Trainings and leads school groups visiting Jean's Farm, IPEC's outdoor classroom with gardens, greenhouse, kitchen and many natural areas. Matt has worked in the field of garden-based education since 2005. A graduate of Portland State University’s Leadership in Ecology, Culture & Learning program, Matt’s work has also focused on the development and implementation of school gardens and garden-based learning programs in Portland Public Schools, as well as the development of three urban farm sites, Jean’s Farm, Learning Gardens Laboratory and Tryon Life Community Farm. Trained in permaculture design by Toby Hemenway (2006) and in permaculture teaching by Tom Ward and Jude Hobbs (2008), Matt has been generating momentum as a permaculture educator, co-coordinating Toby's PDC and co-teaching TLC Farm's PDC from 2009-2011. He serves on the board of the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust and is a veteran coordinator of the City Repair Project's Village Building Convergence (2006-2012). Matt co-teaches a PDC with Mark Lakeman, and is currently the farm manager at Jean's Farm and the Chief Executive Officer of IPEC.
Emily Zionts, MA, IPEC COO & Course Instructor
For the past 15 years, Emily has been deeply immersed in the question of how we can empower our youth to face the crises and opportunities of this unique time in human history with compassion, resilience, innovation, and joy. After earning a MA in Peace Education from The United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica, Emily worked for several years teaching Peace Studies and Global Issues to teens. She fell in love with the profound transformation that the students would go through as a result of education at the intersection of social justice, environmental sustainability, and human thriving. Since then, Emily has begun a PhD in Sustainability Education through Prescott College and is a graduate of the IPEC Foundations Course. Emily joined the teaching team In 2015 for the Advanced Course and facilitated activities around Joanna Macy’s work on The Great Turning, how to honor our pain for the world within ourselves and with our students, and acknowledging privilege and increasing food justice in the permaculture education movement. She currently serves as the interim Chief Operations Officer.