We started The Resiliency Institute because we believe permaculture can positively transform the way we do things in our lives, landscapes, and communities.  Permaculture provides us with the framework and tools to design resilient systems that care for people, care for the earth, and distribute our resources.  Join us to discover the power of permaculture and work with us to transform the suburbs!

We have been amazed by the interest we are receiving and the opportunities that are coming our way.  Get involved in our growing organization to grow food security and build resilient communities using permaculture design.  Donate, Sponsor, Volunteer or take a course!

The Resiliency Institute currently has three Growing Food Security projects in process, the Whole Foods Market Edible Forest Garden on The Conservation Foundation’s McDonald Farm, the Ferry Forest Garden in Naperville/Warrenville along the Illinois Prairie Path, and the Northern Illinois Food Bank Growing Food Security Garden. Each of these projects demonstrates how lawns can be transitioned into food producing systems that regenerate soil, ecology, and biodiversity. People will visit the edible forest gardens and experience the joy of harvesting fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, medicinal, and dye plants. They will see bees, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other animals. Areas for children and picnics invite people to enjoy the shade and beauty. Combined with educational components and hands-on activities, people will have the tools to grow an edible forest garden in their own yards and begin the transformation of the suburbs into resilient permaculture communities.

The Resiliency Institute is growing local jobs by offering certificate programs to advance knowledge in permaculture design, edible wild plants, and bioregional herbalism. We have awarded 23 Permaculture Design Certificates, 11 Edible Wild Plants Certificates, and 15 Bioregional Herbalism Certificates since we began offering these certificate courses.  We also offer evening & weekend permaculture and reskilling classes. Visit our Course Calendar to see what 2016 will offer. We will also be presenting at local events to spread permaculture education and excitement.


Volunteer ButtonVOLUNTEER

Permaculture is about creating community, and what better way to do that then by getting involved.  We are currently an all volunteer organization, so if you have a skill to share, let us know how you are able to contribute.  We can always use help with marketing, networking, staffing events, social media, weeding, pruning, sheet mulching, gathering cardboard, and the countless other tasks that keep the organization working and improving.

Thank you to the many volunteers who have participated in our PERMABLITZ events (permaculture work and learn gatherings). Your contributions make the Growing Food Security projects possible. Visit our Facebook page to view the photos of volunteers hard at work.

Many more volunteers will be needed to complete the Growing Food Security projects, so be sure to register for a PERMABLITZ, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook. Anyone of any skill level is invited to participate.  Permablitz events can be especially helpful for people interested in forest garden design, plants, and installation.


Donate buttonDONATE

   Make a donation to support our work! 

Replacing underutilized land with edible forest gardens will grow a local food system where everyone has access to healthy, organic, nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. People will experience the taste of fresh picked produce and reconnect with where food comes from. A scarcity mindset will be replaced with one of abundance and sharing.

Food security is a real issue on many levels. The current food system is not sustainable with its dependence on fossil fuels and destruction of soil and biodiversity. Local food banks have seen a significant increase in food insecurity with 1 in 8 families facing hunger in Northern Illinois and nearly 100,000 people in DuPage county requiring food assistance. The Resiliency Institute sees a new suburban reality where underutilized and resource intensive lawns are converted from grass to productive and abundant edible forest gardens. With our programming, people will learn to grow, harvest and prepare healthy, nourishing food, share the abundance with friends and family, and enjoy community and food security.

We also welcome material donations of plants, trees, mulch, arbors, wooden bridges (or wood to make bridges), tools, art, benches, and signage.  Contact Michelle Hickey  at or (630) 425-4285 to make arrangements.


Sponsor button


Promote your business or organization on our website and social media outlets when you sponsor us! We are happy to work with you to create a sponsorship package that benefits us all. You can sponsor one of our forest garden projects, certificate courses, outreach events, or general operations.

Contact Michelle Hickey or (630) 425-4285 to get started.  Together we can build resilient communities.