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!


North American Permaculture Convergence

TRI Sponsors NAPC 2014   Click to view slideshow

Jodi and I enjoyed our weekend at the North American Permaculture Convergence. Thanks to all of the support we have received from the TRI community we were able to sponsor this inaugural event and finally meet many of the permaculture "elders" like Michael Pilarski, Jude Hobbs, Penny Livingston, Scott Pittman, Will Hooker, Toby Hemenway, Jillian Hovey, Peter Bane, Wayne Weiseman, and Sandy Cruz.


Support First Forest Garden in Naperville

Do you think our food system needs to change?  Then get involved by sponsoring or donating to the first edible forest garden in Naperville.  Even $1 will help make this project a reality and start growing food security in our community.

It is easy, just pick a button and click.

Sponsor button


  • $10,000  Naming Sponsor
  • $5,000    Harvest Sponsor
  • $2,500    Chestnut Sponsor
  • $1,000    Persimmon Sponsor
  • $500       Paw Paw Sponsor



Donate button

  • $10 will buy a large plant or a few ground covers
  • $20 will buy a shrub
  • $40 will buy a small tree
  • $70 will buy a large tree
  • $100 will buy 5 shrubs
  • $200 will buy 3 dwarf fruit trees or 10 shrubs


We also welcome material donations of plants, trees, mulch, arbors, wooden bridges (or wood to make bridges), and signage.  Contact Michelle Hickey  at michelle@theresiliencyinstitute.net or (630) 281-0184 to make arrangements.

Volunteer Button


We hosted 3 PERMABLITZ events in September and November of 2013 to do all of the earthworks, tree planting, and sheet mulching.  Permablitz events will be scheduled for Spring and Fall of 2014, so subscribe to our blog and emails to stay informed.  Permablitz events offer great opportunities to learn by doing plus you support a great project at the same time.  Meet like minded people, eat and work together, and be part of installing the FIRST forest garden in Naperville.



We are preparing to grow food security with the installation of the FIRST edible forest garden in Naperville on McDonald Farm!  McDonald farm is a 60-acre farm surrounded by suburban development, preserved for conservation, education, and agriculture.  Over 8,000 people visit the farm annually to participate in activities and learn about renewable energy, water conservation techniques, native landscaping, green roofing, organic farming, and soon, an edible forest garden. The Conservation Foundation, a 41-year-old non-profit land and watershed protection organization, owns the farm and is headquartered there.McDonald Farm Edible Forest Garden_logo

The McDonald Farm edible forest garden (135’x40’) includes areas for recreation, children’s exploration, and inspiration. The design incorporates existing trees, re-purposes materials currently there, and utilizes the abundance of waste water produced at the packing shed to water the site through a connected swale/berm system.  Being added to the area are 12 trees, 73 shrubs, 14 vines, countless herbaceous and groundcover plants, bridges, rock gardens, rain gardens, mandala garden, kiwi igloos, and hop arbors.  It is a demonstration for how we can transform suburban lawns, grow food security, and have beautiful, self-maintaining landscapes.

Many of us have such abundance and live in areas where neighbors appear to be doing fine, but looks can be deceiving.  According to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, 1 in 8 of your neighbors face hunger.  Loaves and Fishes, a Naperville based food pantry, reports that 10.3% of DuPage County residents (nearly 100,000 people) are food insecure and has seen a 780% increase in groceries distributed from 2008 to 2013.

The Resiliency Institute wants to do more than grow food to donate to food banks and pantries.  We want to grow food security using permaculture.  Replacing lawns with edible forest gardens and installing food forests in public parks and along public pathways, makes fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables abundant and available for everyone.

Together we can GROW food security.