Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds an MS in Eco-Social Regeneration and 3 Diplomas in Permaculture Design. Penny has been studying the Hermetic Tradition of alchemy and herbal medicine making in Europe and the United States for 4 years.
Penny has sat on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America as well as the Building Appeals Board for the County of Marin, after being unanimously approved by the Marin County Supervisors. She was also a founding board member for the Redwood Empire Chapter of the US Green Building Council.
She has studied, taught with, hosted and learned directly from Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, the co-founders of Permaculture and the developers of the Permaculture Design Certification Course curriculum.
Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms. She as taught Herbal Medicine Making, Natural Building and Permaculture around the United States as well as in Bali, Indonesia, Peru, Germany, Mexico, France, Turkey, Portugal, Australia, Belize, Brazil, England and Costa Rica.
Penny co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, co-created the Permaculture Program at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center with Brock Dolman, co-created the Earth Activist Training with Starhawk and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market, and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan.
Penny is a founding member of the Natural Building Colloquium, a national consortium of professional natural builders, creating innovations in straw bale, cob, timberframe, light clay, natural non-toxic interior finishes and other methods using natural and bio-regionally appropriate materials for construction.
She has been featured in the following films: Symphony of the Soil by Lily Films and Deborah Koons Garcia, 2012: A Time for Change by Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck and Permaculture: The Growing Edge by Belili Films and Starhawk.
She has been apprenticing in Germany and Italy at the Arven School for Medicinal Plants, Aromatherapy and Wilderness Wisdom with her teacher, a master alchemist, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in Germany since 2011. Penny is holding this lineage here in the United States and is embarking on sharing what she has learned over the years.
Penny co-managed the Commonweal Garden for fourteen years with her husband, James Stark. During that time, their Regenerative Design Institute taught more than 6,000 students regenerative ways of living on the Earth. RDI will have its home on Whidbey Island, Washington where it will continue as a Commonweal program. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve as an advising elder for Anna and Natura, and to continuing to teach in the beautiful Garden.