Sustainable Design Weekend Intensive

posted Saturday, November 3, 2007        

Saturday, November 10, 2007toSunday, November 11, 2007

Sustainable Design Weekend Intensive – Cosponsored by Tucson Permaculture Guild and Sustainable Tucson

This weekend class, a short version of the 72 hour Permaculture design course, will help you develop practical design skills using Permaculture principles, ethics, and a unique design process. Participants will complete a site analysis on a place of their choosing (their home and yard for example) the first day of class; then based on that analysis, complete a master design plan on the second day. With an integrated master plan each part of the design nestles together in a functional and beautiful way. The master plan also acts as a blueprint to start take action toward sustainability. The site analysis and design work with be intermixed with short hands-on classes on practical permaculture skills.

Location: Mesquite Tree Permaculture Site, one and a half miles north of downtown Tucson, 221 E. Linden St. a few blocks south of Grant and 6th Ave.

Time: Sat, Nov 10th 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Sun, Nov. 11th 10:00 AM to 4:00PM. For registration info contact Dan Dorsey, 624-8030, Cost $90 to $135 sliding fee scale, which includes all handouts for the class.

What to bring: Your lunch both days and a drawing of your house and property (with the acutal dimensions if you know them)

The sketch doesn’t have to be to scale, but show all existing buildings, vegetation, and a north arrow.

Snacks and tea will be provided.

frequently asked questions about Fall 2007 courses…

How do I register for a class(es)?

You are registered for a class(es) when we receive your payment. There are three ways of registering and paying for a class:

1.You can pay via mail with a check or money order made out to NEST/Sonoran Permaculture Guild. Mail it to Dan Dorsey, 221 E. Linden Tucson, AZ 85705 Please don’t send cash in the mail. Please include your contact info including e-mail. We will send you an e-receipt confirming your registration and payment.

2.You can pay cash by visiting us in person and we will give you a receipt for your payment and registration. Call the contact person for the course and make arrangements to meet.

3.You can pay via major credit card, as we are set up with PayPal to receive payments. E-mail your request to pay with a credit card to the contact person for the class, and we will e-mail back with instructions on how to pay via the secure Paypal website.

If after I register and pay for a course, what if I have something come up and I need to cancel out of a class?

Our refund policy is as follows:

Full refund up to 7 days before the class begins.

50% refund up to three days before the class begins, but you may apply part of your fee to a future class.

No refund within three days of class, but you may apply part of your fee to a future class.

If the class is full with a waiting list, and we can find someone from the list to take your place, we will refund your payment in full.

Mesquite Tree Permaculture Site – a demonstration and teaching site for learning how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

We are located about one and a half miles north of downtown Tucson , AZ near 6th Ave.

Brief History

This site, owned in 1994 by a non-profit corporation, consisted of a small slump block house built in 1949 on a bare, compacted one fifth acre. The current owner, Dan Dorsey, bought the property in 1994. He completed a site assessment of the property during the first three months, studying patterns like wind, sun, rain, and noise and light pollution (to name a few) that affected the site. He also observed and mapped existing conditions on the site like the soil, the human and animal traffic patterns, and the sparse existing vegetation. Using a contour mapping tool, he established elevations and contour lines on the site to better look at slope and wate flow. He also studied existing maps of the neighborhood available from the City of Tucson .

Then using his completed site assessment and a sustainable design process called Permaculture (which is an environmental design process based on natural ecosystems), Dan began to put into place regerative strategies to help the land recover.

The result today is a rich multi-use – but drought tolerant – landscape with over 120 species of plants, animals, and insects. The plants produce food, medicine, mulch, shade, and wildlife habitat. Since all rainwater from roof surfaces is harvested into water cisterns, and the overflow directed into basins that water the landscape, the annual water use for the site is far below the Tucson residential average, even with the extensive landscape.

Other features at Mesquite Tree include:

*A strawbale office studio and small guest house, which demonstrate energy efficient passive solar design.

*A renovated slump block residence which demonstrates numerous strategies for appropriate housing in hot dry climates ( including a solar panel array on the roof, passive solar design, tree shading on the west side, and a wrap of the original block walls with insulation).

*A multi use ramada classroom, where ongoing classes and courses on sustainability are held throughout the year.

*A small scale intensive food garden watered solely from rainwater in the cisterns.

*A graywater system to re-use shower and bathroom sink water in the landscape.

*A commercial made solar oven that heats to over 400 degrees F.

*One of the best examples in Tucson of a sustainable urban site using Permaculture principles.

Please call Dan Dorsey at (520) 624-8030 or e-mail for more info.

Also check out our website at

Teacher Bio
Dan Dorsey, B.S., teaches courses on environmental design, water harvesting, natural building, and many other topics that help people live a sustainable lifestyle. He is an adjunct faculty member of Pima Community College and Prescott College , and a member of the Sonoran Permaculture Guild teaching team. Dan offers Permaculture design and consultation services, having designed over 60 permitted energy saving homes and auxiliary buildings in Pima County and the City of Tucson . He also designs multiple use sustainable landscapes that produce food, reduce home energy bills, attract wildlife, and perform other beneficial functions. Working with neighborhood associations, non-profits, and businesses, Dan uses a Permaculture based design process that gets people in organizations working together to arrive at their own environmental solutions – solutions that can take care of people while at the same time take care of the environment. Dan lives at his teaching and demonstration site, Mesquite Tree, one mile north of downtown Tucson , where he lives the low impact environmental lifestyle he teaches.

His contact info is (520) 624-8030 or e-mail

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