Melanie Mindlin has worked with permaculture design, home design, consensus process, land use planning, environmental activism and intentional communities for three decades. She is a partner in Siskiyou Permaculture, offering counseling, design, project management and course instruction.
Melanie is also the Diploma Program Coordinator for the Permaculture Institute of North America, which gives credentials for professional practitioners of permaculture is several specializations.
Melanie was the founder, developer and project manager for Ashland Cohousing Community, a community of 13 passive solar homes with a common house and community garden, where she is now a resident. She has been intimate with the process of creating community from the first discussion groups through completion of construction. She has been doing community organizing and group facilitation for over 30 years.
Melanie is currently (2021) working on a new ecological forestry initiative with nonprofit partners to bring training, volunteers and research in best practices to the region. This initiative includes fuel hazard reduction, carbon sequestration and returning land to fire management. She is a founding member of the Fire Ecology Network and Community Woodlands Ecosystem Restoration Camps, involving the community in fire ecology and cultural restoration.
Melanie was on the Ashland Planning Commission from 2006-2019, serving multiple terms as chairperson. She spearheaded the Cottage Housing ordinance, creating new opportunities for affordable and community-oriented housing options.
Melanie has been a founding member of numerous organizations, including:
- Ashland Ecovillage, 2018, which sadly did not secure the land intended for the project
- Recode, a Portland based nonprofit working to legalize sustainability
- Southern Oregon Time Bank 2011
- Transition Town Ashland 2008 to build community resilience in response to the challenges of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis.
In addition to permaculture site design, Melanie Mindlin is available for consultation on community projects such as cohousing, eco-villages or group ownership situations. Melanie says, “I have the ambition to move to or form an eco-village in the Pacific Northwest in the coming years which will focus on becoming a people of place. If you are interested in eco-village formation, please contact me.”