Permacultivate is a non-profit permaculture organization serving the Schuylkill Valley bioregion of Pennsylvania. We specialize in regenerative urban permaculture.
Permacultivate is an educational non-profit organization that facilitates the growth of regenerative, resilient human environments and healthy, productive communities through permaculture education, demonstration, and consultation initiatives.
Board of Directors:
Eron Lloyd, President and Managing Director is a Reading native who has been involved in efforts to improve the city for over 20 years. He has served in management-level positions in nonprofits and currently serves as the Mayor’s Special Assistant for Policy and Sustainability for the City of Reading. He has been trained and certified in a number of advanced specializations, including Permaculture Design, Commercial Urban Agriculture, the Natural Step, and ISO 14001.
Brian Twyman, Vice President and Outreach Coordinator, is a lifelong resident of Reading. After graduating from Central Catholic in 1991, he completed a B.A. in Social Welfare from Bloomsburg University 1996 and a Masters of Social Work from Marywood University in 2005. He currently serves as a mobile therapy social worker and coordinator of the Reading School District and City of Reading recycling partnership that was initiated last year. Brian continues to give back to our community by positively representing leadership in our schools and neighborhoods through community outreach and social work advocacy.
Lori Kaplan, Secretary and Director of Operations, has a rich history with the City Park Greenhouse – the hub of our Reading Roots Urban Farm project. In the 1980s, when the Greenhouse was nearly torn down, Lori was an integral part of an organization that formed to save it: The Friends of the Greenhouse. Lori has brought a combination of passion for horticulture, experience working as a teacher, and her history with the Greenhouse together in a way that perfectly complements our team. Lori also volunteers with horticultural projects in the community, including helping to organize the beautification of the Penn Street corridor.
Sarah Jacobson is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Temple University, where she specializes in urban sociology and sustainability. Her passion is in learning and teaching about how US Cities can be retooled with sustainable practices to better prepare us for an uncertain future. She is an adjunct professor at Albright College, Alvernia University, and Temple University. As a Reading native and resident, she finds it imperative to put her academic work into practice and finds ways to do so through her work in Permacultivate and on the Mayor’s Sustainability Committee.
Anthony Calloway brings to the team his background in education and educational administration. As a principal in the Reading School District, Mr. Calloway is familiar with the best ways to engage youth, teachers, and administrators in an effort to facilitate the educational component of our mission. One of Permacultivate’s first school aquaponics installations was at Mr. Calloway’s school, The Millmont magnet school for Agriculture, Science, and Ecology. Through his leadership, Permacultivate was able to create a living demonstration of permaculture and to reach his students directly through assemblies and involvement in the school’s ecology club.
Philip Wert has an extensive background in Permaculture Design, and has studied under Dave Jacke, a pioneer and leader in the field of permaculture-based ecological design practices. Educated and field-tested as an archaeologist, Phil is now a practicing high school teacher. With a background in these three areas, Phil is able to offer a systems-approach to permaculture training and design, taking into consideration the interaction between people and their environments in his education and consultation work. In addition to his work with Permacultivate, Phil serves as a council member for the Borough of West Reading and also serves on their Environmental Advisory Council and Planning Commission.
Neil Brantley, who is passionate about urban agriculture and working with disadvantaged communities, has worked in varied capacities providing services to inner-city populations. Permacultivate’s roots are in Neil’s RENUE project (Reading Embracing Nature in Urban Environments), which was started in an effort to get Reading residents more connected to their limited natural spaces through the transformation of vacant lots into community gardens. Neil now lives and works in Philadelphia where he continues this work, but remains actively involved in Permacultivate’s efforts.