DIY Sustainable Design

About This Class Series

Have you ever wanted to transform your yard to make it more resilient and sustainable? Are you tired of wasting water during drought and using chemicals that harm the environment? There is a better way! Join Sustainable Solano and permaculture design educator Ojan Mobedshahi for this four-part garden design series to see how you can transform your land to be water efficient, a community asset, and an active ecosystem that is better for the planet and your wallet.

During the course, you will be guided through our design process as you take the reins on creating your new landscape. You will learn basic principles around sustainable and resilient landscape design, how to implement these across the context of your site, and leave the course with a shovel-ready plan that you can begin to implement immediately. This is the perfect course for DIY-ers that are looking for new ways to reimagine their yard and landscape, or those interested in looking at alternatives to conventional landscape design.

Session 1: Getting to Know Your Landscape

  • 6-7:30 pm, Thursday, Jan. 13 on Zoom
  • 90-minute class with 30 minutes for questions

In this session you will learn how to view the landscape as a designer. Using observational and digital tools you will learn how to map your site, and identify the unique opportunities your yard or site might present in creating a sustainable landscape. We will walk you through the visioning process of how to view your landscape and how it can integrate and further contribute to your life.

Before the next session you will be expected to create a measured base map, do site observations and create a vision board (sit-spots, wanted features, etc.)

If you miss this class a private link of the recording will be shared with you.

Session 2: Climate and Social Resilience

  • 6-7:30 pm, Thursday, Jan. 20 on Zoom
  • 90-minute class with 30 minutes for questions

In this session you will be introduced to larger climate factors that impact your site or yard, understand environmental threats and how to add resilient and sustainable factors to better prepare for future vulnerabilities and create value from your site. As a designer you will look at what your neighborhood has to offer and how you can work on building better social connections across your neighborhood to be prepared in case of a disaster or crisis.

Before the next session you will be expected to add observed context to your base map, review climate data for your site, create a neighborhood asset plan/map, and develop a water management plan.

If you miss this class a private link of the recording will be shared with you.

Session 3: Sustainable and Resilient Design Principles and Techniques

  • 10 am-3 pm, Saturday, Feb. 5 in-person at Central Solano County Location TBD

In this session you will be introduced to different design principles and techniques for a sustainable landscape, tour an installed food forest, and learn how plants can be used to provide further benefit to your yard.

Before the next session you will be expected to complete your design for your site, applying what you’ve learned and your personal vision.

Session 4: Building Community and Move to Action

  • 10 am-3 pm, Saturday, Feb. 19 in-person at Central Solano County Location TBD

In our final session together we will introduce you to next steps so that your plan is shovel-ready and you can begin implementation through the next season. You will have the opportunity to meet with the larger Sustainable Solano community and receive feedback on your design. We will review implementation resources, rebates and where to go for additional help so that you can start to transform your site.

Expected Outside Work: Participants will be expected to apply what they learned each week outside of class time as they create designs for their own yards and sites.

Fees & Registration

$80 course fee

Register here!

Full and partial scholarships may be available.

This class is limited to 20 participants.

  • Zoom classes: 6-7:30 pm on Thursdays, Jan. 13 & Jan. 20
  • In-person classes: 10 am-3 pm on Saturdays, Feb. 5 & Feb. 19

Questions? Contact Nicole Newell at 

Course Objectives
  • Learn the basics of sustainable and resilient landscape design.
  • Create and receive feedback on a design for your own yard or site.
  • Prepare to lead your own installation and transformation of your site.

While you can ask questions and get feedback on your specific design, this course is not a landscape design service. You may consult with partners and instructors for a fee outside of instruction time if you have additional questions or need further guidance that the course does not cover.


About Your Instructor: Ojan Mobedshahi

Ojan is a permaculture designer, educator, and licensed landscape contractor, founder of Happy Planet Landscaping, a design-build company based in the SF Bay Area. By working with nature’s diversity and complex interconnections, and utilizing his own diverse and complex background in urban agriculture, design, economics, education, and land development, Ojan aspires to tailor human relationships with the land so that they are not just mutually beneficial, but regenerative. Ojan is also a staff member of the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, which organizes with frontline communities to create permanently affordable and community controlled land and housing.