Cristy has extensive experience in both permaculture design and in education and has been practicing and teaching permaculture regularly since 2009. She uses a variety of creative techniques and approaches to address different learning styles. She focuses on isolating the most important aspects of the subject , creating context for understanding and gives students the tools and resources for continued learning and their own implementation of the subject.
In a society with information overload, she believes that it is not the amount of information one has, but the focus, relevance and quality of it that creates competence and understanding. Her goal is to assist students to achieve a deep understanding of the fundamentals of the subject that will allow them to apply the techniques in a broad array of situations, and to make that learning process enjoyable.
As a designer, her focus is on helping create abundant edible landscapes, self-sufficient sites, resilient and high yield small farms, and successful intentional communities. Specialties include soil building and remediation, water catchment and use, planning urban and rural integrated farming, energy use reduction, and building with more resilient solutions. She deeply appreciates the value of both beauty and utility, striving to meld aesthetics and practicality together to create designs that last, that work, that minimize care and expense, that produce abundantly, and are beautiful.
Over the past five years, she has been extensively involved in the locally grown food movement. Cristy is a Huegelculture practitioner. She has served on the leadership team of Gaia’s Guardian book study group to provide open discussions and exploration of permaculture techniques in the community and helped to organize and participated in the design and development of the Faith House Garden permaculture training and education center.
Cristy organized and led a book study group of “Transition Town Initiatives,” a vibrant, grassroots community initiative seeking to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition Initiatives differentiate themselves from other sustainability and “environmental” groups by seeking to mitigate these converging global crises by engaging their communities in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self-reliance and resilience. They succeed by regeneratively utilizing local assets — innovating, networking, collaborating, and replicating proven strategies and respecting the deep patterns of nature and diverse cultures in their place. Transition Initiatives work with deliberation and good cheer to create a fulfilling and inspiring local way of life that can withstand the shocks of rapidly shifting global systems.
Since 2013, she has developed program curriculum and directs education and training programs at PARC (Pinellas Association of Retarded Children) in St Petersburg, providing opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities to exercise their independence and experience life to the fullest. She provides the services necessary to turn disabilities into capabilities with learning capacity building activities that enable individuals to function in jobs in gardening or agriculture and car wash operations. Cristy shares her skills as a highly effective interpersonal communicator, her humor and empathy, as well as her understanding of human behavioral development to assist individuals in achieving their highest possible capabilities.