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Seeing Nature’s Mind | Regenerating Place
April 27 – May 2, 2018

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Celebrate May Day and the arrival of spring by embracing the land around us at Seeing Nature’s Mind | Regenerating Place.

Join us for an extraordinary several days exploring the power of patterns of nature in the Catskills, learning to see nature and place as both inspiration and guide.

Two workshops offered together with our partners at 7group, a renowned regenerative design and consulting firm. Featuring internationally recognized living systems specialist Joel Glanzberg and regenerative leader, John Boecker.

Come to both sessions (for a special price!) or join us for one, and discover how the land around us can provide us the answers we seek, in design, in community, and in life.

These workshops are a part of Catskills Trout Tales, an innovative regional campaign celebrating the streams, forests, and wildlife of the Catskill mountains.


Our thanks to our sponsors from USGBC Central Pennsylvania,  USBGC New York Upstate, USGBC Long Island, and the Good Work Institute.


• Join us for both workshops for a special price, or register for one
• Evocative, challenging ideas, experiences, and conversations.
• Lodging or primitive campaign on a superb 19thC mountain estate with 33 forested acres to explore.
• A newly imagined Catskills cuisine: innovative, fresh and local
• CEU credits available through AIA and the US Green Building Council


Seeing with Nature’s Mind: Problem Evolving for a Living World
With Joel Glanzberg
7 PM Friday, April 27 at 7 PM to 11 AM Monday, April 30

“Most of our problems are caused by thinking differently than Nature works.”
–Gregory Bateson

Patterns are the language of life, our original mother tongue. By triangulating the perspectives of traditional tracking (pattern reading), living systems thinking (pattern thinking) and regenerative design (pattern design), we can relearn to see with Nature’s mind and act as essential members of this living world with essential roles She is literally dying for us to play.

Because all living systems follow the same patterns, learning to read them reveals where and how we can contribute to growing their health. We need to learn how to be open observers, clearing the mirror of our minds to see behind the surface to the workings of the life of systems and how to find our place as active participants within them.

This workshop will be useful for designers, artists, and practitioners of all sorts, as well as anyone interested in awareness and seeing the world in a different way. It is open to all levels of abilities. Though we will be using our bodies, it will not be overly rigorous and appropriate for all physical abilities. Exercises exploring the patterns in our bodies, our breath, the landscape, and our minds will take us from verbal and non-verbal dialog to movement, as well as silent observation, learning visceral ways to experience how living systems work, and how to take our effective places within them.


Regenerating Place: Whole-Systems Design and Planning
1 PM Monday April 30 to 5 PM Wednesday May 2
With John Boecker and Joel Glanzberg

Join us in learning together how to engage regenerative design and development in the places we shape, using Spillian as a living lab.

For over two years, John Boecker has been working with Spillian and its community to understand it as a place of regeneration for both people and the land itself. In this workshop, we will dive deep into the master plan for the 33 acre estate, learning how we can understand its unique identity as we imagine the future of its vision, its historic buildings, its landscape, and its stakeholders.

Working in this way awakens a deep and caring sense of place that transforms how we see humans as partners in the ongoing evolution of living systems. Together we can improve the quality of life for all species as we co-create a vision for our built and natural landscapes and our communities by embracing the health of the whole, not just the pieces.

The second in a series of Spillian/7Group regenerative planning workshops. For all those who are seeking a holistic way of understanding and implementing design for landscapes, the built environment, and communities.



Both Workshops Registration: $675 until April 20. $825 after that date.
Seeing with Nature’s Mind: $395 until April 20. $485 after that date.

Regenerating Place: $315 until April 20. $385 after that date.

If you’d like to bring a larger group of friends or colleagues, please contact us for special  group pricing.

Fee includes chef-made meals, materials, and programming.
Evening cash bar, lodging, and gratuities not included.
Note: This fee is for the workshop. If you’d like to stay in the mansion, please choose one of the rooms on the registration form. We are also offering primitive camping on site with your own gear. Commuters welcome.

Learn more about the marvelous lodging in the Spillian mansion here. 

Lodging in Spillian Mansion Both Workshops: $465-$525
Lodging in Spillian Mansion Seeing Nature’s Mind: $285-$325
Lodging in Spillian Mansion Regenerating Place: $225-$275
Primitive Camping Onsite: $25 per person
Continuing Education Certificate: Free!



Joel Glanzberg

Joel has been a builder, farmer, teacher, writer, storyteller, naturalist, and permaculturalist for over 30 years. His early work establishing the site and research behind Flowering Tree Permaculture and is featured in both Gaia’s Garden and Our Home“Our Home Book” as well as Brad Lancaster’s Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Vol. 1, and A People’s Ecology, Greg Cajete ed.. Joel is a founding partner of Regenesis Collaborative, which came together as an integration between permaculture and Living Systems Thinking technologies. Its founding was a response to the realization that so many of the blocks to implementing Living Systems Design work were not physical, but in people’s understanding and thinking. Joel’s work with the Tracking Project provides another approach to understanding and working with patterns and the natural world, as well as techniques for accessing the minds required. Learn more about Joel’s work on patterns and regenerative design at patternmind.org.

John Boecker

John is a founding partner in 7group, an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary consulting firm focused on green and regenerative development. As an architect, his practice has focused exclusively on green buildings and integrative design since 1996. He served on the LEED Steering Committee from 2002-2009, and he Chaired the USGBC’s national LEED Curriculum Committee from 2002-2007. Along with his 7group partners and Bill Reed, he co-authored The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building, a seminal book published by Wiley in April, 2009. He also co-hosted with Bill Reed the national Voice America radio program, “Building Deeper Green: Reframing Sustainability.” As a highly sought keynote speaker, John has lectured on the benefits of integrative design and regenerative development in 35 states and 14 countries. He has served as LEED Faculty since 2002, and he was appointed a LEED Fellow in the inaugural class of 2011.


has been a leading sustainability consulting group for over 20 years. These workshops mark 7group’s launch into its newest iteration of developing the capacity of projects and organizationsto affect how humans regenerate life through building.


Spillian: A Place to Revel

Spillian is a portal for imagining…a retreat for imagining, grounded deeply both in a sense of place and of play, in history and possibility on an extraordinary historic mountain estate.


From Our Sponsors…

US Green Building Council Central Pennsylvania

USGBC Central Pennsylvania — through its members, board and committees — focuses its work in three main areas: education, advocacy and outreach. We represent 34 counties in the central part of the state, including the state capital and a population of over 4.2 million people. Our efforts include regular educational and networking programs, GreenCon, numerous service projects, and an annual awards program honoring innovative sustainable design.

US Green Building Council Upstate New York

USGBC New York Upstate members and Market Leadership Advisory Board are a diverse group, and are passionate about green buildings and sustainable design. As a member of USGBC New York Upstate, you’ll access a diverse, dedicated community of professionals — who design, construct, manage, finance, insure, maintain, own, and occupy buildings. Tap into their experience; share your own knowledge; and help us all transform the built environment!

Good Work Institute

Founded in mid-2015, The Good Work Institute runs educational programs and enterprise support services that aim to assist these local community members and their organizations as they turn their aspirations for a better tomorrow into specific actions taken on behalf of the people and places of the Hudson Valley. Our mission to educate and connect a network of local community members and actively support their collaborative efforts to regenerate their places.


Register Now!