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Rhizome Eco-Social Education Society, or RESES for short, is a registered non-profit organization that promotes ecological design education in the community. We are based in Kelowna, BC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation. We offer workshops, community events, webinars, garden tours and more! We are an organization firmly rooted in an ethics of earth care, people care, and fair share, and we seek to make our community a more vibrant and resilient place to live.


How We Got Started

The organization formed in early 2020 after co-founders Lucie, Victor, Elana, and Haruko decided that they wanted a non-profit structure to house the many projects that they were envisioning for their community. All four co-founders had been involved in permaculture projects for many years and have amongst them studied ecological design across various continents. Haruko founded Kelowna's original permaculture meetup group back in 2010, while Elana helped pioneer Kelowna's first publicly accessible food forest garden as part of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council in 2015. When Victor and Lucie arrived in Kelowna in 2017, they quickly befriended Haruko and Elana and formed a Facebook group called Permaculture Kelowna. Eventually, it became clear that there is lots of energy to move bigger projects forward, and so RESES was born! We are happy to welcome our newst member, Madi Donald, who joined RESES in 2021 and comes with a weath of experience in ethnobotany and human-nature relationships.


Meet our Members!

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Elana Westers

Elana is a certified Permaculture designer and passionate gardener. Through her company, Growing Inspired, she provides eco-landscape design services and gardening education throughout the Okanagan, aiming to leave each landscape healthier than she found it. Elana has taught gardening, composting and Permaculture workshops for the last 8 years throughout the Central Okanagan. From 2008-2017 she was a member of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council where she voluntarily coordinated the installation and maintenance of the Kelowna Food Forest in Mission Creek Park, which began in 2013. Elana designed the Indigenous plants garden at Okanagan College in Kelowna and has been working as a Permaculture and Xeriscape designer since 2014.

Haruko Kagami

Haruko took a Permaculture Design Certificate course in 2009 from Jesse Lemiuex. She then started the Kelowna Permaculture group. She has managed the Okanagan College community garden and composting garden at the EECO Centre for a few seasons with permaculture group volunteers. She organized various “perma-blitzes” which included building a herb spiral, and building & maintaining a seedling greenhouse. She also invited several great permaculture teachers including Jesse Lemiuex (Vancouver) &  Javan Bernakevitch, as well as teachers from Verge Permaculture (Calgary) and Element Eco Design (Vernon) to Kelowna to teach introduction to permaculture courses. The Kelowna Permaculture group also had an annual seedling planting party in early Spring. Haruko graduated with a civil engineering technology diploma in 2005 and works as a civil designer at CTQ Consultants. She aims to educate the engineering community with more sustainable and practical solutions. She brings the two seemingly opposed worlds of engineering and permaculture to her teaching. The Kelowna Permaculture group was closed in 2016. It was a very happy moment for Haruko when Lucie Bardos started the Permaculture Kelowna group in 2017, and Haruko believes it will be a great new beginning for the Kelowna community.


Lucie Bardos


Lucie is a community builder and permaculturist. She earned her MSc in Human Ecology in 2015 and has been working in the field of sustainability ever since. She is very much interested in the concept of social sustainability, which combines social justice, community development, and sustainability. For the past several years, Lucie has been sharing her knowledge of permaculture and sustainability via workshops and by facilitating meet up groups both in Canada and in Europe. She works as a community-based educator and consultant, and is currently on contract with the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project. She is also part of the Permaculture Women’s Guild (PWG) online PDC course faculty. Lucie also enjoys writing and is a regular contributor to Permaculture Women Magazine, hosted on Lucie is married to her fellow co-founder Victor Cobian. You can learn more about her at

Victor Cobián

Victor is a talented musician, permaculturist, and construction professional. He has been working in various fields of construction for over 15 years and holds certificates in both permaculture and natural building. He became interested in permaculture upon meeting Lucie in 2011 and has since participated in many permaculture projects both in Canada and abroad. He currently helps steward the Permaculture Kelowna meet up group and is excited to bring his knowledge of local food systems and ecological construction methods (especially Cob!) to the Kelowna Community PDC and to RESES.



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