Nance Klehm has been an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower for more than two decades. Her approach is centered on instigating change by activating already existent communities, and her work demonstrates her lifelong commitment to redefining the way human populations coexist with plant and animal systems on this planet.

A consultant, speaker, and teacher, Nance is internationally respected for her work on land politics and soil heath. Her work has received extensive national and international media coverage and mentioned in many books, including Leila Darwish’s Earth Repair and Sandor Katz’s The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. She won the 2012 Utne Visionary Prize and has been a two-time finalist for the Curry-Stone Design Prize.  In addition, she has lectured broadly in museum and university settings as well as for countless community groups worldwide. Most recently, she was the subject of the independent documentary Weedeater.

She currently splits her time between Little Village, a densely packed, diverse urban neighborhood in the heart of Chicago, and fifty acres of land in the Driftless Region of northwest Illinois, where she cultivates and forages medicinal and edible plants, keeps bees and a fruit orchard, raises chickens and quail, and grows for a seed bank. Her house and land offer daily practice in permaculture and urban living.

Nancy’s Social Ecologies organization acts as an umbrella for a variety of ongoing ecological and system-regenerating projects. Her most recent undertaking, Its most recent undertaking, The Ground Rules, is a unique community- and earth-building initiative that gathers organic waste from Chicago businesses and processes it in partnership with neighborhood-based Soil Centers. The Ground Rules offers soil and compost assessments, soil testing, consultations in bioremediation strategies, hands-on workshops in soil health and fertility, and compost system buildouts. Contact Nance for info at socialecologies dot net or check out the Social Ecologies list of services at

View Nance’s CV.