Co-written by TKF Foundation co-Founder, Tom Stoner, this book is based on the Foundation’s 20+ years of funding community green spaces. In these pages you will find a collection of stories on how individuals and communities can come together with a single purpose to effect transformation through nearby urban nature. This book offers examples of the variety of spaces and journal entries that offer a glimpse into visitor’s experiences. Order your copy today!
“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human.” – Thomas Berry, Catholic priest and cultural historian.
“Open Spaces Sacred Places” are public, outdoor, urban green spaces designed with a variety of purposes in mind: healing and remembrance; peace and reconciliation; rest, respite and stress reduction; reflection, meditation and response to the natural world around. Each of these spaces is a unique expression of a situation, population or place-based need that was recognized by a Firesoul – a person who burns with the idea that access to nature can be a potent solution to some of the most intractable challenges we face in some of the toughest urban environments.
An “open” space is one that is physically open, feels welcoming and is non-threatening to those who spend time in it. It is also philosophically, ideologically and culturally “open” to the public, meaning all persons, regardless of race, gender, faith, culture or belief, are invited to enter the space. The space is for use by a whole community of different people rather than just one particular group.
The word “sacred” has many definitions, but for TKF, a sacred place is a space in nature, set aside from everyday life, which is meant to invite users into a deeper, healthier and more peaceful relationship with themselves, their neighbors, and the created world. Sacred spaces are intentionally designed to lift the human spirit and offer the opportunity for individual transformation, rather than simply to provide space for recreation or relaxation. Sacred space experiences provide a time and place for respite from the pressures of the world around and an opportunity for a deeper human experience through spiritual connection to nature. Our hope is to accentuate what we believe is the increasingly critical need for more open, urban green space where individuals can connect with the earth, and in doing so, with their own spirituality.
A welcoming bench offers a place of respite and is a trademark of every TKF-funded space. Here, visitors find a yellow journal in which to share previous visitor’s thoughts and, possibly, include their own thereby creating powerful interchanges and conversations that span powerful emotions, observations and often, shared intimacies – a window into the human experience. Order your copy today!
TKF often provides copies of the book as an in-kind donation for University class, like-minded organizations, and others interested in exploring the healing aspects of nearby urban nature on individual users and surrounding communities.
If you would like to request book donations, please click here.