Our Approach

Sowing the seeds for a deeper understanding of the power of nature as a healing space for individuals and communities



Kathleen L. Wolf

Research Advisor

In 2010 the TKF Foundation invited Dr. Kathleen Wolf to serve as a research advisor for the National Open Spaces Sacred Places Award Initiative.

Dr. Wolf is a Research Social Scientist with the College of the Environment, University of Washington (Seattle). She is also a primary collaborator in the Green Cities Research Alliance, a research program about urban natural resources stewardship that is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Kathy’s studies are based on the principles of environmental psychology. Her research and scholarly works are an effort to better understand the human dimensions of urban forestry and urban ecosystems. Dr. Wolf’s professional mission is to discover, understand and communicate human behavior and benefits, as people experience nature in cities. She is also interested in how scientific information can be integrated into local government policy and planning.

Dr. Wolf is a member or has professionally contributed to the Environmental Design Research Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, a technical contributor on human well-being to the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the Transportation Research Board national committee on Landscape and Environment, and the Washington State Community Forestry Council. Dr. Wolf has presented her research throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.

An overview of Dr. Wolf’s research programs can be found at www.naturewithin.info. One major project is a web site – Green Cities: Good Health – that summarizes nearly 40 years of research evidence about the health and well being benefits provided by nearby nature in cities: www.greenhealth.washington.edu.


Jay Graham

Design Advisor

Jay founded Graham Landscape Architecture in 1984. A University of Virginia alumnus with degrees in Architecture (BArch ’69) and Landscape Architecture (MLA ’72), a registered architect (since 1974), and a registered landscape architect (since 1976), Jay uses the dual training to interweave land and structure, respecting and enhancing the architectural elements, creating a perfect blend between indoors and outdoors. His most notable accomplishments can be summarized as creating relationships between people and places. A site’s cultural history and natural history are often inspiration for building the connections.

Jay’s 40 years of experience in the design of landscapes has included residential, historic, recreational, public, and commercial projects. Most recently Jay’s projects have included stewardship plans for estates in rural areas around the Chesapeake Bay and in the foothills of Maryland and Virginia. His designs for waterfront, country, and urban estates strive to be environmentally respectful and culturally timeless. He tries to ignite the clients’ interest and passion for land stewardship by heightening their awareness of the location’s unique character. His knowledge of history added to creativity and attention to detail has resulted in recognition and awards for his work.

Jay is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is actively involved in professional and community programs and has held leadership and advisory positions with the American Society of Landscape Architects, both nationally and locally. Jay has served on the board of the Neighborhood Design Center, The Washington Architectural Foundation, 1000 Friends of Maryland, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and, currently, the Hammond-Harwood House Association. He is a speaker on issues concerning landscape design, such as “Architecture in the Garden,” “The Thoughtfully Furnished Garden,” “Art in the Landscape.” His talk for Horticulture Magazine’s 2005 symposia was entitled “Reading the Landscape.” In 2003 Jay was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.


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    About Us

    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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