Our Story

Here’s our take.
Urbanization is a growing trend—80% of our country now lives in cities. Today’s fast-paced, urban lifestyles can induce stress; affecting our physical and mental health in negative ways.

25 years ago, we wondered what would happen if we brought an interdisciplinary approach to restore one’s sense of balance—one that fused design, science and nature in more holistic ways to help individuals—and thusly communities—heal. Combat stress. Find renewal.

And so we did.
By assembling a team of like-minded experts in landscape design, science, and horticulture, the concept of the Open Space, Sacred Place was born. A unique kind of urban greenspace that is rooted in accessibility—the spaces are all open to the public—welcoming, and customizable to support particular urban needs. From smaller, pocket gardens to rooftops and to more expansive parks—our 130 spaces across the country share the same open, sacred characteristics designed for reflection, healing and renewal.

And never alone.
From the ground-up, our approach is rooted in community. Meaning, each neighborhood has its individual charms, cultures and challenges. Our process is collaborative, involving community input, direction and collaboration along the way. 

The impact.
Each space has its evidence—individuals moved to share their personal testimonies in the form of journal entries. Stories of healing, grieving, hope, reflection—we’ve been truly humbled by the impact these spaces have had on so many people’s lives. Modest, well-designed gardens working to revive and reverse the ill effects of today’s always-on lifestyles. Yes.

How powerful would it be to bring empirical evidence to support what we’ve learned over the last two decades? To measure—scientifically—the impact nature can bring to communities struggling to recover from unique challenges and traumas?

This is the question we asked ourselves five years ago when we embarked upon our National Nature Sacred Award Program. We’ve created six unique projects to measure the impact of our unique TKF approach upon communities in need—all varying in type, scope and needs—but all share the OSSP “DNA”.

Sign up to follow our progress—we’ll be updating you as our research becomes published—and will arm you with the evidence, the facts and the news as we have it. We’re inspired by the early results. Stay tuned!

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  • Volunteer Opportunities

    Friends of the Green Road is seeking volunteers to help with outdoor projects at the Green Road site in Bethesda, MD. Information available on their webpage (click here) or by email at volunteer@tiih.org

  • Upcoming Events

    Watch this space to for upcoming urban nature and related presentations given by members of our teams, OSSP sites, or associated organizations.

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  • NatureSacred.org

    TKF Foundation

    410 Severn Avenue,
    Suite 216
    Annapolis, MD

    Tel: 410.268.1376

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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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