Our Approach

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

University of Maryland, College Park

1101 Memorial Chapel
College Park, MD 20742

The University of Maryland College Park’s interfaith garden and labyrinth rests at Memorial Chapel in the heart of campus. The garden was envisioned by a forward-thinking Student Affairs Department in partnership with an interfaith campus community, then designed by UMCP landscape architecture students themselves. Its concept originated in the students’ response to national tragedies, such as the Virginia Tech massacre and the terrorist attacks of September 11. As a way to try to process and understand such loss, students unconsciously gravitated to the spot, a soon-to-be sacred space in nature that was adjacent to the Veterans Memorial.

The Garden of Reflection and Remembrance now serves multiple university populations in diverse ways. It provides a place of respite, healing and contemplation, while catalyzing connections between multiple groups and cultures within the large campus population. For both the labyrinth and the greater memorial garden space, the Student Affairs Office offers programming opportunities which embrace multiculturalism as they encourage people to take time for reflection and renewal. The impact of the labyrinth extends well beyond the chapel and counseling uses; future plans call for its incorporation in course work and other learning experiences. A model for other universities and schools nationwide to consider their own interfaith campus greenspace, the UMCP garden and labyrinth has the potential to affect a huge number of people.

Gardened Heart Cover


In early 2016, a research team from the Adele H. Stamp Student Union – Center for Campus Life at the University of Maryland – released a publication entitled “The Gardened Heart: Garden of Reflection and Remembrance Journal Project”. The researchers set out to answer a question: “What are people sharing or experiencing through the journals?” With nearly five years of journals they narrowed the selection down to 15 journals containing 3,162 entries (including drawings). What they uncovered will surprise, encourage, motivate, astonish and produce a myriad of emotions.

Click here to download a copy.


  • Garden of Reflection and Remembrance


Denise McHugh, Coordinator of Engagement at the Memorial Chapel


UMCP Student John Prothro

UMCP Student Lauren Richter

UMCP Student Bobby Tjaden

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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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