Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "Bench stories"

“Life is a Treasure…” #Benchstories #Naturesacred

05/06/16 | View Comments

Today’s Bench Story comes from the journal in the Open Spaces Sacred Places at the Stadium Place – Thanksgiving Place Labyrinth. #Benchstories are collected from the journals found in all TKF Foundation Open Spaces Sacred Places.


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Exploring the Diversity of TKF Open Spaces Sacred Places

07/09/15 | View Comments

For about a month now we have published journal entries found at TKF Foundation’s Sacred Places. Published every Friday, these #BenchStories share some of the thoughts, feelings and experiences of visitors as they stop for a moment to soak in the surroundings. For the most part, these journal entries have been fairly straightforward–a visitor watching the snow fall in Mt. Washington Arboretum, another comparing their own growth and transformation to the change of the seasons. For the most part, the Bench Stories so far have been fairly straight forward. They stand on their own without needing to know specific details about the location where they were written.

Tomorrow’s Bench Story is a bit different (and yes, you will have to wait until Friday to read it). While the message is universal, when you consider the context in which it was written, the words take on a much more complex meaning. You see, tomorrow’s Bench Story was written by a prisoner at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, MD.

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Take a deep breath, listen to your self.

06/02/15 | View Comments

In our Open Voices blog we typically share insight from community leaders. This month, we shift our focus from the designers and researchers and take a moment to examine the real, lived experience of an open, sacred green space.

Last week our hearts were moved by the inspiring and revealing journal entries in a West Baltimore Open Space Sacred Place.

Throughout the country, small public green spaces offer a moment of respite and a place of healing. These spaces, supported by the Nature Sacred program, feature a bench with a waterproof community journal tucked inside and available for anyone who wishes to contribute their thoughts. Fern Shen of the Baltimore Brew writes:

“One way to learn what people are thinking and feeling in Baltimore’s struggling Westside, where worldwide attention has been focused since Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, is to go to a tiny pocket park called The Choose Life Memorial.”

An entry in West Baltimore's Choose Life Memorial park. Photo: Fern Shen

An entry in West Baltimore’s Choose Life Memorial park. Photo: Fern Shen


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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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