Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "civic"

Stewardship of Civic Sacred Space

05/03/16 | View Comments

“I’ve found that it’s usually the process of coming together as a community that makes a place sacred, not simply the existence of green space.”

A visit to Tanner Springs Park tends to include observing water life.

Portland’s Tanner Springs Park provides stormwater management and community engagement benefits.


Outdoor environments, particularly in cities, can deliver transformational benefits to users and surrounding communities. The experience of nearby nature can offer sanctuary, solace, and places for mindful reflection. Civic Sacred nature spaces can aid in community healing and connection.

What does it take to support and foster a community green space? In areas with a lack of funding or community engagement, it can be challenging. In many instances, challenges are overcome because of a few dedicated community leaders. Stewards of these spaces could be an initial community leader, one who volunteers to maintain a garden, or one who regularly visits because they recognize the value and healing within. Green spaces can be a powerful community powered mechanism for recovery after natural disasters or social need response.

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Civic sacred: person, place, process

12/08/15 | View Comments

Each month in our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders and ideas advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. This December we examine the concept of “civic sacred”. 

People readily recognize the importance of positive relationships with friends and loved ones.  Relationships with places are also important aspects of a person’s wellness and expressions; more than a backdrop. Social activity and personal transformation in a green space contributes to what Nature Sacred describes as civic sacred.

Everyday encounters with nature in cities have the potential to promote inspiration, deeper thinking, mindfulness, and social and cultural connections, and may be transformational. A civic sacred green space emerges from engagement and interaction with the land, one’s body, mind and spirt, and other people. Place attachment is one concept that describes how civic sacred places may come to be.

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Encountering the Civic Sacred

12/01/15 | View Comments

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir

The Nature Sacred Principle is sponsored by the TKF family foundation, which has funded intimate, open, urban green spaces in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. for more than 20 years. The Principle asserts that exposure to nearby nature environments, particularly in cities, can offer sanctuary, solace, reflection, and mindful interaction. These transformational encounters benefit users and surrounding communities.

Banyan trees in Hawaii create community meeting spots. Credit: Eddi Miglavs

Banyan trees in Hawaii create community meeting spots. Credit: Eddi Miglavs

Urbanization is a global trend. More than 80% of the U.S. population and over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. Urban lifestyles can bring on stress, and even a sense that life is out of balance. Many people recognize that nature experiences can heal and provide respite, but assume that one must leave the city and travel to wild places to restore and regain a sense of calm.

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Creating Place

04/07/15 | View Comments

Each month in our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. In April, we talk with several companies and initiatives developing meaningful places in our cities.


“Placemaking is a quiet movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community, in every city. It’s a transformative approach that inspires people to create and improve their public spaces.”- Project for Public Spaces

Spaces designed and constructed based on the Nature Sacred Principle, presented here throughout our website, support everyday intimate and meaningful civic sacred experiences. Nature Sacred placemaking provides opportunity for a deeper human experience within carefully crafted public green spaces that offer temporary sanctuary, encourage reflection, provide solace, and engender peace and well-being.

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    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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