Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "Gardens"

Overcoming the Mountain Pass

11/03/15 | View Comments

For the Lee family, their community garden represents Arirang (아리랑), a stirring Korean folk song with a message of overcoming an obstacle big as a mountain pass.”We were handing out flyers about an upcoming workshop and I saw the Lee family putting in a new garden sign. Mr. Lee sang the song to me. It was an honest, heartfelt moment. He was explaining how deeply this word connects with him, his family and his culture.”

This week, Renae Reynolds, a project coordinator and on-the-ground researcher in the Landscapes of Resilience project tells us about the dedication of the Lee family and others in their post-Hurricane Sandy community garden space at Beach 41st Street Houses.

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What Green Spaces Reveal: New Orleans 10 Years On

08/25/15 | View Comments

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. This month we examine the need for equal access to healthy urban spaces.

A decade ago New Orleans faced dramatic floods and destruction following Hurricane Katrina. This landmark of a city, famed for its culture and vibrancy, faced institutional and structural obstacles across all scales. Civic participation bloomed in response to the need for everyone to pull together.

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Connecting and Coping: An Interview with Teresia Hazen

06/09/15 | View Comments

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. This month we take a moment to examine the real, lived experience of an open, sacred green space.

This week we talked with Teresia Hazen, MEd, HTR, GMHP, Coordinator of the Therapeutic Garden Program at Legacy Health in Portland, OR. Hazen is one of our Nature Sacred National Award team members, a leader in her field, and someone who deeply experiences the healing power of nature in her everyday life.

Nature Sacred: In the past decade, there have been many online articles about Legacy’s Gardens and your esteemed career history. The interviews and features over the past few years typically focus on the gardens themselves or the science of health and nature access. Although the science and history of the therapeutic gardens is central to our talk today, I am also interested in hearing about your interaction with patients and your own time spent in a garden or green space. You have an amazing story. You were an educator and gardener for 20 years before learning about horticultural therapy in the late 1980s. And you began working with Legacy in the early 1990s. Since then you have had so much more experience and time to learn and grow. How have your interests progressed professionally or personally in the field of therapeutic horticulture?

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Open Voices News Roundup: November 25

11/25/13 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Expert Urges Following Nature in Urban Design
“To be friendly to the earth, cities like Portland can learn from it. That was the message of a Nov. 15 lecture at the Public Library, sponsored by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects. There is “boundless opportunity to improve the quality of life for all of us” by designing urban spaces around the environment, said Bill Browning, an internationally known environmental designer whose clients have included the White House and the 2000 Olympic Village in Sydney, Australia. Browning told an audience of more than 50 that those opportunities include biomimicry (designing in a way that mimics nature) and biophilia (using design to enhance human connection to the natural world). In the process of learning from and connecting to her, humans may also end up being a little kinder to Mother Nature.”

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Friday Flower: Name This Bloom!

11/22/13 | View Comments

Every Friday we publish a new Friday Flower. We ask our readers, as a game, to identify the flower. Here’s today’s beautiful bloom — anybody know what it is? (And guess more Friday Flowers here.)

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Open Voices News Roundup: November 11

11/11/13 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Volunteers Want to Help Healing with Garden Overlook
“With freshly poured concrete, two-by-fours and hammers, Keith Tidball wanted to help to build healing at Cunningham Park. The Cornell University professor was on hand Saturday for a workday for the construction of the Butterfly Garden and Overlook in the northeast corner of the park. Members of the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University, Joplin Parks and Recreation and scores of volunteers showed up Friday and Saturday to help with the work. A multidisciplinary research and design team proposed the “Landscapes of Resilience” project to study the role of open spaces in recovery. Tidball hopes that the project, when completed, will help people affected by the 2011 tornado recover from their grief.”

Community Gardens Encourage Capital Growth

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Friday Flower: Name This Bloom!

11/01/13 | View Comments

Every Friday we publish a new Friday Flower. We ask our readers, as a game, to identify the flower. Here’s today’s beautiful bloom — anybody know what it is? (And guess more Friday Flowers here.)

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 8.32.45 AM

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Open Voices News Roundup: October 28

10/28/13 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

MIT Research Reveals the Power of Placemaking
“The MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning released new research that examines the evolution of urban planning and its effects on communities. The report defines placemaking as “an innovative approach to transforming communities by creating and revitalizing open, public spaces around the needs and desires of the community.’ ‘Placemaking puts power back in the hands of the people,’ said Susan Silberberg, lead researcher of the MIT team that performed the study. ‘The most successful placemaking initiatives transcend the ‘place’ to forefront the ‘making,’ and the benefits for community can be substantial and long-lasting.’”

Children Urged to Put Away Screens and Play Outside

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Friday Flower: Name This Bloom!

10/25/13 | View Comments

Every Friday we publish a new Friday Flower. We ask our readers, as a game, to identify the flower. Here’s today’s beautiful bloom — anybody know what it is? (And guess more Friday Flowers here.)

 

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Recommended Reading: Growth through Prison Gardening Programs

10/24/13 | View Comments

A green thumb was not always a skill set prison inmates could expect to gain during their time spent in correctional facilities. But many prisons from coast to coast have started to use gardens to help rehabilitate inmates and teach them basic landscaping skills that can later be used to get a job after they have served their time.

All 18 state prisons in the state of Connecticut have garden programs for their inmates, last year producing over 35,000 pounds of produce to reinvest in the prison system, saving taxpayers’ money. But more importantly the therapeutic fruits of these gardeners’ labors have helped many find calm in what can be a very hostile environment.

“We believe that everybody has a heart and everybody has a chance for transformation,” said Beth Waitkus, the director of the Insight Garden Program that started 10 years ago at San Quentin prison. “What happens with gardening is … they reconnect to themselves. They reconnect to their feelings. They reconnect to each other as a community, a small community in the prison, and they really reconnect to nature. And, I think that offers a huge opportunity for transformation when we reconnect to ourselves and to the natural world.”

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