Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "senses"

America the Beautiful!

06/30/15 | View Comments

Where will you be this weekend for Independence Day celebrations? Like many this long weekend, you will likely gather with others in a local city park, or visit one of the many grand state or national parks. July 4th celebrations are usually quite the opposite of most sensory experiences we discuss here;  loud, busy and joyful rather than quiet and reflective. However, this weekend can be a time for you to reflect on our nation’s identity and our long standing love of green spaces.

Kids enjoying live music, picnics and July 4th activities  in the Rocky Mountains.

Kids enjoying live music, picnics and July 4th activities in the Rocky Mountains.

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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.”

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Designing for our Senses

11/04/14 | 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. This November we share in recognition of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

 

Our earliest known civilizations created landscaped gardens to experience Nature’s inherent beauty, foster human health, or display social status. Temple gardens in ancient Mesopotamia developed from the idea of a sacred grove, where lush trees hung with ripe fruit. American explorers in the 19th century were captivated by the vast wilderness of opportunity. And the 21st century will see exponential increases in urban living likely resulting in strains on natural resources and quality of life. Human understanding and assumptions about Nature will continue to shift, and we hope to contribute to the knowledge of Nature’s inherent healing power. Providing places for refuge, recreation, and community connection, urban green spaces in the 21st century have the potential to improve individual and community well-being and wellness in multiple ways 1.

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    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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