Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "sound"

Trading Birdsong for Fireworks

12/29/15 | View Comments

As you celebrate New Year 2016, consider trading in the boom and lights for quiet birdsong, soft waves or a quiet garden stroll. 

Vashon Island in the Puget Sound offers bird shelter among the driftwood. On the beach, small brown birds nestle and forage among the smooth pebbles and Puget Sound driftwood. 

If you spend a few minutes outside, even in your nearby park or field, you will likely experience lowered stress, restored attention, and positive feelings and perceptions. ‘Nature’ or ‘Outside’ often conjures visual images of trees and landscapes, but the sound of flowing water, melodic birdsong, and rustling leaves also provide health benefit.

When comparing natural sounds and bird sounds, bird songs and calls were found to be the type of natural sound most commonly associated with perceived stress recovery and attention restoration.

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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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    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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