Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "therapy"

Don’t forget your pen

10/06/15 | View Comments

In addition to the health benefits from interacting with nature, urban green spaces provide opportunities for self-reflection and quiet. One overlooked benefit of community green spaces are the benches and places to rest, think and write.


Each community green space supported by the TKF Foundation includes an iconic bench. The benches are made from reclaimed pickle barrel wood that is more than 100 years old. They are an integral part of each civic sacred place. A specially created waterproof, blank book and pen combination – located beneath the bench – invites visitors to an Open Space Sacred Place to articulate their experience. Visitors share words or images of the experience of being in the space. These are now shared with our online readers through #benchstories. More than a simple diary, record, or log of daily events, each journal is a collection of inspiring thoughts and reflections that attest to our need for opportunities to connect with each other and be in nature.

For many, writing in a journal can provide therapeutic and creative benefits. Writing in a journal about daily events, your feelings, your goals or something that troubles you are all known to benefit health in different ways.

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The Fine Details: Surprising Outcomes of Nature and Health Research

09/29/15 | View Comments

The Nature Sacred Award Initiative supports several projects investigating how humans benefit from being outside. One of these research projects is combing through the fine details of this overarching research endeavor using eye movement technology. Kardan and colleagues (2015) are investigating what we notice, focus on, prefer and feel when we view nature images. These findings will help landscape designers and therapists understand how to design a nearby nature space. In this newly released study, participants viewed images of natural scenes and were asked to either memorize the image, search for an object, or rate their preference of the scene.

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Designing for Health

11/18/14 | 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.

Recently, researchers and landscape architects collaborating in TKF’s Nature Sacred Award program met for a multi-day meeting. The convening coalesced into an impromptu group discussion about how to encourage more evidence-based landscape design. How can landscape architecture firms include more scientists and health practitioners in their teams? Or, how do we promote healthcare design standards that practically meet user needs?

The Elizabeth & Nona Evans Restorative Garden, Cleveland Botanical Garden

Path gradients were carefully calculated to minimize fatigue and to provide subtle places to pause and rest, enjoy a fragrance or admire a focal point. Photo: ASLA

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Support Your Immune System

10/14/14 | 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 October we share in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In 2014, about 295,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women1 . Receiving a cancer diagnosis is not a welcome life challenge for anyone. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 3%.

After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, a patient coordinates with her doctor and other support systems to choose the right treatment options. Undergoing chemotherapy is part of the treatment for most (but not all) breast cancer patients. In the process of killing cancer, chemotherapy also decimates human immune functioning. Patients are more susceptible to other illnesses and simple colds because their body’s defenses are weak. And for some patients in late stages of cancer, the radiation required to combat cancer cells causes more harm than good.

How can everyday natural landscapes contribute to the health and well-being of breast cancer patients and survivors?

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    TKF Foundation

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    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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