Around the network with Nature Sacred

Part of what makes a Sacred Place sacred is the way that the community spends their time enjoying it. Our Firesouls are thoughtful and creative community leaders and are constantly cultivating engaging and meaningful programs and events in their Sacred Places. Nature Sacred is honored to support many of these initiatives through our Enrichment and Enhancement Grant program available to all open Sacred Places. We also provide several opt-in programs that Firesouls can easily sign up for and host in their sites. This year, Yoga in the Garden is back by popular demand. We’ve also launched our new BenchTalk journaling event activity kit which encourages participants to explore their community’s connection to the national movement of finding healing in nature.  

Even though we’re barely halfway through the year, the Network has been bustling with exciting community gatherings – from spring festivals and Earth Day celebrations to garden clean-ups, BenchTalk journaling events and of course, yoga. Let’s jump in — prepare to be inspired! 

Enrichment event spotlight: Swing into Spring at Bon Secours Urban Farm | Baltimore, MD 

Bon Secours Urban Farm is a quarter-acre urban farm and community garden located in West Baltimore. Nature Sacred partnered with Bon Secours to help create a community vision for the farm. Aquaponics, an apiary, hoophouse, an outdoor classroom, stormwater remediation systems and plenty of herbs, plants and flowers make the space a lively and colorful place, while the area around the Nature Sacred Bench provides a peaceful place to relax. 

Firesouls Gerilyn Lackey and Tim Douglas work hard every day to make sure the community feels safe and included. Food giveaways, community garden shares and free educational programming encourage healthy living and help to curb the effects of living in a food desert, as many neighbors and visitors to the farm do. This year, Nature Sacred helped support Bon Secours annual Swing into Spring event. The celebration included a garden refresh after a long winter, seed starter giveaways, planting workshops and education sessions. Of course, there was also plenty of food and fun, including a stationary bike-powered smoothie station, hamburgers and hotdogs and flowerpot painting. 

The “Swing into Spring” event at Bon Secours Urban Farm in Baltimore
“Spring Fest” At Wangari Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Many other urban farm sites in the Network also hosted workshops, events and celebrations to kick off the warm season. Bliss Meadows in Baltimore hosted a series of event days, charmingly named “Days of Bliss”. Wangari Gardens in Washington, D.C hosted their annual Spring Fest, and Patterson Park welcomed folks to join their mindfulness programming series.  

Others are also planning to host similar events and programs throughout the summer, including a culinary herb gardening workshop at Village Learning Place, Crab Feast at Kirby Lane Park, and more.  

Programming for the community

Each year, Nature Sacred provides several options for Firesouls to bring organized programs to their Sacred Places at no cost and with little organizing required on their part. For the first half of the year, opt-in programs include Yoga in the Garden and a BenchTalk community journaling activity.  

Yoga in the Garden opt-in programming at The League for People with Disabilities in Baltimore

Yoga in the garden

For the second year, we’re partnering with Dee Satterfield from Blissful Body Yoga in Baltimore. Amazing Port Street Garden, Thanksgiving Place, The League for People, Filbert Street Gardens and Baltimore Clayworks are some of the sites that have and will be hosting yoga sessions through the months of May and June.

BenchTalk community journaling activity 

Last year, we published our very first book at Nature Sacred featuring a selection of the most memorable journal entries collected from Nature Sacred benches around the country. From prisons and hospitals to universities and neighborhoods, BenchTalk: Wisdoms Inspired in Nature reveals the true power of nature and community. To show our appreciation to the Firesouls for their thoughtful stewardship and community, and to remind them that they are part of a nationwide movement, Firesouls can host a community journaling event in their Sacred Places.

Nature Sacred provides all the necessary materials, as well as grant funding to support refreshments, staff time and other event costs.

St. Timothy’s School in Baltimore, BenchTalk program and Wellness Day

The activity invites participants to explore their community’s connection to nature, BenchTalk and other Sacred Places across the country by contributing to a community ‘journaling’ display. With twelve sites opting in thus far, Firesouls have once again gone above and beyond to engage their communities and activate their spaces. For more details on the program, and to check out some event spotlights, check our recent blog post.  

These exciting events, programs, and initiatives are just a portion of the creative ways that Firesouls are programming their Sacred Places.  

If you are a Firesoul and are interested in programmatic possibilities for your site, visit your Firesoul Gateway account and explore the grants and opt-in programming sections, or reach out to Hannah at