Sara Fisher

After the 2011 Joplin tornado tragedy, Sara Jacobs Fisher knew that it was her time to step up and bring her community back from the brink of destruction. The pain and loss caused by the tornado inspired Sara to help rebuild the Joplin Butterfly Garden and Overlook.

For this Firesoul, her profession as an art therapist and her passion for gardening and horticulture combine perfectly in her work at the Joplin Butterfly Garden and Overlook. After earning her certificate to become a Missouri Master Naturalist and Master Gardener from the University of Missouri, Sara used her training to serve as a steward of nature in her community. She has created five pollinator gardens in three different parks throughout Joplin, spreading the growth of different plants and promoting the health of bees in her city. Her drive and initiative are a large part of what makes Sara a Firesoul.

Sara finds inspiration through advocacy for the power of nature in healing and reflection.

The greatest reward of Sara’s work on the Joplin Butterfly Garden and Overlook is when her neighbors and community members develop an excitement for the space and a desire to learn.

“Sharon, a woman who lives next to the Overlook, has become a champion of the Sacred Space. She and the neighborhood take great pride in the park. Her family home was destroyed in the tornado and she has rebuilt on the same spot. These neighbors now talk about insects and watch birds nesting.”

For Sara, work on the Overlook isn’t just fulfilling a responsibility to her community: it’s an act of personal renewal as well.

“I am an advocate for the power of Nature in healing and reflection. A garden is a sacred space teeming with life. Spending time in the garden rejuvenates my soul.”

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My Sacred Place

Butterfly Garden & Overlook

Beach 41st Street Gardens in Queens, NY, and the Butterfly Garden and Overlook in Joplin, MO, are the two Nature Sacred National Awards program recipients for the Landscapes of Resilience project, which suggests that green spaces can contribute to community resilience and support recovery.

Meet Another Firesoul

Marisa Wittlinger

Marissa is resident horticulturalist for the Annapolis Parks and Recreation. She enjoys working with City of Annapolis residents and volunteers to help beautify public spaces throughout the City. Nature is a place of solitude for Marissa. As a certified Arborist, Marissa loves trees. Marissa stewards many parks around the city, but Waterworks Park is her...


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