Philanthropist Meg Tipper pictured above at BLISS Meadows with Firesoul Atiya Wells.
In one of her earliest memories of nature, Meg Tipper discovered her own “magical fairy house” — a lilac bush behind her home. Inside this cave of blossoms and leaves, she would play and find a sense of freedom. She would gather the blossoms in her arms and then bury her face in them, breathing in deeply. Something she still does to this day when the lilacs bloom.
Her mother Margaret, fondly called “Peggy”, instilled in Meg and her siblings a life-affirming mindset: to be good citizens through genuine interest and kindness to all and a love of nature. After receiving her degree in sociology and studying the Swedish social welfare system, Peggy returned to Baltimore to work for the Children’s Aid Society of Baltimore County and serve as a director of the Woodbourne Residential Treatment Center. Over the years, she served on many boards and was an active volunteer, supporting mission-driven organizations generously with her time, talent and treasure. In addition to being an advocate for the environment, Peggy shared her love for the outdoors through travel, gifting floral arrangements and mindfulness by encouraging others to pause and appreciate the beauty around them.
When Peggy passed away in October 2020, Meg began a journey to remember and honor her mother’s legacy and service to social justice and nature. Inheriting a portion of Peggy’s donor-advised fund, Meg connected with the Baltimore Community Foundation with whom Nature Sacred had just the week prior presented the project to create a Sacred Place at BLISS Meadows in Baltimore.
BLISS Meadows is a project of Backyard Basecamp, a nonprofit founded by Atiya Wells to reconnect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to land and nature in Baltimore City. The 10-acre land reclamation project is now the site of a community garden whose crop provides fresh produce to nearby residents; a growing menagerie of farm animals including chickens and goats; wooded trails — and now a Sacred Place.
“From the first time I heard the name — ‘BLISS’ — I knew it was the spot,” recalled Meg. “Talking to [Firesoul] Atiya [Wells] just lit me up; I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with. It was such a perfect fit for what I wanted to do to honor and connect my mom to something in the world — to her memory.”
Thanks to a donation through her donor-advised fund to Backyard Basecamp supporting construction, the Sacred Place at the BLISS Meadows Peace Pond opened this autumn.
Inspired by the Nature Sacred model of supporting ongoing stewardship of Sacred Places through the community-leaders, or Firesouls – that comprise the Firesoul Network, Meg established the Generations Fund to support site enhancements and community programming of existing Community Healing sites.
“Philanthropy is about having hope for and investing in the present towards the future,” Meg explained. “By naming it the Generations Fund, my hope is that we can honor a host of ancestors, who have loved nature and would have loved Nature Sacred, and continue to benefit these Sacred Places into the future.”
Very early in her life, Meg discovered the peace that can be found in nature. As she remembered. “For me, being outside meant being close to nature — able to walk on grass, see trees, hear water — allowed me to feel safe and comfortable in the natural world.”
Today, Meg feels drawn to support organizations, including Nature Sacred, that nurture community and create spaces where healing occurs: “We have so much disconnect — feelings of division, isolation and being apart. I want to help the world find its union, its connection. Being in nature allows us to transcend the normal confines of how we connect with and interact with others.”
“Nature is sacred. It’s something that we as a people need to re-attune to. We are all in this together — a family of creatures together on this planet.”
The Generations Fund celebrates the significant roles elders play as caregivers and stewards of their families, communities and nature. Inspired by matriarchs and patriarchs of the Cromwell and Tipper families — Kennedy, Margaret, Peggy, Albert, Meg, Kendal, Bill and Charlie —, the fund celebrates the appreciation of the beauty and wonder of the natural world and good citizenship that they exemplified throughout their lives and instilled as a generational legacy. In that spirit of familial and community heritage, the Generations Fund supports existing Community Healing Sacred Places and their Firesouls with enrichment and enhancement grants for physical site improvement and upkeep, and community programming.