Nature Sacred News – December 2020

Hope in Action

Hope in action

Alden E. Stoner, Nature Sacred CEO

Twenty-twenty has been a year of transition for Nature Sacred.
 The same can undoubtedly be said for the world. We’ve grappled with a pandemic, as individuals and as a society; we’ve wrestled with social unrest and a bitter election season. Yet at the same time, we’ve also continued to celebrate life and take part in activities that evidence our hope for the future: We plan and prepare for it.

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9 ways Nature Sacred impacted
communities in 2020

1. We saw the opening of 15 new spaces – safely.


Fourteen of 17 planned Sacred Places in Alabama have opened as well as one in Baltimore: Bon Secours Kirby Lane Park

2. Sacred Places took on new, essential roles.


From graduation ceremonies to food distribution to voter registration — all happened in Sacred Places this year.

3. In renewed calls for racial justice, Sacred Places provided respite and safe gathering.

See Firesoul Steve Coleman’s story as one example.

Read the remaining 6 inspiring stories

Under the Alabama sun, Sacred Places grow

One of our greatest joys in 2020 (yes, joys!) has been watching the 17 Sacred Places in Northeast Alabama move toward completion, no small feat in any year. We’ve watched closely from afar as herbs were planted at the Sacred Places at Gadsden Public Library and a sundial was installed at Piedmont Healthcare. With 14 of the spaces now open, we are taking a moment to pause and reflect on this journey which began with our sending to the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama a copy of Open Spaces Sacred Places: Stories of How Nature Heals and Unifies.
The book landed on the desk of Jennifer Maddox, CFNEA president and CEO, and well, the rest isn’t just history. 

The Journal Project:

A collective, digital diary

There are deeply stirring words (and plenty of whimsy as well) to be found in the yellow journals that have been filled since we began tucking them beneath Sacred Place benches more than two decades ago. These entries offer brief yet profound commentary on what it is to be human; each page a snapshot of what happens to us when we pause for a brief moment on a bench, beneath the sky.

Springboarding off this idea, we have launched a digital journal project that invites everyone – even those with no available Sacred Place bench or journal nearby – to participate.  

Here’s your personal invitation to peruse past entries — and leave your own.

Notes from a Firesoul: John Corea

John Corea is the Firesoul of a Sacred Place nestled inside a Washington D.C. neighborhood park called Crispus Attucks where he says “magical little things” like impromptu brass concerts happen. In our most recent post for the series Notes from a Firesoul, John shares with us what his Sacred Place has meant to his community during this most trying of years.

Welcome, Megan!

Here’s another bright spot: meet Megan Cooke, Nature Sacred’s new Director of Development. Megan’s path to Nature Sacred involved stints with George Washington University, the National Wildlife Federation and Inova Health Foundation where she helped build and strengthen philanthropic communities.


Get to know her →

Support our Firesouls

Help us extend our reach to more communities across the country. Your tax-deductible gift will play a pivotal role in supporting the creation of community-led, meaningful green spaces in distressed communities, hospitals, schools, and beyond — pockets of the world where hope, health and harmony are in short supply.


Bench Stories


Our newsletter shares the latest on our work to cultivate the creation of meaningful greenspaces in every community.