About this Sacred Place

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines works to address the needs of their community by serving as a collaborator, supporter, and nexus point for partners working in the community. This includes providing training and grant opportunities for local nonprofits, and connecting passionate donors with local nonprofits that are aligned with their interests as well as resources on philanthropy. 

In seeking to expand their office space into a campus, the Community Foundation has undertaken the conversion of a parking lot into a public plaza for use by staff, partners, and neighboring residents. Nature Sacred is partnering with the Community Foundation and the local landscape architect in ensuring that the design reflects input from multiple stakeholders and Nature Sacred’s four design elements.

In the Sacred Place, perforated screens and understory trees shade the site and provide a sense of enclosure. Prairie grasses sway in the wind, evoking Iowa’s native plant palette. Retaining walls and benches provide ample seating in the space, and a water feature bubbles quietly, a focal point. The Sacred Place is a compact nook that extends the Community Foundation’s gathering space beyond the building into the outdoors. It’s both the antechamber to the main entrance and a space for indoor/outdoor hybrid events.


Design Team:

Vernon Hustead, Nature Sacred Design Advisor

Devon Moody, Confluence, Landscape Architect