About this Sacred Place

Stillmeadow Community Fellowship and its PeacePark are situated in the heart of the Beechfield and Irvington neighborhoods in southwest Baltimore City, Maryland. Through this 10-acre forest the Stillmeadow Community Fellowship seeks to provide a beautiful and meditative space for their community, a habitat for birds and other wildlife, and an educational experience for those who visit on the benefits of onsite management of storm water conservation and other sustainable landscaping. Stillmeadow is ecologically unique as it hosts 3 distinct forest types on site. The US Forest Service is working with Stillmeadow Community Fellowship on a series of test plots to assess regrowth and reforestation capacity. Much of the site is very steep and therefore inaccessible, so part of the design work included finding ways to make portions of the site more accessible to those with limited mobility.  

Nature Sacred and Stillmeadow Community Fellowship have embarked on a community centered master planning project for the PeacePark with intentional nodes and areas of discovery, including a contemplative setting for the Nature Sacred bench. Through the master planning process, we brought together an ever-growing list of partner organizations collaborating with Stillmeadow on this site, and conducted a number of small-group “meanders” through the site to familiarize community members with the space and to invite them into it. 

The final masterplan reviews the origin of the idea for a PeacePark, the need for a masterplan, the existing physical and ecological conditions of the site, the community engagement process. This run-through gives people a more in-depth understanding of what was feasible to incorporate into the design at the PeacePark, why and how the process evolved as it did, and what guided the core themes of the masterplan. Then, the masterplan details 5 areas, selected through the engagement process, that will be designated as Sacred Place ‘nodes’ within the larger Sacred Place of the PeacePark, and notes the design intention for each one. Last, the masterplan outlines various stewardship plans and priorities, such as reforestation, signage and education, accessibility and universal design, ongoing maintenance and stewardship (including the Nature Sacred Firesoul Network), and volunteer priorities.

The Stone Sanctum at Stillmeadow PeacePark is one of the identified nodes within the park. One of the most distinctive features of the park is a 12-foot vertical expanse of exposed boulder, for which the Stone Sanctum is named. As one encounters the stone on the trail, it is obvious that is it is a special place – providing shelter, grounding and inspiration. The Stone Sanctum is envisioned as an outdoor worship or reflective space. Directly across Maidens Choice Run from the Stone Sanctum is the Overlook Circle, another seating area easily accessible from the main sidewalk intended to provide a place of respite within the park for those who may not be mobile enough to visit other locations.


Design Team:

Zolna Russell, Nature Sacred Design Advisor, Floura Teeter Landscape Architects

Jon Gemmell, landscape architect, Floura Teeter Landscape Architects