Touched by nature? Share your story!

Great Spangled Fritillaries. Photo by Henry Domke, http://www.henrydomke.com

Great Spangled Fritillaries on milkweed. Photo by Henry Domke, www.henrydomke.com

If you’re reading this blog, then you probably believe in the restorative power of nature, and you have probably experienced it once, or a few times, or every day of your life.

Clare Cooper Marcus and I are writing a book on therapeutic landscapes in healthcare environments (to be published by John Wiley & Sons in 2013), and we are looking to incorporate stories  – even just 1-2 sentences – by people who have been touched by nature in a positive way.

We are especially looking for stories about how a connection with nature in a hospital or other type of healthcare facility (nursing home, hospice, etc.) helped you, or a friend or loved one, or a client. Whether you are/were a patient, a visitor, a staff member, or a volunteer, if seeing or being in nature has made your life better, we want to hear about it. Or, were you ever in a situation where you or a family member desperately wanted to view or be in a garden or nature, and there was none? We’d like to hear about that, too.

If your story isn’t healthcare related but still has to do with how connecting with nature has helped you emotionally, mentally, physically, even spiritually, tell us that, too.

If you would like to share your story, please leave a comment below. This also allows others to see and hear each others’ words without having to wait for the book to come out! We will most likely use the “storyteller’s” first name and location, but this is not essential. And if this is too public a forum, you can also contact me through the TLN website: www.healinglandscapes.org/contact.

Please pass this post on to anyone else who might have a story to share.

Thank you!

Open Spaces Sacred Places National Awards Initiative – Call for Proposals

Open Spaces Sacred Places Initiative

Note: An informational webinar about the Open Spaces Sacred Places Award Initiative and RFP is scheduled for February 28, 2012 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST. For those who can’t make it, the webinar will be available on the opensacred.org website a few days after.

Press release from the TKF Foundation about their very exciting Open Spaces Sacred Places (OSSP) National Awards Program

The TKF Foundation announces the final phase of the Open Spaces Sacred Places (OSSP) National Awards Program.  The program is enacted in 2 phases, a Planning Grant Phase, now closed, and a final open call for proposals.

This national award program will fund cross-disciplinary teams of designers, research social scientists and community-based organizations to create and study a series of new public green spaces designed with the specific intent to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience through a personal connection to nearby nature in cities.

Grants will be awarded from a remaining funding pool of $4 million. Funding will be provided to cross-disciplinary teams that conceptualize, plan, design and implement a physical space, conduct associated research study(s) and disseminate findings.  TKF seeks to identify projects that are replicable in their intent and projects that are generalizable in the challenges they address to serve as potential archetypes for urban areas across the U.S.


EDRA 2012 Great Places Awards due Friday, 1/27

EDRA Great Places 2012 Call for Entries


The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) is currently accepting submissions for the 14th Annual Great Places Awards for Place Design, Planning, Research and Book.

Entries are welcome from the full breadth of environmental design and related research activities, including architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design, interior design, lighting design, graphic design, environmental psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography and the physical sciences. Projects should emphasize a link between research and practice, demonstrating how an understanding of human interaction with place can inspire design.

A panel of illustrious jurors will select winners from four categories: place design, place planning, place research, and a book prize. This year’s distinguished jurors include: Richard Haag, FASLA, BCSLA, Hon AIA, Principal, Richard Haag Associates; Milenko Matanovic, Executive Director, Pomegranate Center; Julie Parrett, RLA, Lecturer, Landscape Architecture, University of Washington; Michael Pyatok, FAIA, Principal, Pyatok Architects; and Sharon E. Sutton, PhD, FAIA, Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, University of Washington.
For submission guidelines, rules and official entry form, please click here, or visit www.edra.org.

All entries for the 2012 Great Places Awards must be received by January 27, 2012.

Open Spaces Sacred Places Award – An Extraordinary Opportunity

Stone circle with Japanese maple. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Stone circle with Japanese maple. Photo by Naomi Sachs

National Awards Initiative for Integrated Design and Research –
First webinar is tomorrow, 6/16!

Open Spaces Sacred Places (formerly the TKF Foundation) has announced its final spend down program, the national Open Spaces Sacred Places Award Initiative.

This new award program will fund the creation of significant Open Spaces Sacred Places that are designed specifically with the intent to study and communicate the impact of a specific type of urban public greenspace on users. Grants will be awarded from a total funding pool of $5 million. Funding will be provided to cross-disciplinary teams that conceptualize, plan, design and implement a physical space, conduct associated research study(s) and disseminate findings. This Request for Proposal (RFP) launches the first phase of the national awards program and will provide funding for planning grants.

This unique funding opportunity has two pieces: Optional planning grant award opportunities will be determined later in 2011, and then, in 2012, the actual full award opportunity for the visioning, collaborative planning, and creation of a significant new Open Space Sacred Place. This new program is unique in that  it includes a defined research component as an integral part of the project from the beginning. Visit their new website,  Open Sacred, for more details.

Two informational webinars will provide an overview of TKF and details on both pieces of the award program and will include plenty of time for Q &A. Sessions will be archived for later viewing.

The first webinar is tomorrow, 6/16/11, from 2:00-3:00 EST. You must register in advance for this webinar – click here to do so. All questions and responses from the webinar will be posted to the website.

The second webinar is on 7/19/2011, from 2 – 3 pm EST.

This is truly an extraordinary opportunity. I hope that our members of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network will spread the word and go for it!