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Open Spaces Sacred Places



June 12, 2013

JoplinSitePlan from Cornell Chronicle

A new healing garden is destined for Joplin, Missouri, where a 2011 tornado killed 158 people, injured over 1000 and caused nearly $3 billion worth of damage.

Covering a site where 3 homes were destroyed, the new park will include a butterfly garden and overlook and is based on the work of a research team led by Keith Tidball from Cornell University, and Erika Svendsen, of the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in New York City. The team has been awarded a $750K grant from the TKF Foundation’s ‘Open Spaces Sacred Places’ (OSSP) to focus on the healing aspects of the human-nature interaction in the wake of disaster. The park will be designed by researchers at Drury University.

Joplin Missouri after the 2011 tornado. Photo KOMUNews

Joplin, Missouri after the 2011 tornado. Photo KOMUNews

Another healing space will be built in New York City for those who suffered from Hurricane Sandy.

Tidball also co-ordinates the New York Extension Disaster Education Network and has published a book called ‘Greening in the Red Zone‘ which investigates how well-designed green spaces can help with community disaster recovery.

OSSPs are required to include a portal, paths, a “feature that encourages quiet, fascination, joy and spiritual connection with nature,” and surrounding design elements with plantings, trees or fencing to help create a separate and natural atmosphere, according to the TKF Foundation.

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