Grant Helps Local Non-Profit Plan Sacred Place for Youth and Families
Local non-profit Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek just received a $45,889 planning grant from the TKF Foundation. “The Space Within” planning grant will enable Groundwork to assemble a cross-disciplinary team to conceptualize, plan and design a site and structure (sacred place) at the Jackie Robinson YMCA in Southeastern San Diego. Part of the grant will also be used to conduct associated research studies and communicate scientific findings to public policy makers.
Groundwork’s proposed sacred place will be located along Chollas Creek behind the Jackie Robinson YMCA. With hopes of transforming a blighted lot into an urban sanctuary, Groundwork has enlisted the help of San Diego-based companies Estrada Land Planning and Hubbell and Hubbell Architects who will collaboratively design the sacred site and structure. San Diego State University’s Geography Department will also support the initiative by researching the needs of the community, and the implications of a sacred place for health, well being, and resilience within densely populated and challenging urban environments.
“The planning grant is the first step in this process, as it will enable us to research what a sacred place means to local residents, and how to make it a reality in Southeastern San Diego,” says Leslie Reynolds, a Groundwork board member. “Our hope is to create a safe and inspirational haven for youth and families in our area, one that can serve as a model for urban areas across the country.”
The proposed sacred place will be more than a makeover of open space. It will respond to the physical, emotional and psychological impacts of density, poverty, violence and alienation in surrounding communities. Throughout the planning process, approximately 60 children and 40 adult residents in Southeastern San Diego will participate in focus groups and workshops to inform the site selection and concept design.
In addition, participating children will contribute to a new body of research related to the therapeutic benefits to children who have access to a public sacred place. The research questions generated during the planning phase will be refined and expanded upon for use in post-construction user data generation and analysis.
“We were thrilled by “The Spaces Within” response to our planning grant RFP,” says Christine Tanabe, director of communications for the TKF Foundation. “Our goal at TKF is to support the creation of open, sacred places that enable people to connect with nature and each other.”
As mentioned, the TKF planning grant will enable Groundwork to create a plan for a sacred place. Groundwork hopes to also obtain an implementation grant from the TKF Foundation, which would make the physical construction of the proposed sacred place possible, and enable Groundwork to communicate its associated research studies thereafter.
About TKF Foundation
The mission of the TKF Foundation is to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by supporting the creation of public greenspace that offers a temporary place of sanctuary, encourages reflection, provides solace, and engenders peace.
Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek is an independent non-profit business that strives to improve the environment, economy and quality of life in Southeast San Diego. Groundwork works in partnership with the City of San Diego and with the assistance of volunteers, communities and businesses to restore creeks and open spaces, provide educational outreach on water conservation and climate change issues.
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