On the mend outdoors

A Cornell researcher will study and develop public healing spaces.

  • June 12, 2013
  • Cornell Chronicle

A Cornell researcher leads a team that was recently awarded a $750,000 National Open Spaces Sacred Places (OSSP) Award from the TKF Foundation to design, build and research spaces in Joplin, Mo., and in the New York City metropolitan area – that will focus on healing aspects of the human-nature interaction in the wake of disaster.

The first site will be built next to Cunningham Park in Joplin, where residents are recovering from a May 22, 2011, tornado that killed 158 people, injured more than 1,000 and caused close to $3 billion in damage. Early designs include a butterfly garden and overlook. The site is on three lots where houses were destroyed by the tornado and purchased by the city of Joplin to expand the park.

The New York City site is yet to be determined but will provide a healing space for residents who suffered from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the city Oct. 29, 2012, causing floods and power outages and more than $42 billion in damages in New York state.

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To learn more about the healing properties of trees and green spaces, click here to read the February 2013 Nursery Management cover story, "A Prescription for Plants."