Mount Zion Project

"Sacred by Design: Shifting to Higher Ground through the Design of Meditation and Memorial Gardens”


An interdisciplinary team of landscape architecture, horticulture, and nutrition students have joined community partners to research, analyze, design, and communicate ideas about how meditation gardens, memorial gardens, healing community gardens, and other associated spaces can help individuals and societies shift to higher spiritual ground while remaining grounded in the principles of sustainability.

Student work and a web page developed by students help others envision, design, and celebrate “greening" efforts through landscape design.  Students in participating courses researched topics such as sacred spaces, meditation gardens, medicinal and healing plants, the role of gardens, nutrition and the use of water as a metaphor in religion.  As societies work to foster an awareness of the value of the natural world and develop acts of care that reflect this awareness, university students provide ideas about how this can be done in part through sustainable landscape design.

In the “Sacred by Design” component, students were asked to study how a variety of religions show reverence for the natural world.  Students researched and discussed ways to bring healing and wholeness to the biosphere and the whole of Creation.  Research and design projects focused on finding common ground through interdisciplinary environmental education and information services for churches, community gardens, denominations and the wider world community.