"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.

Photo Analysis of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Central, SC.

Photo Analysis of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Central, SC.

To see a close-up of the site analysis, click on the picture (PDF format).
(If you need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's FREE), click here)

Below are photos of Clemson University students working on the project.  Students in this HORT 461 project,
"Problems in Landscape Design",included Michael Anaya, Renee Boyer, Valerie Forth, Morris Freeman, Jr.,
Adrian Henson, Jason Horton, Jeremy Kelly,Tiffany May, Adam Ormsbee, Michael Parks, Mark Sartain,
Diane Schillow, Jason Somerville, Amy Sturdy,Jeremy Thorne, Nathan Tidd, Carmen Turner, and John White.

To see a close-up, click on the picture

Large brick building
Students in the woods
Entire group on the steps
Entire group on the steps
Entire group in front of a brick building

Brick building
Large white house
Trucks between two buildings
Street view of a church

Another street view of a church
View of the church
View of the church
Utility work ahead
Church yard

Brown building


HORT 461 Student Site Analyses and Designs

For more information on how religions show reverence for the natural world, visit the following links:

American Scientific Affiliation
ESA—Evangelicals for Social Action
Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science
Center for A New American Dream
Society for Human Ecology
Center for Environmental Philosophy
SRT (Society, Religion, and Technology) Project
Earth Ministry
Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship of Clemson (UUFC)


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