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Landscape that Restores Life - Solutions at the Root

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Published on Nov 28, 2012

Throughout major cities in the United States, youth and children are seeming disconnected from their environments, violence and aggression is becoming a more frequent and adapted behavior. Homicide rates are high in Detroit with more than 85% of these homicides resulting from guns. Gun violence is increasing and taking too many lives. Our practice model is geared to providing opportunities to remember these lost lives while educating children and youth about the values of Empathy through Landscape Design. This practice will be implemented as a summer day camp program in which we hope to target children in disadvantaged neighborhoods and young youth at risk. As children engage learning about the environment the class will also focus on developing social values through empathy and instilling principles that educate on how to respect, care and help one another by sharing life experiences. Nature has been proven in various studies to enhance social and psychological health, and benefit cognitive development in children -- thereby reducing negative behavior, violence and aggression. This proves the significance of educating skills of empathy in an environment that increases social ties between individuals. Throughout this program children will engage in landscape design and with the newly obtained skills and lessons learnt to aid in the development and growth of urban park memorials to remember those lost to violence. Overall the children will learn to work together, share and embrace diversity. The initial start-up of the practice model is to be developed through the Ashoka (changemakers.com) funding opportunities for practice ideas advocating social change. Potential partners will also include Greening of Detroit.

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