Minary’s Dream Alliance, Inc. recently held its second public charette to gather and explore ideas for a long-term site transformation aligned with its mission: “to transform the lives of youth, families, and communities through education, resource development, and community engagement.”
Since its inception in 2020, co-founders Paul Tue III and Doncella Wilson envisioned a safe gathering space for underserved and vulnerable youth and families. In other words, in addition to the facility on American Legion Rd, a sacred place within the existing designed to foster the intersection of nature and healing.
Currently partnering with MDA to create a “sacred space,” Naha Srinivasan, Project Manager at Nature Sacred organization, and landscape architect Miles Bernard of South Fork Studio Landscape Architecture, Inc. have worked together to create conceptual ideas and renderings to consider for inclusion as the site transformation gets underway.
Ideas promoted for consideration are a performance space, greenhouse, wildlife meadow, bird habitat, outdoor classrooms, natural swimming pool, benches, riverwalk, and access to the river tributary for canoeing and fishing, among others. Visitors to the charrette identified their choices by applying an adhesive dot under the image of the function they would like see included.
For those who didn’t make the charrette, choices can still be made on MDA’s Facebook page.
For 25 years, Nature Sacred has partnered with over 100 communities nationwide to create public green spaces to reconnect people with nature, promote mental health and unify communities and has worked to help build sacred spaces with schools, communities, prisons, distressed urban neighborhoods, and hospitals.
Landscape Architect Miles Barnard founded South Fork Studio in 2003. His extensive background, including ASLA and RLA credentials and impeccable design savvy, has created many award-level landscape environments in Chestertown. Partnered with MDA and Nature Sacred, his South Fork Studio designed the architectural renderings for the charrette and included below. He recently helped with the placement of the Woicke sculpture installations.
The long-term sacred space project will help manifest Minary’s Dream Alliance’s mission as a place of health, healing, and learning by offering a natural sanctuary.
Here, we talk to Naha Srinivasan and Miles Barnard about the concept of “sacred spaces” and what it might bring to Minary’s Dream Alliance.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Minary’s Dream Alliance, see their Facebook page. Thanks to Harry Connolly for the majority of still photographs in this video.