In the summer of 2022, a group of collaborators from the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), Growing Up Boulder, CEDaR and ENVD began meeting about the concept of eco-healing–the ways in which connecting to nature can help communities process and heal from traumatic disaster events and create educational opportunities around climate change and natural disasters.
Growing Up Boulder conducted community engagement activities with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and students from Whittier Elementary school that focused on exploring emotions around climate change and the super fires of today. Within the first few weeks of the fall 2022 semester, a third-year landscape architecture studio, instructed by Teaching Assistant Professor Emily Greenwood, has expanded on the work carried over from summer.
Students began their design project with an exploration of emotion and tying that emotional connection into what is typically referred to as the initial research phase. In mid-September, representatives of the multi-agency collaboration presented at the Colorado Open Space Alliance conference on Eco-Healing with youth: Inspiring Emotional Resilience through Wildfire Interpretation and Climate Action. Third-year landscape architecture students will spend the rest of the semester designing interpretive education opportunities along the Marshall Mesa (and adjacent) trailhead that will be presented to OSMP and folded into the future designs for those trailheads.