Watts Crime Survivor Healing Garden
We will build the Watts Survivor’s Healing Garden at the Reverence Project on 108th Street in Watts to support our trauma-healing through nature. We recognize that “hurt people hurt people” and seek to heal wounds created by violent crime as a means of improving public safety. Because time in naturalistic environments can reduce symptoms of PTSD, aid physical healing, and inspire civility, we will create nature authentic to California, meditative trails, and patios for quiet reflection and gathering.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
FormLA, The Reverence Project, Earth Steward Ecology
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
County of Los Angeles
City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
As the violence in Watts has declined over the past 10 years, the planned spaces must now begin to support the community's peace-building efforts. Watts residents still experience more violence than residents of other LA municipalities - as a direct impact of public sector divestment and neglect. Green infrastructure is shown to create upward spirals of resilience. It has a particularly profound ability to help survivors of violence heal and set conditions for greater community harmony and health. Ample, established tree canopy and large shrubs cool temperatures - and tempers. Birdsong, attracted by regionally native greenery, can significantly increase civility in public spaces. In essence, green infrastructure is mental health infrastructure. In contrast, hard-edged, overbuilt spaces increase danger. Simply living within an over-built environment stimulates a baseline of stress, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
The Watts Survivor’s Healing Garden at 108th Street in Watts will support community members healing from the trauma of violence. We seek to heal wounds created by violent crime as a means of improving public safety. Because time in naturalistic environments can reduce symptoms of PTSD, aid physical healing, and even inspire civility, we will create a healing garden rich with nature authentic to California, meditative trails, and patios for quiet reflection and gathering. Bioswales will help protect stormwater through vegetated, shallow, landscaped depressions designed to capture, treat, and infiltrate stormwater runoff as it moves downstream. Greenery will cool the area. The 13,000 square foot space will include cooling native tree canopy, as well as fragrant, edible and medicinal native foliage. It will be enjoyed via meditative trails, seating areas, and a community patio.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
From the 1965 Watts Riots to the 1992 Watts Truce, the community of Watts has has a profound impact on the surrounding Los Angeles County communities. Watts has been the epicenter of peace-building ever since the historic truce. 30 years later, the community has continued the peace-building work despite severe lack of investment into the community's infrastructure.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 3,000
Indirect Impact: 8,000
Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.