The U.S. Green Building Council LA has chosen the city of Watts to house its 2022 Legacy Project, which will be a healing garden for survivors of violent crimes.

The Reverence Project’s Survivor’s Healing Garden will serve as a space for community members to find tranquility and nature right in their own neighborhood.

Adding a piece of nature to an urban space can have a significant impact on a community. Nature can help raise life expectancies, can help survivors with PTSD, and help someone’s overall well-being.

The garden will be located directly across from housing units with hopes of also addressing local environmental issues.

Project leader Oya Sherrills plans on filling the 3,150-square foot outdoor space with native California foliage along with meditative trails.

“Just fifteen minutes in nature can uplift health,” Sherrills said in a statement. “For years, The Reverence Project has driven survivors 45 minutes to an hour to reach green spaces and wellness services. During the pandemic, this wasn’t an option. We all need nature in our communities that people can easily walk to.”

First launched in 2016 USGBC LA works annually to fund a new green project to a community. The Legacy Project Committee works hard to select a new proejct every year with goal of impacting a commuity in educational and sustainable ways.

“This project provides the opportunity for our investment of funds, time, and expertise to have an outsized impact on the resilience of the community’s residents and the region’s environment,” said Ben Stapleton the USGBC-LA Executive Director. “While private investments cannot catch up to inequities in public funding, we are hopeful our work here builds more awareness and connects with people in the community while showcasing the importance of helping Watts draw its fair share of public funds as well.”

Cities across LA have suffered with a lack of green spaces. Watts has just 0.65 parks per 1000 residents. It also experiences temperatures 4.7°F degrees hotter than the city average.

This project also has plans of encouarging local residents to have a greater value in urban greenery.

There will be multiple volunteer days for communtiy members to come to the garden site and assist in numerous activites to help it come to life.

  • Thursday, July 28th, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 27th, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 25th, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.


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