The Living Landscape Project
As a multidimensional approach to research and education focusing on traditional living in the modern world, The Living Landscape Project is the residential embodiment of our mission, values, and objectives at LiveLifeResources. It's where we offer learning and living opportunities intended to inspire connection to the natural world, provide real-world and hands-on experiences of sustainability and regeneration, as well as, cultivate the experience of "Third Place" in support of community resilience.
In 2020, through affiliation with UNCFoundation, The Living Landscape Project moved from the conceptual to the actual. Three (3) acres of combined clear and wooded landscape in New Hampshire began to take shape as a resource for a multidimensional approach to research and education focusing on traditional living in the modern world. With emphasis not only on sustainability but also conscious regeneration, LLR engaged in the active cultivation of vegetable, herb, and flower gardens. Special attention was paid to the cultivation of native plant species, pollinator support, and soil regeneration.
For educational and research purposes, LLR added a workshop shed and greenhouse, as well as a consciously creating outdoor meeting and meditation spaces in complement with the landscape.
The Heart of a Village
At the beginning of 2020, LLR embarked on a community-based project identified as “The Heart of the Village”. What began as an effort to save a local village store turned into an endeavor to simply cultivate and nourish the potential for “The Third Place” within our local community.
Ray Oldenburg (1989) identifies the “Third Place” as an important anchor of community life, facilitating creative interaction that serves to nourish and regenerate not only participating individuals but also the surrounding environment.
Third Places serve as neutral hubs of collaboration, establishing a sense of “home away from home”, encouraging the experience of rootedness and sense of place, allowing for not only physical and mental regeneration but also regeneration of the spirit and soul.
When rural communities lose access to markets and cafes within their local township, they lose access to life-enhancing “Third Places”. Not only do they suffer the material poverty of decreased access to food and other staples but also the life-enhancing access to deeper connection with their neighbors and community.
In response to the events of 2020, LLR decided to forego the purchase of additional property and focus solely on the cultivation and nourishment of the Living Landscape Project with the addition of intending to provide the possibility of “The Third Place” and appropriate connection and support for the community despite the isolation required for Pandemic response.
A Sweet Endeavor
Two days in the week, in conjunction with Sweet Pea Kitchen and other local artisans, the Living Landscape’s workshop shed transforms into a place to purchase locally generated items and more importantly as an informal hub of community connection. We are eager to continue to nurture this growing heart hub into 2021 and beyond in support of the health and well-being of our community.
Additionally, in establishing The Living Landscape, LLR hopes to facilitate reconnection with the natural world. Our society continues to face an ever-increasing mental health crisis.
LLR believes that by reconnecting with the earth and natural surroundings, not only from a survival perspective but also from a deep and soulful appreciation, we can begin to assuage the hurts of wider society and facilitate regenerative actions and participation.
A Helping Hand
In 2020, we established a relationship with the Winchester Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary after rescuing an injured Barred Owl from the roadside. The owl, since dubbed gwahardd (Welsh for barred), recovered as best as possible given the state of injury to its wing and continues to live at Winchester Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary as a companion to other young owls. Additionally, we have encountered for rescue several other owls and one rabbit in the year 2020.
We have also, since cultivating a more naturalized habitat in the forested areas, been visited by black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, and a number of other wild creatures.
We have also attempted to create life-enhancing habitat for the various native birds in the area, including houses, appropriate feed in winter, and all-season, haven-friendly flora and fauna.
In cultivating our garden areas with wildlife in mind, we have encountered numerous toads, frogs, and other native amphibians, as well as a plethora of pollinators. We have intentionally cultivated the landscape to facilitate a resurgence of fireflies and other struggling insects.
It is our intention to continue this endeavor to inspire appreciation for the natural landscape and its inhabitants.