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Category: Wellness

Dix Park: A Sustainable Living Model

    The design for Dix Park by MVVA is admirable in many ways, but I believe that it misses some very important aspects as we move further into the 21st Century. The park would serve Raleigh and all of North Carolina better if it became a model for sustainable living.      As a global culture, we have major challenges facing us. The global population is roughly 7.7 billion people and the estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth is 10 billion people, with this number based primarily on the amount of arable land available for growing the needed food. One aspect of a park for the future is that it would have as a foundation a pallet of food producing plants. Yet the MVVA design is promoting the old saw of ‘a collection of native plants from all across the state,’ or where they are more specific, a botanical garden for shade loving plants.      We have two excellent public gardens, the UNC Botanic Garden which promotes native plants from across the state, and the JC Raulston Arboretum, which features ornamental plants that are suited for our area, including shade loving plants. What we need is a garden thatRead More

Wellness, the Legacy of Dorothea Dix

These are excerpts from the Executive Summary of the Dorothea Dix Legacy Report. The full Legacy Report is here. Legacy: Something received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past Wellness: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” The World Health Organization Adopt a Theme of Wellness: [The Legacy Committee recommends adopting] a theme of wellness as the guiding theme for the park. What will make this park a unique destination site is a theme that honors or commemorates the past and connects it to a vision for the future. The theme of wellness will unite this place’s historical legacy, its cumulative meaning, and its destination value. [We should] adopt a broad definition of legacy in honoring or remembering all that has occurred on this land –the Native Americans that lived here, the Hunter plantation, slavery, Dorothea Dix and her crusade to establish an asylum here, construction of the hospital with slave labor, the hospital during the Civil War, a psychiatric hospital for 156 years, the patients and staff, the buildings and cemeteries, closure of the hospital, and the hospital’s legacy in mental health reform and the connectionRead More