live / 2015

The Good Grief Garden

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by The Dinner Party, The Kitchen Widow, Hope After Project, First Seating

We envision a pilot community garden whose central purpose is to do what food has done for millennia: To satisfy not just empty stomachs and our need for physical health, but our social and emotional needs and our hunger for community. The garden will serve as a center of healing for those navigating grief, where individuals of all ages can get their hands dirty with others walking the same paths, discovering over shared meals and shared experience that they are not alone.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • East LA
  • South LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Mobilize for systems change

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics?

  • Access to healthy food
  • Obesity rates
  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We will measure our success on three levels:

  • Direct engagement, as measured through number of volunteers, number of visitors and frequency of use by members of the local community (with a focus on those with limited access to healthy food), number of meals served, and diversity among participants.
  • Cultural reach, as measured by number and reach of press hits and social media shares, number of toolkit downloads, etc.
  • Self-perception & perception of others: Through surveys & facilitated reflections with dinner guests/visitors throughout the year, we will examine the garden’s impact on participants’ feelings of physical and emotional well-being, mindset and feelings of agency, and empathy toward others both within and outside their own schools and communities.

We aim to realize a day in which those who have experienced trauma and loss are recognized not as objects of pity, but as better listeners and better leaders, characterized by profound empathy, resilience & agency.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support