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By on January 30, 2024

Exploring Connections Between Green Spaces & Safer Communities

This episode explores the connection between green spaces and domestic and sexual violence prevention, specifically in rural areas. Our guests from Hope Shores Alliance and the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence discuss the importance of community gardens and their impact on food security, mental health, and community connection. Learning from indigenous wisdom and connection to nature, as well as the unique challenges and opportunities in rural greening, Hope Shores explains the early stages of their greening project:  creating a survivor-led garden, and the hopes and dreams for the garden.

To download a transcript of this episode, click here.

Listen to “Exploring Connections Between Green Spaces & Safer Communities” on Spreaker.


  • Paige Allia, Hope Shores Alliance (she/they)
  • Andrew Balk, Hope Shores Alliance (he/him)
  • Sarah Carter, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (she/they/he)

Resources mentioned in this podcast


00:00 Introduction and Welcome
01:07 Introduction to Greening and Growing Web Conference
03:00 Introducing the Guests and Their Backgrounds
04:11 Understanding the Coalition and Local Partner Relationship
05:10 Exploring the Connection Between Green Spaces and Safer Communities
07:34 Paige’s Experience with Green Spaces and Community Gardens
09:38 The Importance of Greening in Rural Areas
10:48 The Intersection of Green Spaces and Healing
11:41 The Coalition’s Interest in Green Spaces and Sexual Violence Prevention
14:36 Recognizing the Importance of Indigenous Wisdom and Nature Connection
16:28 The Need for Innovative Strategies in Sexual Violence Prevention
19:26 The Unique Challenges and Opportunities of Rural Greening
23:35 Understanding the Rural Area Served by Hope Shores Alliance
27:11 Addressing Food Insecurity and Poverty in Rural Communities
28:55 The Connection Between Greening and Food Sovereignty
30:52 The Healing and Psychological Benefits of Green Spaces
35:21 The Early Stages of the Greening Project
37:47 Creating a Survivor-Led Garden
41:47 The Hopes and Dreams for the Garden
51:44 Spreading Love and Knowledge
52:25 Closing Remarks and Ways to Connect