Healing from Domestic Violence
For an organization dedicated to land protection and restoration, it was both a new language and a new way of thinking. “What I mean by this ‘new way of thinking,’” says Executive Director Eric Grace, “is that we’ve now committed to providing access to nature and open space to all members of our community, especially to those who may not already be realizing the benefits to health, education and quality of life that open space provides. Simply put, we’re elevating the importance of conservation for all people.”
Jennifer Plummer, executive director of Kinderhaven, explains that Kinderhaven is more than a domestic violence shelter. It serves children of domestic violence and works within a therapeutic framework. “We don’t just provide the necessities. Our program focuses on genuine, healthy and loving relationships between our staff and the children because healthy relationships have the power to transform their lives, to repave emotional pathways marred by abuse and neglect. We help them work through the trauma with love, routine and consistency.”
Together, Kaniksu and Kinderhaven created a series of outings that were two hours per week, for eight weeks over the summer; extended over the school year. They blended fun with learning, alternating nature hikes (bird watching, collecting leaves, studying plants) with farm visits (gathering eggs, picking sunflowers, grooming horses, harvesting garlic) and included a trip to the farmers market to learn about meal planning.
Kaniksu Land Trust
Partners: Kinderhaven kids, organization leadership and staff
Staff: 4.25 FTE | 1 FTE land protection specialist for program