Oregon State Penitentiary
An innovative healing garden for a maximum security prison.
- Salem, Oregon
- 12,940 square feet
- Spring 2019 ← Back to All
But that is exactly what a small group of inmates and Department of Corrections leaders at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) have dared to do: follow their inspiration and innovate. With hope and a vision, they reached out to Kurisu.
As Japanese gardens have done for thousands of years, this garden will offer unique opportunities for self-realization, tranquility, and peace. For inmates experiencing depression, anger, stress, and total disconnection from natural elements, recovering a sense of awe and appreciation for nature’s beauty can inspire transformation at the deepest levels.
Funding for the Memorial Healing Garden project at Oregon State Penitentiary is made possible entirely by donations from individuals both inside and outside the walls and generous grants from community supporters including the Oregon Community Foundation, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Social Justice Fund and Meyer Memorial Trust. This inmate-initiated project began with a vision from Asian Pacific Family Club (APFC) members at OSP. The project has been five years in the planning. To learn more about the APFC's mission and efforts to make the healing garden a reality, click here.
Kurisu broke ground on the Memorial Healing Garden in Spring 2019 and the project is currently under construction.
To learn more about the collaboration between Kurisu, the APFC and Oregon's Department of Corrections to create this truly unique prison healing garden, download this PDF.
The Memorial Healing Garden project at OSP still seeks your support! Funds will support garden and sustainability features such as a zen-style garden, authentic Japanese gate and bridge, solar power and rainwater collection systems. To make a tax-deductible donation now, please visit the project's partner organization, The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) at www.nakasec.org. Thank you!
To me, this [garden] will be the first place where it's all-inclusive, where everyone can go there, of any culture, of any power structure, staff, inmates. We can all go there and feel some sense of safety, some sense of peace. In this type of place, that's almost unheard of.
Johnny Cofer, Adult in Custody and Asian Pacific Family Club Garden Project Coordinator, 2017
It is amazing to see how this project and its story is inspiring people to see beyond the typical perspective of prison. We are very grateful and appreciative for all the blessings and positive responses. Hoichi Kurisu had said this to us upon our very first meeting with him, concerning how we were supposed to raise the money and gain support from the community. HK calmly expressed 'believe in yourself and in your heart that it is the right thing to do, it has a meaning.' HK's blessing has given us the strength to overcome all the challenges and barriers through this process.
Toshio Takanobu, Adult in Custody and Asian Pacific Family Club President, May 16, 2018