University members are working to spruce up a small plot of land near Shrine Auditorium, gathering weekly to garden and host wellness events through the University Park Peace Garden. Camille Dieterle, associate professor of clinical occupational therapy, leads the Garden Project, which is funded by the USC Chan School of Occupational Therapy ReSPONs grant. “I have had an interest in the intersection between environmental sustainability and wellness for a long time,” Dieterle said. “Most of my teaching and work is in the area of health and wellness.”
The positive effects of participating in outdoor activities — such as cognitive restoration and physical wellness — and the lack of outdoor activities in Los Angeles inspired Dieterle to begin the University Peace Garden Project.
“The neighborhood that our University is in does not have many outdoor spaces,” Dieterle said. “I wanted to create even more outdoor spaces… for the surrounding community.”