Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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USC Peace Garden
About the Garden

USC Peace Garden helps people connect to nature in their daily lives.

Camille Dieterle | Photo by Hannah Benet

Camille Dieterle | Photo by Hannah Benet

USC Peace Garden, led by Camille Dieterle, Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy, transformed a little-used lot near USC’s University Park Campus into a garden wellness space that is being used for education, research and programs serving the community. The purpose is to promote and demonstrate environmental sustainability, social and environmental justice, health promotion and wellness and community safety.

What is a Peace Garden?

A place to connect to nature in the heart of the city.

USC Peace Garden has weekly Open Gardening Hours. Some frequent activities happening during Open Gardening Hours include: maintenance and care for vegetables, fruit trees and California native ornamental plants, composting, bird watching, sign-making, and other as-needed tasks for the garden. We also host workshops, volunteer days and other events.

People / Partners / Affiliated Groups

Peace Garden is designed to attract partners and participants from around the University and the surrounding community ongoingly. Current partners include Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, the USC Office of Sustainability, SOLA Community Peace Center, USC Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, USC Arts & Climate Collective (ACC) and USC Landscape Architecture. (Planning for future partners includes the DPS Cadet program, USC Hillel, Annenberg’s Civic Paths and more to come.)

Two of our staff positions at the garden are undergraduate interns from the Presidential Sustainability Interns Program, from the USC Office of Sustainability. We also have several occupational therapy graduate students who host programming at the garden.

In the Media

Growing by design
When designing the USC Peace Garden, landscape architect student Daniela Velazco prioritized people and planting.
Mike McNulty, in USC Chan News | April 21, 2023

Peace garden brings community greenery
The community garden facilitated numerous sustainability initiatives that provide benefits to the wellbeing of both students and the environment.
Erin Walton, in Daily Trojan | September 29, 2022

Sowing seeds and community
Learn about the USC Peace Garden Project on this week’s episode of See It Live.
Mimi Geller, in USC Annenberg Media | March 31, 2022

Peace garden, narrative research study selected for post-pandemic initiative funding
Innovative community-focused projects are part of USC Chan’s $2.5M ReSPONs Initiative.
Mike McNulty, in USC Chan News | February 25, 2022