As part of our project for Autumn 2014, Kelsey asked us each to think about the concept of ‘sense of place:’ to pick a particular place that holds some special meaning to us individually, and then write a blurb about what that place is and why it’s so important to us.
In a letter to the US Government in the mid-1800s, Chief Seattle (the Native American tribal leader for whom our great city is named) remarked “as we are a part of the land, you too are a part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.” A statement such as this is one that transcends historical bounds. It was written under a particular set of circumstances at a specific period in history, but by no means does that make it irrelevant today. We connect just as much with the land today as we did 150 years ago, and we can use ‘sense of place’ as a way to talk about these connections.
Each of us identify differently with different places–our attitudes and past experiences color the ways in which we perceive place and what our reactions to those places are. Since we all experience being in a given place in unique ways, collecting stories about our interactions with and connections to places allows us to see how each person’s story can be fundamentally different, yet still fall under the same umbrella category of ‘sense of place.’
The following posts are our accounts of a place that is particularly meaningful to each of us, and why that place holds special importance. Each story is fundamentally different from the others; this captures the essence of what sense of place is all about. Even if we were all to write about the exact same place, we are different people, and therefore will experience the same place in vastly different ways. That we all wrote about different places simply adds to the variety of responses and reflections we came up with.
Adrienne: Place of Pulse
Chris: Early Environmental Education & Lasting Impressions
–Chris, In My Backyard intern