People develop a "sense
of place" through experience and knowledge of a particular area.
A sense of place emerges through knowledge of the history, geography
and geology of an area, its flora and fauna, the legends of a place,
and a growing sense of the land and its history after living there for
The feel of the sun on your face or the rain on your back, the rough
and smooth textures of the land, the color of the sky at morning and
sunset, the fragrance of the plants blooming in season, the songs and
antics of birds and the cautious ramblings of mammals are environmental
influences that help to define a place. Memories of personal and cultural
experiences over time make a place special, favorite objects that shape
to your hand or body with use, songs or dances that emerge from the
people of a place, special skills you develop to enjoy your area--these
too help to define a place and anchor you in it.
Through time, shared experiences and stories (history) help to connect
place and people and to transmit feelings of place from generation to
generation. Shared physical perceptions and experiences help people
from different cultural groups fashion a local culture that expresses
their unity in a place. Finally, place becomes unique and special for
individuals and their group, and the group solidifies its identity through
celebrations and rituals.
Developing a sense of place
helps people identify with their region and with each other. A strong
sense of place can lead to more sensitive stewardship of our cultural
history and natural environment.