Discover Your Place


Use the full range of your imagination in order to consider the deep meaning of the places where you live. Sense of place is a search for ecological roots. This is best accomplished when you have a relationship with the land on which you live when you can place yourself securely in a tangible place. It's through the place that you live that you construct your personal identity, your relationship to the landscape, and you determine what is important in your life.

Sense of place concerns your home and region, feelings about land and community, kindred species, community niches, and sacred places. To have a sense of place is to merge your personal geography with the ecological landscape, incorporate maps of memory with how you dwell in a bioregion.


Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is a place?
  • What are some ways in which people experience place?
  • How can you gain a sense of place in your local environment?
  • How can you share your observations and ideas about living things in your environment to help someone else learn about place?
  • Where does water fit into your place?

1. Draw a map of the physical space in which you live. How broad or how specific you define that place is up to you. You could do your city or your home. You may interpret the map how you wish. For example: drawing a picture, creating a mind map, or putting together a photo collage all work well. Consider the following when drawing your map:

  • What are the waters sources near you? How are those connected to each other? As you do this think about how this water is connected to your own life.
  • Water shapes the land around it. What are the landforms in your place? How does the water interact with them?
  • Water can also come from many different places: oceans, lakes, rivers, wells, springs, groundwater, ice, and weather.
  • How does the water move through your place? Does it run through a river, or evaporate and fall in the water cycle?

2. In the Gallery, share your map in the description of your creation process. How did you interpret the map?

3. Comment on 2 other students’ maps on how you interpreted their map. How do you view this new place? What connections do you see the water making in this person’s life?

Contribute to a discussion forum by responding to one of the following questions:

  • How has your view and understanding of place changed during this assignment?
  • What did you notice about your place that you were not aware of before?
  • Did you discover anything that threatens your place? How does climate change affect the place where you live?
  • What solutions do you see for protecting your place? What solutions could you create and implement to make an impact on your place?

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