What is a Sense of Place?
Sense of place is that "sweet spot" where what you know about a place; research, data, and information, intersects with what you feel; feelings, story and memory.
Knowledge + Experience = Sense of Place
The emotional and profound experiences that spring from a sense of place are intrinsically connected to the location, so visitors will continue to remember and return to relive and reconnect with those experiences and emotions.
Normally, finding a sense of place can be a lifelong discovery process. Erica’s experience and tailored methodology provides a springboard for that process so you and your visitors can start seeing better results right away.
How it Works
The Soulful Stewardship Method uses a Sense of Place Discovery Process that evokes personal connections to foster caring and inspire action. This approach is a 7-step journey that guides participants to discover, explore and share sense of place connections.
This process offers tools and techniques for discovering stories, meaning and ways to take action to change the way visitors see and experience your location. This approach has been honed and refined through more than a decade of working with groups across the country. and can help your visitors enjoy much more than just a beautiful view.
The 7 steps of this process will lead you on journey to:
Discover your unique Sense of Place Story
Uncover meaning and connections
Boost your staff’s story-crafting and delivery skills
Explore strategies to bring visitors back again and again
Why it Matters
In the not so distant past, knowing the nature and history of a place was key to our ancestor's survival and identity. Who people were individually and collectively was firmly rooted in place. Today, in our fast paced mobile lives, we may live far from our ancestral home and far from where we grew up. We may know little about the place that surrounds us and have a longing to feel more rooted to a place.
Tourists and travelers are now, more than ever, looking to rekindle that sense of place. They are looking for amazing adventures, experiences and memories that will not only stand the test of time, but that they cannot find anywhere else. Something unique and new is novel, and visiting new places has always been about novelty. It’s the promise of a new experience that brings people to the most amazing places in the world, and it’s the promise of reliving that experience that draws them back.
And you have the one rare resource needed to give people a new home for their most cherished memories - a special, historic, and breathtaking location. A sense of place can be discovered, evoked and restored first in staff, and then passed to customers.
Why sense of place stories?
What I know for sure is that everyone has stories about connections to places. Some you know already, they’re obvious. Other stories may be just waiting to be remembered, evoked and revealed.
What I also know for sure is that every place has layers of story. These stories are held through time and all the diverse meanings and perspectives of all the people who have connected with that place in one way or another over time.
This work is about exploring internal and external landscapes. It’s about finding the door in for connecting people and place. It helps us contemplate the past, experience the present and consider the future. It helps us make more sense of our lives and our world.
I help people find these stories.
What does it mean to not have a sense of place? Some people call it feeling disconnected or as just an unnamed yearning. Others aren’t sure what to call it. They feel out of place. Not grounded. Unsettled. Dislocated.
What does it mean to feel a sense of place? When people uncover their stories (from their past or present) that connect them to a place, some people call that feeling at home or feeling a sense of belonging. Some people describe it as feeling rooted, or comfortable or a sense of well-being. Others see it as a pathway for connection, for understanding and making sense of their lives and the world.
I call it finding a sense of place, and it is at the heart of my work woven into everything I offer, from the songs I write and sing, to the tools and training methodology offer.