Interpretive Training

"We brought Erica in to help us master the art of storytelling and to learn how to share the meaning of these places even more effectively. When we worked with Erica before, it was one of the most meaningful experiences of my career. I was thrilled by seeing the growth in rangers and the inspiration they gleaned.” National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, DC

"I observed my staff applying Erica's approach and feel that the level of programs this year was just outstanding. Even our more "science based" interpreters brought in more of the emotional, reflective techniques.  Her ideas were especially effective for creating that baseline of connection that leads to meaningful dialogue. I personally used her techniques in my programs and found they were incredibly powerful every time, with all ages. We're looking forward to continuing to use what we learned." Cape Cod National Seashore, MA

"Erica provided our interpretive staff with a fresh angle on interpretation, new techniques, and the opportunity to stretch and experiment. Our interpreters strengthened and re-imagined their approach to sharing our resources with visitors. This training served as a solid foundation for our seasonal training and complimented prior training around audience-centered engagement techniques, peer coaching, and resource content.”  Marsh-Billings-Rockerfeller NHP & Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

"You are missing out if you aren't trying to book Erica for your upcoming workshop or training event. Her work with the ‘sense of place’ concept through her Soulful Landscape workshop provides excellent hands-on exercises in an area that is so often perceived as intangible, while her keynote was just the dose of inspiration we needed.” Chief of Interpretation, Arkansas State Parks and Tourism

Training Participants

"As a marine, I don’t always feel comfortable expressing philosophical or emotional feeling with strangers. However, these activities encouraged just that and the universally positive responses encouraged me further.” Yosemite National Park, CA

"Re-energizing for even the most seasoned staff" Ft. Stanwix National Historic Site

"I would definitely recommend this component to all career NPS interpreters." National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, DC

"I see how I can apply this to tours that seem stale." Montana State Historical Society

"I've attended numerous session throughout my career, and I honestly feel that this was the best, most energetic, true feeling workshop about what we do and love." Howard County Parks and Recreation, Columbia, MD

“I’m inspired to use the toolbox we’ve been given in my interpretive programs. I’m excited to use these new techniques.” Acadia National Park, ME

"Erica creates a kind of alchemy in the room where even the most timid of us is inspired to find the writer within. She gave us new tools and reminded me of tools I once knew and had long forgotten. She inspired me to get back to an interpretive project I had put aside which I am now working on with renewed enthusiasm and focus." National Association for Interpretation

 

Land Trusts

In the hour she spoke and sang for us, she had all of us in the room reconnected to the land, to our special memories, and to our passion for the work." Lee Hayes, Vice President, Sippican Land Trust, MA

"Particularly well suited for land trusts and other conservation organizations, as her art is intimately tied to the landscape and the sense of identity people derive from their surroundings." Leigh Youngblood, Executive Director, Mount Grace Land Trust, MA

"We invited Erica out for a week to help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Big Sur Land Trust with a variety of events. Her positive impact reverberated throughout our community and continues to this day. Erica's ability to connect people and place beautifully aligned with our mission to strengthen communities and inspire stewardship"
Bill Leahy, Executive Director, Big Sur Land Trust, CA

Educators

"With its emphasis on integrating writing, music, and a sense of place, Erica's workshop was incredibly inspiring... [She] gave us all an invaluable opportunity to reflect on our connections to the land, our personal history, and our best selves."  Faculty Director, University of Vermont, VT

“Erica has an impressive versatility. Her warm personality and knowledge of her subject matter gave our students a gift: she empowered them to express themselves and connect to the land in a way many of them had never experienced before." Margot Martin, Journeys School, (K-12) Jackson, WY

"Using Erica Wheeler's ideas, I developed writing prompts incorporating nature. These were some of the best writing prompts I have ever used. The students were excited, had vast amounts to write about, freely expressed their thoughts without fear of right or wrong, and made a connection to nature/place and themselves." Saratoga Elementary School, Saratoga, WY

 "Erica magically turned each students poetry into a folk song which she sang beautifully and spontaneously in the classroom. Students were mesmerized by her talent and eagerly shared their creative writing in the class.” All Saints Episcopal Day School, Carmel, CA

Students

"We learned valuable lessons about writing and poetry. I now feel inspired to write about things like nature. I truly appreciate the landscape around us.”

"I have a deeper connection to nature and my roots than I knew before."

"I will use what I have gained to continue making connections in my community and initiating a positive change."

"Your music inspired me to write. Your workshop allowed me to open my mind and put my feelings on paper. Your visit helped me realize the connection between nature, music and writing.”

Public Workshops

"If I had one word to describe Erica Wheeler's Soulful Landscape workshop, it would be 'magical.' The workshop was a big 'ah-ha' moment. I am a conservation professional, and although I hadn't put my finger on it until the workshop, I had been struggling with a sense of loss regarding my connection to nature that first inspired me to work in this field. The workshop rekindled that connection. I left with the tools and resolve to more intentionally tap into the power of place as well as the inspiration to help others do the same."
Claire Dacey, Naturalist, Artist, Historian, MA

"At the end of the 3- part writing prompt, I had enough material to write several powerful essays as well as a new idea for an inspirational card deck. If that wasn't enough, Erica listened to what I wrote and in less than a minute had whipped up a terrific song. If anyone can rally the preservation troops to get "a sense of place" off the endangered species list, it's Erica Wheeler." Giulietta "Julie" Nardone, Participant, Upton Forest State Park, MA

 

Concerts

"Erica's music takes the audience on a trip through space and time. The concert took me from the foothills of the Adirondacks to the Rocky Mountains where the aspens turn their golden color each Fall.  When she paints a landscape with song, she strikes a chord that resonates at a deep emotional level.  This powerful food for the soul moves people to question the conventions we use to value property – and to value themselves as stewards.”
Baltimore Woods Nature Center, Marcellus, NY

"When Erica Wheeler comes to town, her passion to give voice to this land and to stretch our hearts wide open is beyond inspiring. I believe we all come away craving an even deeper relationship with, and a renewed passion for our wilderness home. Erica is blessed with a life purpose that encourages us all to strengthen and "step up" our commitment to place. I know that after I've been with her, I am more keen, more grateful and more enlivened on my path as a proper steward of the land." Laurie Shepherd Brown, Life Coach and Integrative Health Consultant, Jackson, WY

"Erica's Soulful Campfire added magic to our 60th Birthday celebration. Her pre-party, insightful questions about the birthday girl helped her customize a concert to honor her. It was the highlight of the party" Diana Eastty, www.WellOrderedSpaces.com

Music/CD Reviews

"If this CD doesn't compel you to get outside and enjoy what little green space we have left, put it on for a mental break while you're stuck in the concrete grid of rush hour."  Performing Songwriter Magazine

"Listening to Good Summer Rain is like flipping through the photo album of an Ansel Adams road trip. Each artfully created song transports the listener to a particular location, like a snapshot in time." Planet Jackson Hole News

"Her songs measure the cost of urban sprawl not in terms of species endangered, but in memories lost. Her lyrics evoke all the trails we've hiked, the streams swum, the trees climbed, and all the moments of growth enjoyed there--the silent epiphanies, the stolen kisses--without ever sounding preachy. But when she drops the truism "Your children won't know (the land) the way I did," suddenly your local zoning battle may seem a little more interesting." Yankee Magazine