Why does this place matter?

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator, Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a really interesting project going on called “This Place Matters.” It’s a photo-sharing campaign in which people use Flickr to post photos of themselves in places that are important to them. It’s interesting not just because of the diversity of places that people have chosen as important, but because it opens up some interesting questions. 

Why are places important to us? Author Barry Lopez wrote “Human beings, generally, seem to long for a specific place, a certain geography that gives them a sense of well-being.” Our places are part of our personal identity and our community identity. Here in Fort Collins we treasure both our historic places and our natural places and we work fiercely to protect them. At the same time, in our day-to-day routines we often stop consciously noticing our surroundings — we’re like fish that can’t see water. Which is why something like “This Place Matters” is a great idea.

Our special places are part of what tell our personal story and our community story. When we lose a special place, we definitely feel a loss. What places matter to you? Why do they matter? What do your special places say about you?

This Place Matters - Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

This Place Matters - Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

Let’s participate in this project and show off some of the great places in Fort Collins and northern Colorado. If you do decide to contribute to “This Place Matters,” take an extra minute and upload your photos to our Flickr group pool also so we can enjoy your places too!


2 Responses to “Why does this place matter?”

  1. 1 catfc April 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

    The “This Place matters” project is so cool. This is exactly why I’m happy to see y’all blogging and sharing all these things you know about!

  2. 2 Jerry Kelly July 30, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Barry Lopez is one of the most important voices speaking today, and his audience should be larger. We need clear thought to cut through the fog surrounding crucial environmental, political and cultural issues we face, and Barry Lopez has the quality of mind to help us do so. We should all be reading him.

    I’m an independent publisher in central Ohio, and I’ve published a book that contributes to the understanding of what Barry Lopez is saying. Mike Newell’s No Bottom: In Conversation With Barry Lopez (XOXOX Press) holds an extensive interview between poet Newell and author Lopez, along with an insightful essay by Newell that explores key themes in Lopez’s short fiction. No Bottom is available at xoxoxpress.com and at Amazon and other web outlets.

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March 2009

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