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Prophetic Landscapes:  A Memoir on Lessons of Place

  • Friday, May 4, 2018
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

Randy Van Dragt, Calvin College

People are, to one extent or other, creatures of place.  “Where’s your place?” was a question I often heard as a child growing up in farm country, and the expected answer was usually a road name (e.g. the Pole Road) combined with some other geographic reference like “west of the Guide,” (in this case another road).  This reply not only situated you geographically in the mind of the questioner, but also said something about “your place” as potential farmland. Lynden farmers lived by lessons of place drawn from the land, and they knew the land west of the Guide was much less rocky, and, thus, required much less work to till.  If you wanted to work strawberry fields, best do it “west of the Guide.”

For the last 30 years, I have been actively involved in land preservation and restoration in West Michigan, Western Washington and elsewhere.  This seminar will reflect on the lessons that landscapes bring to the work of preserving and restoring native habitats. Along the way, we will evaluate how all of us are tied to landscapes and how our landscape experiences can motivate us to protect the lands that sustain us.

May 2018
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