Emory as Place

Emory as Place: Discover. Inhabit. Sustain.

Do you know where you are?

The places we inhabit, our living systems, built environments, human histories and values, shape our identities and actions. The Emory as Place Initiative inspires the Emory community to respond ethically and sustainably to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Emory as Place educates students, staff, and faculty about the breadth and diversity of life within the campus and bioregion. Through stories, field experiences and service projects, participants discover skills for connecting to this place and beyond. Dedicated to creative and courageous leadership through intellectual excellence for social change, Emory as Place advocates responsible actions for a thriving world.

To shape and strengthen the sense of belonging at Emory, the primary work of the Initiative during 2007-2008 was Placefest and campus walks. At Placefest, a campus-wide event highlighting Emory’s history, volunteers posted informational signs around campus and coordinated "art for place". In addition, students gave tours of campus and green buildings that provided information about campus history and sustainable lifestyles.

Developing a residentially-based mentoring program, Emory as Place is focused 2009-2010 activities on participant-led programming about place. Upper class students worked with first-year students to institutionalize an earth and place centered legacy within the liberal arts tradition. New podcast and video materials will also be available to a larger community via the internet.

The poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder said, “One can live in a place as a visitor or one can choose to become an inhabitant.” Learning to live the ethics taught, Emory as Place partners with other sustainability programs on campus and in the region to instill a sense of civic responsibility. Service projects built on long term relationships bridge the gap between classroom study and public commitments. Projects include: invasive species removal, trail repair, contemplative gardens, watershed clean-ups, and legislative education.

Research shows that spending time in “green nature” reduces stress, restores mental alertness and enriches spiritual life. Outdoor experiences increase skills of observation and knowledge about local and bioregional ecosystems. Emory as Place advocates these activities as lifelong practices for maintaining mental and physical health, encouraging environmental consciousness, and ultimately living a sustainable life.

2009-2010 -- Emory as Place Programs
The following educational and experiential-based activities involved pedagogies of fact-sharing, integrative transformation (using multiple disciplines to challenge existent assumptions and methods and shape new ones) and creativity (using sensorial experiences and mindfulness methods) to encourage new knowledge and insights:

Guided Lullwater Walks
One hour and fifteen minute introduction to the history, ecosystems, and ethical responsibilities inherent in Lullwater as part of Emory University’s legacy. Exercises include story-telling, plant identification and function related to Creek and Cherokee uses of plants, and discussion of Emory’s commitment to sustainability.

Emory as Place Class Presentations
A recent presentation led to the creation of a podcast: “Sounds of Emory". Others included sponsored classroom and public talks by Chris Velasco, founder of “Place”, a full design company emphasizing development through placed-based communities and arts.

Art-Inspired Activities
Leaf-rubbings and drawing activities at tables in front of the Dobbs University Center (DUC), including information about the Piedmont forest.

Graduate Student Orientation Event
Assisted in the creation and implementation of a graduate student orientation/educational event: “Emory as Place” (including field trips).

For more information about the Office of Sustainability's Emory as Place Initiative, please:

Find us on Facebook: Emory as Place is listed under the OSI Facebook page

Contact Us:
Bobbi Patterson: bpatter@emory.edu

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Lullwater Comprehensive Management Plan