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The land

How often do we think about "the land" as a force in our lives, something that affects our health and shapes our character? In other parts of the world, people recognize the unique qualities of their homelands. The Europeans, for example, declare "Protected Designation of Origin" to protect the unique wines, cheeses and other products that depend on the soils and climate of distinct places. 

What is our declaration of uniqueness in Northeast Ohio? When we drink local apple cider, do we appreciate our biochemical connection to this place?

Northeast Ohio is a rich mosaic of rolling farmland, urbanized areas, forests and wetlands shaped by glaciers.

Foundation of the region

This section of the website describes where we are situated in North America and what's under our feet. It covers:

  • Continental patterns—The mega-forces that shape us from being at the intersection of physiographic regions in the middle of a vast continent.
  • Bedrock—The foundation of our region which affects elevation, groundwater supply, the availability of stone for building, the location of waterfalls, and many other features.
  • Glacial legacies—The bulldozers of ice that smoothed the land, created wetlands and left valuable deposits of sand and gravel. 
  • Soils—The soils that determine drainage, where slopes erode, where various plants and crops grow best, and what minerals we have in our food. 

Together, these factors exert a powerful influence on how we can live in this place. 


Stand in the place where you live
Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven't before
— "Stand" by R.E.M.

We cannot help but carry the land in our bodies, for that is the only source of our bodies; we must make a deliberate effort, however, if we are to carry the land in our minds.
— Scott Russell Sanders, Writing from the Center

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