An In-Depth Analysis of Physical, Economic, Political, and Social


An In-Depth Analysis of Physical,Economic, Political, and Social

Lake Michigan: An In-DepthAnalysis of Physical, Economic, Political, and Social

Project Site Lake Lansing

Geographic Region: Haslet, MI,Michigan

1). what is the name of theselected site and where did its name come from? Note that somelandscape does not have a formal name. However, there may be aninformal name that is a name that local people refer to it. You mayalso discuss changes in the name over time and the reasons behindthese name changes.

Initially, Lake Lansing was knownas the Pine Lake. The lake was given this name after the name of itsoutflows that the locals called the Pine Drains in the 1900s(Lombardo 1). However, there are no records indicating the name thatthe Indians, who had used the lake as hunting and fishing site gaveto the lake before the European Americans arrived in the region. Thename Lake Pine was coined by the European Americans, who used thelake as a recreation site. The name of the lake was changed from LakePine to Lake Lansing in the year 1927 (Lombardo 2). The name Lansingwas derived from the name from the city in which the lake is located.The City of Lansing itself was named so by Joseph North (the firstEuropean American to settle in Lansing) after his former township ofLansing that was located in New York. The change of name from thePine Lake to Lake Lansing would popularize the lake, which was themajor tourist attraction site in the early part of the twentiethcentury.

2) When was your sitesettled/discovered? You may describe the circumstances regarding itsdiscovery, including where did the occupants come from and why didthey migrate.

The available literature putsmore emphasis on the settlement of the European Americans around LakeLansing. Some studies have identified that the lake was firstdiscovered and exploited by Indians of the Chief Okemos and ChippewaIndians (Lombardo 3). However, it is not known when the Indiansdiscovered Lake Lansing. The first group of the European settlers tooccupy the land around Lake Lansing included Joseph North and thefamily who arrived in Lake Lansing in 1836. Joseph and the family hadcome from Europe, before settling in other states, such as New Yorkand finally landed in Lansing and made it their home (Durant 2).Initial settlers migrated from their original places to settle inLansing in search for a better land that they could call home. Theywere attracted by Lansing because it was rich in natural resources,including the natural forest, water, and fish among other types ofresources.

This next set of questionsfocuses on cultural evolution of your landscape site that is how thesite has changed, or evolved due to influences of cultural.

3) What is the history ofsettlement of your site? Include in your discussion what groups haveexisted or utilized your landscape, when they used it, and how theyused it.

The first cultural group tosettle around Lake Lansing was the Indians, who used the lake asfishing and a hunting ground. The lake also provided them with freshwater while the forest surrounding the lake provided them withfirewood and building materials (Durant 2). It is not known for howlong the Indians had settled around the lake, but it is estimatedthat they lived in the region for more than a century before thearrival of the European settlers in 1836 (Lombardo 3). The Indianswere replaced by the European settlers, which started using the lakeas a tourism site, means of transport, fishing ground, and a sourceof domestic as well as the source of water being used in industries.The European settlers and other Americans who settled the region usethe lake for the aforementioned purposes from 1836 to-date.

4). Discuss any philosophical,religious, or political ideological, beliefs and values of those thatsettled/discovered your landscape. Specifically address how thesevalues / beliefs affected how the landscape site was used,maintained, and manipulated. You may develop this answer based on asingle group or include a comparison between groups.

Unlike most of the Americantownships that were discovered and influenced by missionaries,Lansing was highly impacted by a family and a group of Europeansettlers who had a business mind and economic values. The politicalaspect comes in because the first settlers came from Europe with thepermission from the colonial government of Great Britain. Theirintention was to occupy and develop as much land as they could. Tothe native and conservative Indians, the Lake could only be huntingand fishing site, but the European settlers realized that theeconomic value of the lake was greater (Durant 3). Therefore, themajor political ideologies that resulted influenced the way LakeLansing is being used was derived from the colonialist’s intentionof occupying as much land as it could be humanly possible and bringin modern development.

5) Describe the general attitudepertaining to the environmental conservation and protection in thearea. How had this influenced the development and growth of the area?

Initially, environmentalconservation was not an issue of concern because people had notstarted seeing the impacts of climate change in the mid nineteenthcentury. Therefore, the decision to conserve the lake and the forestaround the lake could only attract a negative attitude. The lack ofpush to conserve the environment resulted in the pollution of thelake and deforestation of its basin. It was reported that the tourismhad declined significantly by the year 1960s due to serious pollutionof the lake with raw sewage and industrial pollutants. In addition,the forest cover around the lake reduced from 73 % to 20 % (Selegean1). The negative attitude towards environmental protectionfacilitated a rapid growth of the real estate, lumbering industry,and a subsequent decline in tourism. However, the attitude changedwhere the state as well as the local government reserved about 20 ofthe land as forest and prohibited disposal of wastes into the lake.This has reduced the size of land available for real estate andindustrial development.

6) How are the local culturalcharacteristics displayed or articulated in your landscape? For somelandscapes you may need to make interpretations, for example for alandscape site that is a golf course, the use of the course isindicative of a culture that value recreation, or the existence of alarge parking lot is indicative of a culture that independent andautomobile dependent.

The culture of the people livingaround Lake Lansing is characterized by a value for recreation,independence and value for adventure, and technology-baseddevelopment. The lake is surrounded by numerous recreationalfacilities and sailing clubs that indicate a value for recreation.The availability of parks (including Lake Lansing Park South, LakeLansing Park North, and Hawk Island Park) around the lake indicatesthat the people of Lansing value independence and adventure. Inaddition, the introduction of the railway in 1879 and the ongoingdevelopment of manufacturing and service industries indicate that thepeople of Lansing are liberal and value modernization (Durant 2).This is the opposite of the native Indians who occupied the lakeregion for centuries and yet lived as fishermen and hunters.

7) What transportation,agricultural or urban technologies were used /developed by those thatoccupied your landscape site? How do these technologies relate to thecultural background of the occupants?

The occupants of the Lake Lansingregion have developed the railway, water, and road transport networkover the years. Road and water transport were the first ones to bedeveloped by initial settlers, while the railway line reached thelake shore in 1879. Farmers around Lake Lansing focus on theproduction of food crops, including sugar beat, con, and soybeans.The internet connectivity, the establishment of the modernmanufacturing plants, electric transmission, and the development ofthe standard gauge railway line are some of the technologiesdeveloped by the people of Lansing. These technologies are related inthe culture of the people of Lansing in that they are liberal andwilling not only to embrace, but also to bring the necessary changesin the region.

8) What is (are) thearchitectural style (s) of your landscape site? This may includelandscape architectural or landscape design styles. How did theculture of the occupants influence the style?

Lake Lansing is surrounded bymany buildings (both commercial and residential) and some of them aremore than a century old. These buildings and infrastructure werebuilt using different architectural styles, which depicts thecultural diversity of the people of Lansing. Most of the buildingsconstructed in 1840s-1850s took the gable-front farmhouse style,which indicates early settlers valued the farm background of theirrural origins (Catherine 1). Houses constructed between 1850s and1940s were based on the architectural style known as the four-square.The latest and the modern infrastructures are based on colonialstyles that include Cape Cod, Dutch colonial, Williamsburg style, andTurdo (Catherine 1). The outlook of most houses is based on severalarchitectural styles, such as Romanesque, Beaux arts, and streamlinesModerne (Catainier 2). All these styles were influenced by theculture of the European settlers who brought their homeland styles totheir new settlement.

9) Describe the communitystructure of your landscape site or near your landscape site. Is it asmall close-knit community, or a large city, or a dispersed/sprawlingsuburb?

Lake Lansing is based inLansing City, which is the capital of the state of Michigan. Thisimplies that the Lansing community is a densely populated communitythat is located in a large city. Currently, the lake basic alone issurrounded by approximately 280 homes (Lombardo 1).

10) Write a conclusion paragraphfor this project. You may include a summary of what you have learned,what you anticipate about the future, what else you would like tolearn, or what makes the landscape important, unique or valuable.

Studying Lake Lansing has been aneducating and entertaining exercise. The study revealed muchinformation about the landscape of Lake Lansing that I would havegraduated without knowing. The study provided an opportunity to learnthat Lake Lansing was first discovered by the native Indians, inspite of the fact that all developments in the region are attributedto the European settlers. In addition, the availability of thenatural resources (including the natural forest and fresh water) werethe major factors that attracted initial settlers. The rapiddevelopment taking place around the lake threatens its future throughdeforestation, disposal of agricultural as well as industrialchemicals, and deforestation. I would expect that the government willprotect the lake and its basin in the future given the fact that itis the primary reason for the first human settlement in the region. Iwould like to learn more about the strategic plan that the governmenthas for the lake and its environs, where the native Indians wentafter being displaced by the European settlers, and specificvarieties of plants and animals in and around the lake. The freshnessof the water, the availability of many varieties of fish, a reservedportion of natural forest, an establishment transport systemconnecting the lake to other parts of the country, and recreationalfacilities are some of the factors that make Lake Lansing valuableand unique.


Catainier, B. Lansingarchitectural tour to take a peek at downtown historical buildings.Lansing, MI: Newslink Associates LLC. Web.

Catherine, C. The architecturalcharacter of Lansing. Angelfire.2015. Web. 25 June 2015.

Durant, W. Historyof Lansing Township.Philadelphia: Ensing and Company. 1847. Print.

Lombardo, R. Historyof Lake Lansing.Lansing, MI: Winter Wonderland, 2014. Web.

Selegean, P. GrandRiver (Michigan).Detroit, MI: Great Lakes Hydraulic, 2014.