Landscape ISS 310 Paper


LandscapeISS 310 Paper

ProjectSite Lake Michigan

LandscapeSite: Hoffmaster State Park

GeographicRegion: West Central

1)What is the name of your site and where did this name come from? Notethat some landscape sites do not have a formal name however theremay be an informal name, which is a name that local people refer toit you may also discuss any name changes over time and the reasonsfor these name changes.

Thename Lake Michigan originated from the Indian Native Americans whoinhabited the region in the ancient times. The name came from theword “Mishigami”which means “Great Water” that the Native Americans referee thewater mass as (Thompson,2009).According to Thompson(2009),the name “Mishigami”nameoriginates from the Ojibwe language, an indigenous language of theNorthern America, and part of the Algonquian language. The lake wassometimes called Lake Chicago or Lake Huron, and later used to bereferred as Lake Michigan-Huron. However, as the civilization, landover the land, and the modern residents explored the region, theycoined the word in Michigan, which still uses up to date, as LakeMichigan.

2).When was your site settled/discovered? You may describe thecircumstances regarding its discovery, including where did theoccupants come from and why did they migrate

Thesite Hoffmaster State Park is located at the shores of Lake Michiganand shares the same history of settlement and discovery in LakeMichigan. The Michigan region, especially the shores of the lake wassettled at a early as the 800AD by the native Indian tribes (Bogue,1985).However, their settlement was interrupted by the discovery of thelake by the European settlers who explored the area in the 17thcentury. The first European explorer to discover Lake Michigan wasJeanNicolet,a French explorer who is believed to have reached the lake in 1634 or1638 (Bogue,1985).With the 17thcentury expansion of the European exploration in the North Americaregion, Lake Michigan became part of the waterway that coveredMississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

3)What is the settlement history of your site? Include in yourdiscussion what groups have existed or utilized your landscape, whenthey used it, and how they used it

Oneof the earliest groups to settle in there were the native tribes ofthe Indian descent who formed part of the earliest North Americaninhabitants. The earliest settlement in Lake Michigan was theHopewellIndiansas early as 800AD (Bogue,1985).The Hopewell Indians were believed to have settled in the land for alonger time, as they were the early settlers of the Northeastern andMidwestern United states since the early times, as early as 200BCE(Bogue,1985).At the same time, there was settlement of Ojibwe Speaking tribes, whoare credited with the giving of the lake the name Mishigami.After a few hundred years, the region was then settled by LateWoodland Indians,who inhabited the site up to the seventeenth century, when Europeansettlers expanded to the region in the 17thCentury (Bogue,1985).

4).Discuss any philosophical, religious, or political, ideologicalbeliefs/values of those that settled/discovered your landscape.Specifically address how these beliefs/values affected how thelandscape was used, manipulated and maintained. You may develop thisanswer based on a single group or include a comparison betweengroups.

Therewere a number of beliefs that influenced the use of the lake by theHopewell Indians and the woodland Indians. One of the social,political beliefs of the Hopewell traditions is the respect forsocial stratification, as they gave some people more value thanothers (Emerson,2000).For instance, hunters were considered to be more valuable than theother people, as seen in the way they were buried (Emerson,2000).The social stratification increased the specialization of the use ofthe resources in the environment. Some resources like rivers andlakes were therefore a preserve for the hunters and fishers,therefore prevented competition for the local resources.

5).Describe the general attitude concerning environmental protection andconservation in the area. How had this influenced the development andgrowth of the area?

Thegeneral attitude of the site is that of conservancy and protection ofthe park and the lake shores from soil erosion (Thompson,2015).Lake Michigan has a problem of soil erosion and degradation becauseof a number of natural and environmental factors. One of the factorsis the formation of sand dunes that risk the sand draining back tothe sea from the shores. The second concern is the wind that blowsthe sand, especially after interference from human activity(Thompson,2015).Therefore, the management of the park and the Lake Michigan sets theregulations to prohibit people from stepping at the sand dunes inorder to prevent soil erosion.

6).How are the local cultural characteristics displayed or articulatedin your landscape? For some landscapes you may need to makeinterpretations, for example, of a landscape site that is a golfcourse, the use of the course is indicative of a culture that values,recreation, or the existence of a large parking lot is indicative ofa culture that independent and automobile dependent.

Atthe Hoffmaster State Park, there are characteristic recreationalactivities at the site. The site is used as a tourism site and forrecreation where people come to relax and take time away from theirnormal jobs. This indicates that there is a socially cohesive societywithin the region. The same activities indicate that the societyvalues, tourism as not just an economic activity but also a socialactivity. The presence of the Gillette Visitor Center for trainingpeople on conservancy indicates a society that values, environmentalconservation and protection of natural resources.

7)What transportation, agricultural or urban technologies whereused/developed by those that occupied your landscape site? How dothese technologies relate to the cultural background of theoccupants?

Thepeople who occupied the Hoffmaster State Park, established a numberof structures that represent urban technologies on the site. One ofthe conscious developments is the Gillette Visitor Center that seeksto promote the training of people about conservation of theenvironment and protection of natural resources. The otherestablishment is the stairs and paths around the park to guide peopleclimb to the top of the sand dunes and have an aerial view of LakeMichigan. Moreover, there are camping sites made for people who wouldlike to spend time at the park for recreational purposes.

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

Thearchitectural style of the site is mainly influenced by the socialpurpose of the park for recreational activities. The architecturalstyle of building the structures to the sand dunes like the stairs isinfluenced by the need to help people go up all the way to the top ofthe dunes. The need to relax by viewing the lake and the shores froma higher level influences this. The value of education about theenvironment and the protection of natural resources influenced theconstruction of the Visitor Center for training.

9).Describe the community structure of your landscape site or near yourlandscape site. Is it a small close-knit community, or a large city,or a dispersed/sprawling suburb?

Thecommunity structure of Hoffmaster State Park landscape is a dispersedstructure with a few settlement areas around the lake, near the park.However, the larger Lake Michigan region has many communities thathave social structures that are different from those in theHoffmaster State Park landscape. For instance, the city of Chicago isdensely populated and the community is closely-knit because of urbanresidence (Thompson,2009).The people who reside at the park are mostly guests who come to thelandscape for recreational visits and activities like swimming andcamping. However, the settlement of the cities and urban centersaround Lake Michigan is high and characteristic of urban centers.

10).Write a conclusion paragraph for this project. You may include asummary of what you have learned, what you anticipate about thefuture, what else you would like to learn, or what makes thelandscape important, unique or valuable.

Thisproject was very important for me, not only for the course but alsofor learning how to understand a region. The project helped me tolearn how to identify, analyze and evaluate a site or a landscapefrom all perspective. I learnt how to evaluate a location on thehistorical background, the political perspectives and the economicdimensions. This is in addition to the practical skills ofunderstanding the cultural and cultural aspects of a location. Thegood thing about the project is that it opened me to skills aboutlandscape analysis and appreciating the various factors that affect alocation. As I continue with the course, I look forward to learn moreabout further geographical aspects of a location. Therefore, theproject was important, insightful and educational.


Bogue,M.B. (1985).&nbspAroundthe Shores of Lake Michigan: A Guide to Historic Sites.&nbspUniversityof Wisconsin Press

Emerson,T.E., McElrath, D.L., &amp Fortier, A.C. (2000). LateWoodland Societies: Tradition and Transformation Across theMidcontinent. Nebraska:University of Nebraska Press

Thompson,G.E. (2009). YouLive Where?: Interesting and Unusual Facts about where We Live.Bloomington,Indiana:iUniverse Publishing

Thompson,T.A. (2015).Afterthe Thaw – The Development of Lake Michigan.RetrievedFrom, &lt 22, 2015