it through people
Create a list
of 10 to 15 people who know a lot or hear other people’s stories
such as history buffs, longtime residents, amateur geologists, folk
culturalists, and politicians. Ask them what stories or facts are
most interesting about the people, land, and history of that area.
can also offer important opportunities to find story ideas that
have support from the community. Simply ask people to think about
what is great about their community and how they would recommend
telling that story. These meetings can be fun and energizing.
it through resources
Go into the
field and look around. Take on the role of a tourist and, with fresh
eyes, drive, bike, hike and see what is most intriguing. This can
be done with a group of people and even be turned into a community-wide
it through research
Go to the library
or other research sites. Read up on local history, ecology, culture
and issues. Also consult with experts such as state historic preservationists,
local planners, university professors, cooperative extension agents
and tourism professionals.
Run a story
by as many people as possible. See if they can connect to the place
through it. This is also the time to confirm and enhance a story
obtained from an individual or group with field inventory verifications
and review of research documents and reports.
5. Tell it
Just like a
story that is read, the story about a resource and its community
should have a single theme and be organized with a plot, anecdotes,
and a moral. Or it may be told in stages: conditions (context),
challenges (tension), and resolutions (conclusion).
Share the story
with others through narrative such as speech or slideshow presentation,
in a pamphlet or other publication, as art, or even in song. How
the story is told will depend on what the story is and who is telling