To the editor:

When I moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, 27 years ago, I came from the area that surrounds Lake Michigan, an area that is still near and dear to me. I truly feared being so far away from the "Great Lakes." I felt that being near to a large body of water was part of my soul. It was the first thing I mentioned to those greeting us here. They said to us, go to Clay County Park... we have the Missouri River. That was the place I stopped my first day here. While I must admit that it didn't seem, at the time, to compare to the experience I had being close to Lake Michigan, it has become that important and healing treasure. Now, the experience of just being near the Missouri River is my refuge. Before our eyes and within our senses, nature takes hold. In its wild and changing banks, we are gifted the vision of nature in all its messy glory. And this chaos has purpose as it creates homes and feeds the innumerous species of fish, birds and wildlife, including some endangered species.

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