This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America.
Wayne Brininger is a wildlife biologist at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. He talks about volunteers monitor that water and land and the incredibly high degree of satisfaction they get from being on the refuge. "There's a special place for me on the refuge. There's a little bridge that goes across the Ottertail River. The river comes along at a pretty good clip. It's kind of a like a babbling brook. It feels like you're way out in pristine nature . . . It also brings me back to the perspective on why we're really here on natural wildlife refuges, and that's provide habitat conditions for wildlife. And, knowing that we have good pristine conditions or we're trying to restore conditions and habitats makes us feel like we're actually contributing and giving back to that wildlife that's on the landscape.