#PeopleofNEI: Dan, seeing the rivers

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI

This week's feature: 

Dan has been exploring the rivers of northeast Indiana for sixty years. He spoke this evening to a full house at Hop River Brewing Company about the future of our riverfront and the quality of the water. He lives on the St. Joe River in a house that his father built, and is the Riparian Maintenance Supervisor for the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. “When we talk about the rivers moving and changing, I have seen a lot of changes in the environment in my life. Geological time doesn’t have to be these large time spans. There used to be cottonwood trees that I would lean up against as a kid while I was fishing. Now those are gone. They have fallen over or fallen into our rivers. Those geological differences can happen that quick in a lifetime so the changes we make today can make a quick change in our rivers. I have been on boat rides on the St. Joe River thousands of times but every time it is a new experience. That’s what it means to me. My grandfather said that ‘water is the tonic of life’ and most people can relate to it whether they are fishing or seeing the shore or having a picnic nearby. It helps you recalibrate and reinvigorate your own life. I’ve watched the sunset over the water and feel inspired. I think it’s biological with all living things. When I’m on water, I hear my grandfather saying that. Life is better on water. I love seeing people outdoors and on the rivers around downtown doing something active and feeling connected. It’s a positive and natural experience when you can turn your phone off and connect to nature. I believe that if people could see the rivers, they would think about using the rivers. If they use the rivers, they will care about the rivers.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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