83 years ago, today, my home park, Everglades National Park was established. The Everglades are different from the idea that most people carry of a national park. First- the Everglades were originally set aside not for their scenery, but the the diverse species of birds found within them. But in addition to that, the scenery of the Everglades is not the normal scenery most expect out of a National Park experience. There are no mountains. There are no massive trees or sparkling coastline. There is no impressive physical natural structure in the Everglades. But there is vastness. There is an infinite feeling of space stretching on beyond the horizon, a feeling of wilderness unspoiled, untouched, and unfettered by human concern and problems. And for that reason, the Everglades are my local salvation. No, I can’t go escape to the mountains when I find myself “nerve-shaken” and so in need of the “irrigating fountains of life” that John Muir so rightfully called our National Parks, but I can find myself delightfully surrounded by the overwhelming space of my wonderful River of Grass. Happy anniversary.