Where is your place?

March 3, 2015

By Jane Mazack

Exploring Daley Creek is a blog series that investigates the biological and physical processes at work in a small stream in Minnesota and what it means to consider rivers in a scientific framework. Follow along to learn more about life in the stream and its broader connections, both in the present and as we consider a future of climate change.

As you’ve been reading this blog series, I’ve encouraged you to imagine yourself at Daley Creek in southeastern Minnesota, because the stories I’ve been telling are centered around its place. Its glacial history and groundwater inputs are a result of its specific location. Its fish and insect populations are unique, even from the ones in a stream less than five miles away.


Daley Creek

Daley Creek, Houston County, Minnesota. Photo by the author, all rights reserved.

But this is my place; it may not be your place.

Your place may be the Mississippi River, which does freeze in the winter.

Your place may be an estuary in Costa Rica, where January is dry rather than cold.

Your place may be Minnehaha Creek, which runs through your backyard.

Where is YOUR place? No matter where you are, you are somewhere — and that’s worth examining. Are there streams nearby? What do you notice about them? What questions do you have?

Your place has a story, and knowing and living in that story are essential to understanding the world where you live. Being a part of the story of your place means respect, care, and consideration are paramount in the way you live. Because your place isn’t just a place, and your story isn’t just about you. So, where is your place? And what does that mean for you?

The writing and analysis of this blog series were conducted under the auspices of the John E. Sawyer Seminar “Making the Mississippi: Formulating New Water Narratives for the 21st Century”. Sawyer seminars are funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation; further information about “Making the Mississippi” can be found here.