It was my great pleasure to speak at the 22nd Annual Festival of Birds headquartered in Detroit Lakes recently.

I enjoyed spending time with the wonderful folks who gathered there. Those in attendance were way beyond nice.

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Attendees had the great pleasure of visiting such magical places as Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, North Ottawa Impoundment, Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, and Buffalo River State Park.

I had wonderful experiences at the Detroit Country Club, the college, and at local restaurants, hotel and convenience stores. My thanks to those incredible people whose planning and hard work make the festival the

wonderful celebration of nature that it is.

I had a swell time! Now, whenever I feel like telling someone where to go, I'm telling them to go to Detroit Lakes. That would make both of us happy. - Al Batt, Hartland, MN