I grew up in Iowa before moving away for more than a decade to live in places that refer to my home state as "flyover territory." I'm sure we all get a familiar cringe with that phrase. Basically, it's used to say a place like Iowa is only a place to pass over en route from a worthy starting point to a worthy destination.

I've come back to the Des Moines area to go to school, and I've really fallen for the place. I can assure you it's not because of its sprawling developments. Rather, it's because of assets like the Great Western Trail. Such treasures make every bit of a journey feel like a destination.

Compromising such sanctuaries reduces our own spaces to flyover territory, as it will almost certainly erase the appeal of the area down to something far less than a destination. I hope West Des Moines decides to preserve the trail for the sake of treating our own treasures the way we'd like to be treated.

— Jeffrey Perkins, Des Moines

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