On one of the hikes we went on at Spring Mill State Park, we happened up a sign about Father Damien Schmeltz. He was ordained at St. Meinrad Monastery at age 20 and then pursued a graduate degree in plant ecology. He and his mentor traveled about the state documenting natural areas. Their inventory was instrumental in the passage of the Nature Preserves Act. Father Damien chaired several committees studying the ecology of Indiana and the health and progression of the forests. He delivered this invocation at Spring Mill in 1985. It described perfectly how I felt about the beautiful park, and is a fitting tribute to all natural places that grace our lives.This is a special piece Of your earth. Here is a remnant preserved Of trees and flowers and ferns, Of valleys , and hills, and caves Of waterfalls and streams, Of clean, open sky. In this place, We find a part of ourselves, And rediscover our roots In the soil and the water and the sky.
Blessings to you,