By Joan Ellison, Special Correspondent
Don DelGreco is the manager of Maplewood State Park and it is easy to see how much he loves this land as he talks about it. He’ll be sharing that love on a geological tour of the park, Saturday, June 19 at 10:00 a.m.
“As we look at the Park through-out the year, many different things can be seen by each of us. The modern day vistas are reflections of a transition zone at the edge of the prairies and the hardwood forests that has been here for centuries. The vegetation that grows here developed after the glaciers had receded.”
“Stop and look for the cues in the lay of the land, the beautiful glacial features – the ice block lakes, the kames, the push moraines, the slumps, the ravines and the ice walled lake plain.” The conical island just off the swimming beach is a beautiful example of a kame, perhaps one of the most renowned features of the Park. The best times to see that conical shape are late fall through early spring when the leaves are gone.
“The top of Holloway Hill is a great place to stand,” he continues. Words pour out of him. “What we see today is because of what was left behind so many thousands of years ago. It is a remarkable story that lies at our feet and ties in well with the Nimuué story, the story of the discovery of skeleton of a young woman while repairing a road bed in 1931. People before us have walked this earth – from ancient peoples who walked these ways, and early immigrants, to the newcomers who are just finding it .For example, the Bhutanese immigrants in Fargo/Moorhead say the hills remind them of home.
Don paused, his words coming more slowly. “Maplewood Park is a place of renewal, of refuge, of remembering, of regeneration.”
He doesn’t have a favorite place in the Park, he has favorite moments – high overlooks in the early morning, deep valleys where spring flowers bloom every year, mud puddles and seeps along the woodland edges where the Blue Azure butterflies appear in early May. “Listen with your ears,” he said, “perceive with your eyes, open your heart.”
Maplewood Park is a wondrous place. Join Don DelGreco on Saturday, June 19 and learn to see the profile of the land – it’s hills, trees, lakes – through his eyes. Meet at the Trail Center parking lot at 10 a.m. You must have a park sticker on your vehicle to join the tour.