SpIN to celebrate 25 years with a walk and award

CELEBRATE OUR NATURAL surroundings and enjoy a forest experience on a path at Spirit In Nature in Ripton. The organization will mark its 25th anniversary at its annual meeting on May 12 at the Ripton Community House. Photo by Heather Pask, SpIN board member

RIPTON — At its annual meeting on Sunday, May 12, the Spirit In Nature Interfaith Paths will celebrate a milestone:  the 25th Anniversary of the founding of SpIN. This year’s meeting, which will take place at the Ripton Community House from 2 to 4 p.m., will feature the presentation of this year’s Eco-Spirit Awards followed by a symposium at which former Eco-Spirit Award winners will discuss reasons for hope in our world today.

Preceding the events at the Ripton Community House, naturalist Craig Zondag will lead a 45-minute guided walk on some of the SpIN paths, starting at 1 p.m. Join in by meeting at the SpIN parking lot.

Members of the public are invited to attend any or all of the events.

Fran Putnam, Bethany Barry, and Brett Gilman will be honored as the SpIN Eco-Spirit Awardees for 2024. Putnam, Barry and Gilman are the co-founders of Pollinator Pathway of Addison County, which promotes pesticide-free corridors of native plants that provide nutrition and habitat for pollinating insects and birds. Their local service in community organizing on this vital topic truly “leads us to a path of hope for all life and nature on earth,” part of the hallmark of this award.

SpIN preserves a network of walking paths just off the Goshen Road in Ripton, on forested land that SpIN maintains under a license agreement with Middlebury College. Its founding was inspired by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Middlebury in 1994, and the first paths were opened in 1999. Each path has quotations from a particular faith-based spiritual/religious tradition related to the natural world The paths are open to the public during daylight hours, free of charge.

For more information about Spirit In Nature, including the Zoom link for the May 12 meeting, see the SpIN website or e-mail [email protected]. SpIN is a 501(c)3 non-profit; the paths, bridges, and signs are all maintained by volunteers, and supported by donations from community members.

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