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Community Corner - Communing with nature

Since it opened in September 2006, Detroit Lakes' Sucker Creek Preserve has hosted students on school field trips, birders, hikers, and various other groups of nature enthusiasts.

But on Sunday, June 17, it will be the site of a more spiritual gathering, as St. Luke's Episcopal Church plans to hold its 10 a.m. worship service in the park's amphitheater. The public is invited to attend.

Sally Hausken, the founder of Sucker Creek Preserve, said she and fellow St. Luke's member Frank Greenogh came up with the idea one day, and brought it to the church's leadership.

"We felt it would be a nice opportunity (to take advantage of the summer weather)," Hausken said.

"It's such a spiritual place... it's like God's creation unfolding before your eyes," said St. Luke's member Loxley Koshnick.

Following a quarter-mile processional from the preserve's parking lot to the amphitheater, Pastor Don Homme will celebrate the Eucharist and deliver the sermon.

Homme, a Lutheran pastor, "will celebrate with us under the call to common mission," said church member Georgia Hecock, who was one of the organizers of the event.

Parishioners and guests will be invited to partake in Communion -- which includes the breaking of a fresh loaf of bread and sipping from a cup of wine.

"And there will be music provided by Eilert Helm and his guitar," Hecock added.

Following the service, parishioners and guests will be invited to stroll along the Preserve's paved, handicap-accessible trail back to the parking lot, where refreshments will be served.

Because the amphitheater does not provide protection from the elements, provisions have been made in case of bad weather to hold the service on the following Sunday, June 24.

Sucker Creek Preserve

Located at 2050 290th Ave., on the east edge of Detroit Lakes, Sucker Creek Preserve is a 64-acre nature preserve acquired by the City of Detroit Lakes in 2001.

Billed as an "outdoor environmental learning laboratory for students of all ages," the Preserve also conserves a remnant of Minnesota's original post-glacial maple-basswood forest for future generations.

Its paved, handicap-accessible walking path is open to "bird watchers, naturalists, photographers, artists, and the curious," according to its informational brochure. There are also unimproved north and south perimeter trails that offer a little more adventurous trek for ambitious hikers.

The amphitheater, which seats 110 people, was completed in October 2003.

For more information, you can visit the Web site at In the left-hand column of the page, click on "Recreation," then scroll down to the link for "Sucker Creek Preserve."

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454