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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Great Things Are Underway at Spring Mill State Park -Friends of Spring Mill Hosted Annual Mtg

MITCHELL - MARCH 22, 2023 - There are many great things that are underway at Spring Mill State Park which include several projects that will enhance the park for years to come.

Photo: Money was raised for a new turtle tank thanks to the generosity many people

The Friends of Spring Mill hosted their annual meeting Tuesday night, at the Nature Center of the park, with several people attending.

The mission of the Friends of Spring Mill Park is to support projects and events that help conserve, restore, and interpret the natural and cultural heritage of Spring Mill State Park as well as enhancing recreational and educational experiences for park visitors in partnership with park staff.

Photo: Many listen about the many projects the Friends of Spring Mill completed and many other projects that underway at Spring Mill State Park

Teena Ligman, President, and other speakers gave a brief overview the projects the group have already completed over the year. These projects, events and programs are annual events, and the park plans new programing that visitors will be able to enjoy and take part of throughout the year at the park.

One of the newest historic distilleries that will hopefully be operational in 2023. Currently, the equipment, materials and flooring for the building that will house the still, are being perfected at this time. Below is video that explains this project.

The village print shop purchased letterpress cuts with a grant and was able to make Christmas cards with pictures for every visitor that came through at Christmas. They also printed a book by a local author which sold in the village.

In addition, with grants from the Lawrence County Tourism and Lawrence County Community Foundation there were ADA door openers to the upstairs and downstairs of Nature Center and one to the Grissom Memorial making the facilities accessible to all.

Photo: ADA compliant door openers were installed at the Nature Center and one door at the Grissom Memorial

ADA access to the Donaldson Cave has been a major project that the park officials really is proud of. This opened the way, for people to go and see the cave, which many have not been able to do. There continues to be work being done to make the park enjoyable, and accessible to all.

The work to recreating the Root Cellar and Spring House is almost complete. The Root Cellar project is completed at this time which began in 2021, and the completion of the Spring House is nearing the finish line. Thanks to the Lawrence County Community Foundation grant of $1,400 the renovation of the Spring House was made possible.

Friends of Spring Mill is working on getting a floating walkway out to the old diving platform. Visitors will then be able to walk out and fish, view the lake from the center, watch wildlife, and maybe even have a wedding. The estimated cost for this project is $40,000. The VFW Post 9107 donated $5,000 and Starve Hollow donated some pieces that are needed for the project.

The Haunted Campground is always a favorite of the visitors to the park, this is one of several events held throughout the year at Spring Mill.

Upcoming events include the Civilian Conservation Corps 90th Anniversary Celebration being held from June 9th - 11th. Plans are to add a flag, interpretive sign, and markers for the CCC camp. A dinner is being planned in the Mill for family members of the enrollees. The dinner is not open to the public, due to limited space. CCC uniforms are being made for the hikes and programs to be done this year and in the future.

Guest speaker will be Carol Sanders.

Photo: Renovation of Spring Mill State Park Inn is underway, the Inn is currently closed while the renovations are being made

Left - Coletta Prewitt, Naturalist and supervisor for the Spring Mill Village and Mark Young, Property Manager Spring Mill State Park listen to the presentation Tuesday night

Mark Young, Property Manager gave the attendees a overview of projects that continue, which include the renovation of the Inn which will take some time to complete. Video below of his remarks during the meeting.

Video: Mark Young talks about Spring Mill State Park

In 2022 the Friends of Spring Mill had a total of 38 members, with the groups revenue for 2022 was $38,650 and expenses totaled $39,353.

2022 Board members include Teena Ligman, President, Rowena Cross Najafi, Vice-President, John Castrale, Treasurer, Amber Hill, Secretary, Hugh McNeely, Kaydy Fults, Laura Henley, Joan Smoke, Sara Terry, and Betsy Mundy.

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