A passion for natural beauty

Maplewood Park manager to share thoughts, photos at special library program May 17

Don Del Greco, the Park Manager at Maplewood State Park, began on his career path as a child when his father introduced him to the natural world in the Iron Range of northern Minnesota.

“I have a particular interest, a passion, for beauty,” Don explains, “especially for butterflies. I’ve been pursuing butterflies since I was three or four years old. I love the color, the metamorphosis, the resurrection story.”

Don will be sharing his passion for beauty in an illustrated talk on Maplewood State Park at the Pelican Rapids Public Library on Thursday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Don’s fascination with the natural world took him to St. Cloud State University where he completed a major in biology and a minor in art. The biology degree led to a job with the Department of Natural Resources in fisheries up near International Falls and then to various Minnesota State Parks.

He has spent the last 27 years in park management, including time at Moose Lake and Banning State Parks in central Minnesota, Carley State Park in the south eastern part of the state, and since 2011, here at Maplewood State Park.

Don sees every morning as a new opportunity to pursue nature and its beauty. When his kids were little the family planned their vacations around the flights of butterflies.

“Butterflies hatch at certain times of the year,” he explains, “in unique, secure local habitats.” The Spring Azure butterfly, his local favorite, is the first butterfly to emerge as soon as it warms up in the spring. “It’s a magnificent butterfly,” he says, “the size of your thumb nail, sky blue when it opens its wings.”

“Every day is a moment of beauty,” Don says, “the miracle of life, the movement of the winds, the clouds, the light.” His appreciation for the natural world around him and his enthusiasm for sharing that world with everyone he meets make a chance to spend time with him worth every minute. Don’s college minor in art reveals itself in the photographs he takes to record the natural beauty he finds.

At the Pelican Rapids Library he will explore nature and its beauty on a photographic journey featuring many of the wonders of Maplewood State Park.

Author: Pelican Press

Source, image, credits & more information: Pelican Press