In Good Company- Don Miller
Photograph by Nels Akerlund Photography + Video
Carlson Ice Arena
4150 N Perryville Rd., Rockford
If you're not inspired by the outdoors, get yourself out to Severson Dells Nature Center and say hello to Don Miller, who runs things at this 369-acre preserve of woodland, stream and dolomite cliffs just west of Rockford.
Don can't sleep at night if he knows of someone who has not learned to appreciate the mysteries and majesty of nature.
"I had great parents who took me and my brothers and sister outside and took us to inspiring places," he says. "I find that discovering the wonder and awe in nature as well as enjoying its beauty leads to a pretty rich life."
Life is even richer, he adds, when you can share your insights on nature with others or, better yet, introduce a home-body to the wonderful world that is all around us.
Miller works with school kids and adults at Severson Dells where he and staffers hold walks and talks, canoe trips, music programs, night hikes and all manner of family activities in the lodge and preserve (seversondells.com/events). New this summer is The Grove, an outdoor play area and classroom like you've never seen.
If he's not on site, Miller might well be paddling some of the 90 miles of canoe-able streams or exploring one of the other 41 forest preserves in Winnebago County. Those are things he likes best about living here, he says, followed by some great pizza places and micro-brews. He can enlighten you on nature at any one of the above.
(Written by Geri Nikolai)