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Remembering Sister Helen Vinton: nature walks and care for the environment

When I had Sister Helen Jean for biology I enjoyed class, but the nature walks were the best! She would walk through the woods by the Fletcher Mansion and point out plants and trees that the Fletcher family had imported. I thought how extravagant of the mysterious family and how lucky am I to witness this with this insightful teacher.

Sister also got me interested in photography. I took pictures for the yearbook while at Ladywood St. Agnes. But, I have to say her guiding us to take care of the environment has stuck with me throughout my life. I went through my four yearbooks (yes, I can still put my hands on them). Some articles: Fall Creek ecosystem studied, many articles on the Ecology Club, and unforgettable trips to Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. I have a letter Sister wrote April 27, 1973 to our parents, maps detailing our 8 day 90 mile canoe trip along with a certificate and patch from the Voyageur Wilderness Programme. I was only able to go once. Some of my luckier classmates went twice.

— Ellen Tinder Dumm, Ladywood St. Agnes ’74, and her husband, Mike, have three adult children who when growing up were always taught to leave a campsite, meeting hall, etc., better than when they found it. Ellen walks her dog and returns with 1 or 2 bags of litter picked up along the way. The couple has recycled for all of their 33 years together.

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Advancement Services office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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