Early in 1997, inspired by a visit to Middlebury College by the Dalai Lama, a group of Vermonters representing various faiths came up with the idea of Spirit In Nature. They envisioned a network of paths in a wooded landscape that would connect the experience of nature with their faith traditions. This wooded sanctuary would be also serve as a nucleus for environmental education and activism in the community. The language of Spirit in Nature Mission Statement highlights the group’s purpose:
Spirit in Nature is a place of interconnecting paths where people of diverse spiritual traditions may walk, worship, meet, meditate, and promote education and action toward better stewardship of this sacred Earth.