CEDARVILLE — The woods and ravines of Greene County Parks & Trails’ (GCP&T) Indian Mound Reserve were filled with riders on the Underground Railroad recently as Cunningham Home School students relived the experience of southern slaves escaping to freedom.
Met in the woods by GCP&T Staff Naturalist Mel Grosvenor, aka “Conductor Sadie,” the students were lead on a hike that included symbols that might have been used to guide slaves through the darkness and into safety.
Each participant had their own personal back story and were to tell others they were a traveling choir if stopped on the journey. After singing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” the students learned the message the lyrics held for the slaves journeying north to freedom. Wild onions were rubbed on the students’ shoes to camouflage their scent from dogs with bounty hunters who may be tracking them.
Tin lanterns, a variety of specific quilts showcasing food, water, clothing or crossing water, were displayed along the trail. Participants also learned of several plant species that could be used for food as they traveled north to freedom.
Following their journey, the students met in a reproduction of a 1800s log cabin to “rest for the night.”
GCP&T offers a wide variety of school programming on both natural sciences and cultural heritage at local park sites as well as within the classroom.
For more information, contact the park agency at 937-562-6440, email [email protected] or visit www.gcparkstrails.com.
Content provided by Greene County Parks & Trails.