People of Central – Dru Leppek

Story by Danielle Patrick

Photo courtesy of  Dawn Amsler

We don’t always appreciate our surroundings, especially nature. The air we breathe, the different plants and animals in the world and the well-known parks have relied on Mother Nature. Central Michigan University senior Dru Leppek explains his love for nature and meditation.

“When I go into a forest, I am able to free my mind and think about things that are unrelated to what’s going on in my life. The opportunity of freeing my mind helps with my anxiety and personal stress,” Leppek said.

Leppek loves hammocking, hiking and backpacking with his dog Luke in the forest. His favorite place to have a peaceful moment is at Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville, Mich. Leppek’s love for nature grows because he has a collection of plants that he takes care of all year.

While going to CMU, Leppek is exposed to many parks that Mount Pleasant has to offer. He said that the history of the parks, how it has evolved and the variety of plants at each park makes it difficult to pick which one is the best.

“MillPond Park is my favorite because I like the trails that are well paved and easily accessible. There’s a river that runs through the park and you can tube on it,” Leppek said. “I like Deerfield Nature Park, too because it has better hiking trails.”

Let’s be real, we are all stressed college students trying to get through the fall semester. Besides petting therapy dogs, why not meditate? Nature has Leppek’s heart, but he also enjoys meditating.

“I like to go on YouTube and type in, ‘Guided Meditations.’ Someone will be talking to you while you are trying to free your mind. I really enjoy releasing all of the stress,” Leppek said.

Leppek is thankful that he has found a love for nature and meditating because it eliminates the mental stress that he experiences.