One man, discovering his new destiny: Lynn Bradley is a craftsman on a quest to brighten the day for adventurers seeking a dose of magic. His woodwork enchants public parks by sparking a new imaginative world that brings smiles to faces young and old. “I think we’ve lost the connection between ourselves and God or nature,” he says.
Meet Lynn Bradley: park volunteer
Deep inside a northern Indiana forest dwelleth a tiny, mysterious door.
(Three little girls walk through mud in rain boots and stop at a small door in the bottom of a tree trunk)
Mortals leaveth handwrit notes in a quest to glance its magic.
(The little girls open the door and place a note inside)
Lynn Bradley: (talking to dog) Lexi, come on. Come here. Come on. We got to do the fire.
In 2013, I got an infection in my colon. And I was still working and the infection eventually led to me losing my colon.
(Lynn places logs inside a fireplace in his garage)
So I decided to go ahead and retire. And in the process, I started to rehab by hiking. During that time, I just fell in love with the park down there, and I saw an opportunity to volunteer, making whatever they kinda needed. There’s a lot of woodworking involved, and I love doing that. With people that lose their jobs unexpectedly, there’s a lot of depression. And I won’t lie, there was a lot of crying.
Krista Daniels: interpretive naturalist
Elkhart County Park, Elkhart, IN
Krista Daniels: We had a beloved staff member who passed away. Her name was Cathy Metzger. So this is what we call our Cathy’s Little Library. (Krista shows off a small wooden library on a post) So Lynn donated many, many hours, blood, sweat, tears to put this in for someone that I don’t even know if he met her. I’m not even sure if he ever met her, but he loved the story of her and her connection with the people. He has a giving heart, and so he was all on board when I asked him as one of my regular volunteers. And he said, “Absolutely yes,” no hesitation. Well, he put in the fairy door here at the park as well, which has been a huge hit for years.
Lynn: Oh, let’s see here. (reading notes that had been left inside the fairy door) “My only dream is that life is always an adventure. It may be messy, but that’s okay.” And that was by Emma. “Hope everyone that passes through can enjoy this park, peace and love, and have many blessings.” “Mother’s day, I got yelled at by a cross country skier for running on his trail. I should probably be spending time with my mother, not running.” “A crisp, beautiful walk in the woods is exactly what I needed.” I think we’ve lost the connection between ourselves and God or nature, and just taking a walk to get away from life in general and just doing it once, twice, three times a week will do miracles. This is probably one of my favorites and it’s a quote by C.S. Lewis that somebody wrote. But it says, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Help protect our parks.
Please do not modify the landscape at any park without guidance and consent from your local parks department.
One that I remember specifically was a guy that said, “We just had our first baby today, and I’m out and getting ready to go pick up my wife,” Things like that, that are memorable, and it’s like a little time capsule.