Like St. Francis, we reverence all of creation and we respect the goods
we use as gifts from God. We also live simply, both individually and as
Sisters of St.
Francis Constitutions, # 17
Ashford Prairie Project Presentation
Ashford University ecology students recently completed a study they had done on the prairie at The Canticle. They inventoried the plants located in the over-seeded prairie area with the goal of proving the method as a successful way to restore bio diversity to the land. Their report is available HERE.
Earth Stewardship Mission Statement:
The Sisters of St. Francis accept
creation as a gift from God. We commit ourselves to respect and care for
the earth, especially the land entrusted to us in Clinton, Iowa. We will
preserve and restore the plant system which is native to Iowa wherever
possible. We will study the underlying causes of environmental damage and
recommend practical ways to bring about solutions. As part of caring for
the earth, we will live a simple communal life, conserve natural resources,
share our convictions with others, and thus hopefully improve the quality of
life for all.
We share our homestead with species
of plants and animals who inhabited the prairie long before our congregation
arrived in Clinton in 1891.
Respecting these gifts of creation
and reconnecting human beings with the earth by studying the underlying causes
of environmental damage and implementing practical solutions is a priority of
the Clinton Franciscans.
At least two heritage oak trees and
several varieties of grasses that pre-date European settlement, and a 90-foot
tall white pine topped with a double Witch's Broom adorn the land.
A new species of dwarf conifer - St.
Clare's Broom - is being cultivated from cuttings from the Witch'' Broom.
The forty acres surrounding the
Canticle, have been restored to the natural prairie ecosystem of the region.
The prairie restoration, enhancement
of the edible landscape - apple orchard, grape arbor, berry bushes, natural
herbs and a large organic garden - and creation of a wildscape and beds of
native flowers are not only beautiful to behold, they are restoring water
sustainability to the land
The true carbon fixing of the
grasslands and filtering capacities of the native vegetation result in cleaner
air and water as well as decreased runoff. The deep-rooted plants absorb water,
hold the soil and control erosion.
Restoring the natural ecosystem
provides biological diversity and fosters the interconnectedness of ecosystems.
This connectedness with creation is integral to our Franciscan lifestyle.
Learn about earth stewardship
efforts in the rest of the world in our Advocacy/Earth