Written by Joe Meyer; Executive Director of Laudato Si’ Project
Well, its Spring time and our stewardship work days are in full swing. Cristo Rey High School joined us and we spent Saturday at the Schoenstatt Retreat Center continuing our woodland restoration. Christo Rey High School brought out Freshman and Sophomore students, faculty, staff, administration, and family members, all excited to take part in this project. The main objective was to remove the buckthorn, an invasive tree species, to allow regeneration of the oak and hickory trees in the woodland. This also allows more sunlight to hit the open woodland ground, benefiting native wildflower and grass species.
During our morning work time, a vast amount of the buckthorn had been removed and stacked from the woodland. These giant brush piles are havens for wildlife ranging from rodents to birds. A 1/3 mile nature trail is also being created through this beautiful 13 acre woodland as part of an Eagle Scout Project. This will give an opportunity to those on retreat to walk, reflect, and pray while in a beautiful woodland.
Much of southern WI was historically oak savannah and prairie. These specific ecosystem types benefit certain kinds of plants and animals that are dependent on it. This is what our efforts are aiming for-trying to recreate a habitat type that will benefit those species which have seen great decline in recent decades.
Students from Cristo Rey also learned about geology and ecology of southeast WI and connecting it to our call as stewards of Our Common Home. This is the second visit from Cristo Rey High School. They came out in Fall to work on the same woodland. See our October post Here. We look forward to their continued partnership with us.