This beautiful Fall weekend was truly a Living Laudato Si’ weekend. It was packed with action starting with our stewardship work day at the Schoenstatt Retreat Center. Student volunteer groups from both Cristo Rey High School and Marquette University High School helped with various projects on the Schoenstatt property. The first was the seeding of a 2 acre Oak Opening Prairie. These unique prairie ecosystems historically covered much of southern Wisconsin and have unique species that depend on them including many types of insects and birds. There are actually classified as the most endangered ecosystem type in the World (more than rainforests)! Thanks to the generosity of several donors, we were able to purchase and collect a diverse mixture of prairie wildflowers and grasses that do well in situations ranging from shade to full sun.
We mixed the seed in an old landscape pond with a filler called vermiculite. This acts as a carrier for the smaller seed and helps you to seed more evenly. The trickiest part is to ensure that your seed lasts the entirety of the site and you don’t use it up too early. To avoid this, we set up flagged grid patterns and work methodically back and forth, spreading seed evenly to ensure good coverage.
If you have visited the Schoenstatt Property and are wondering where these sites are, refer the brochure map below. This map was created this summer as part of a pamphlet given to people on retreat. The brown arrows show the 2 sites.
After seeding the prairie, we headed across the property to our woodland restoration site. It was here that we continued maintenance on our nature trail and continued with invasive species removal. See our post from an Eagle Scout who made this site his project
On Sunday, Laudato Si’ Project was invited to give a presentation to the parish on the encyclical Laudato Si’ and how to Live Laudato Si’ everyday. After mass, parishioners were invited to a hot breakfast followed by worship music and our presentation. Some religious education classes came to the presentation including their junior class of Confirmation students (who agreed to dress as characters of St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation, from which Laudato Si’ gets its name: see picture below)