Stewardship at the CEC: Caring for Our Common Home

Service Projects

As people of the Gospel, we are certainly called to social justice and environmental stewardship but it is imperative that this response be firmly rooted in our love for Jesus Christ. It is from this love that will flow our desire to participate in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, including caring for our common home. Service projects are a fun and tangible way to live our faith that is called into service. These projects are also an avenue to involve people beyond our ministry with youth, engaging both adults and families. These projects are also great reminder that we are called to care for creation in whatever context we find ourselves.

My service project at the CEC made me recognize our need for God and our role as stewards for the next generation.

Megan; High School Student and CEC Retreat Participant

Restoration and Faith

Stewardship also calls us to better the ecological state of the CEC property we have been blessed with. We also strive to incorporate the richness of our faith throughout the property. Since our beginning in 2021, we have accomplished this by creating 2.5 acres of pollinator prairie, planting an Educational Butterfly Garden, a Children’s Memorial Garden, the Lasnoski Family Stations of the Cross, and JPII Butterfly Gardens. We have also planted hundreds of native trees on the land and seeded 15.5 acres of pollinator prairie for a neighboring property!

Ecological Monitoring

Part of our role as stewards at the CEC is to monitor the wild species and the health of the ecosystems on-site. We monitor bats with an ultrasonic microphone tower, do bird surveys, insect collecting and water quality monitoring. We also use “camera traps” to see what animals are using the property, especially at night. In 2021, we confirmed the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee, only the second time it was seen in Dodge County. In 2022, we documented the first county record for the harvester butterfly which is the only butterfly to have a carnivorous caterpillar!

CEC Property Lists (as of February 2023)

  • 6 of the 8 Species of Wisconsin Bat, including the endangered long-eared bat.
  • 132 species of bird seen
  • 38 species of butterfly