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June 24, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – In their quarterly update on sustainability and permaculture efforts at the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse, Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, Joel Henricks, and Jared Aslakson spoke of the progress on summertime projects at the Adrian campus.
In the fifth year of living out the Congregation’s 2016 General Chapter Enactment on Sustainability, the focus is on changing beliefs about Earth and our relationships to creation. “This leads to changed practices,” said Sister Corinne, Director of the Office of Sustainability.
Sister Corinne reviewed sustainability practices in six sectors: food, transportation, waste, energy, and land relationships. “If we can reduce our waste, we’re assisting Earth to heal and restore herself,” she said.
Sister Corinne recommended periodically conducting a waste audit. “Pay attention to what’s coming into your house, what you can’t put into your recycling bin, and how you can replace it,” she said. For example, some people have started to use shampoo and soap bars rather than buying shampoo and soap in plastic bottles. “We don’t have to be perfect, but try to lower how much plastic you use,” she said.
Joel, Director of Facilities and Grounds, gave an update on the restoration of the storm water retention pond on the Motherhouse grounds. The project has involved installing pipes so that the water can be drained slowly, then removing the muck and deepening the pond. The purpose of this project, Joel said in an earlier update, is to restore the pond and bring it back to a healthy ecosystem.
The summer projects also include installing a solar array in the field behind the Motherhouse to produce energy for the campus. That project has begun with removing certain trees around the perimeter of the field. “For every tree we cut down we’ll plant another tree on campus,” Joel said. “We’re really committed to not causing more harm.” Hopes are for the project to be completed by the end of July, he said.
Jared, Permaculture Specialist, spoke of a number of projects that he is undertaking in the summer, including work on the trees in the orchard to keep them free of insects; planting oats and rye seed in the vegetable garden to keep nutrients in the soil and prevent erosion; and planting a new pollinator garden.
Jared also reported on new beehives in the Permaculture section. “At any given time, we have 50,000 to 60,000 bees, constantly refreshed,” he said. “Our bees are very healthy, harvesting a lot of nectar.”
With all the many projects he has undertaken in the Permaculture area, Jared said he has learned an important lesson. “Absolutely nothing will happen in the right time,” he said. “You just roll with it because that’s all you can do. It’s been fun. It’s been definitely a learning experience.”
Watch the entire video below.
June 21, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – This summer, set some time aside to gather with other creative writers and to express what has long been hidden within you – and longs to see the light of long summer days.
Weber Retreat and Conference Center offers a weekly series of Creative Writing Workshops from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. EDT Thursdays, July 15, 22, and 29 and August 5, 2021. Whether you write as a spiritual practice or to give creative expression to your ideas and feelings, this series offers a supportive group of writers and the opportunity to enhance your writing skills.
The virtual workshops, offered via Zoom, are facilitated by Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, a certified Amherst Writers and Artists leader and published author.
The cost is $80 and registration is required. Registration is available at www.webercenter.org; click on “programs.” Registrations may also be made by contacting Weber Center at 517-266-4000 or email@example.com. Limited scholarships are available.