Care for Earth Initiative, 100 Trees Planted
Over the last year, the Care For The Earth Committee with the United States Province of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill has studied and committed to Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Action Platform. In support of caring for the earth, our common home, the committee analyzed the environmental impact of the property at the Sisters of Charity campus.
To address the global rise in carbon dioxide and the detrimental effect it has on climate, the sisters chose to plant trees on the property to combat environmental change. Not only will the trees add to the cleaner air initiative, it will also serve as an educational opportunity to students at Seton Hill University for years to come.
During the summer, the Sisters of Charity connected with local conservationist, Joe Costello of Friendship Farms, who assessed the land and offered solutions to conserve the first acre of land with a variety of trees and shrubbery.
On the morning of November 7, Joe and his co-worker, Michelle Greco, met at the site with Provincial Superior Sister Mary Norbert Long, Council Member Sister Donna Marie Leiden and members of the Care For The Earth committee, including Sisters Barbara Ann Smelko, Lyn Dwyer and Edie Strong, as well as Darren Achtzen from the Office of Environmental Sustainability at Seton Hill University. Together they discussed the land and an initial plan for the 100 saplings that were delivered.
Michelle spent 2 days planting the seedlings with a flat headed pick, placing each plant 8 inches in the ground. Transparent green tubing and plastic collars were staked around each plant to provide protection against animal and environmental dangers.
100 new trees, planted roughly 20 feet apart, now fill an acre of land. The Care For The Earth Committee hopes to continue planting trees in continuity with the 7 year Action Platform of Laudato Si.
The main benefit of tree planting is to collect carbon dioxide, a major cause of climate change and global temperature increases, from the atmosphere. Every tree planted naturally cleans the air and helps slow the destruction of our common home.